BY: JESSICA BEUKER
“I’m too busy,” or “I work all day,” won’t cut it as reasonable excuses for not voting in the coming Canadian election. Because legally, your boss has to give you time off to vote.
According to Federal law, employers have to give employees three consecutive hours to place their vote, which can be granted at any time during the workday. The only stipulation is that your boss is the one who decides when you can vote.
You won’t be docked pay by leaving work to vote. According to Notable, employers who don’t abide by the law are subject to a $2,000 fine and/or three months in jail.
According to Elections Canada, in 2011, 60 per cent of non-voters cited everyday life issues as their reason for not voting. Whereas only 30 per cent cited political issues as the reason, and six per cent cited issues related to the electoral process itself.
Over the past several elections there has been a steady increase in people identifying everyday life issues as the main reason for not voting, and a steady decrease in people identifying political issues as the reason. If people are aware of this law, they can use it to their advantage and utilize their right to vote.
Voting hours across Canada are:
Newfoundland Time: 8:30am – 8:30pm
Atlantic Time: 8:30am – 8:30pm
Eastern Time: 9:30am – 9:30pm
Central Time: 8:30am – 8:30pm
Mountain Time: 7:30am – 7:30pm
Pacific Time: 7am – 7pm
An estimated 3.6 million people voted during four days of advance polls from Friday to Thanksgiving Monday. That’s a 71 per cent increase from the advance polling in 2011.
There are 26 million Canadians qualified to vote. The election is on Monday, October 19. Get out there and make your voice heard.
Image sourcing: nationalobserver.com