The Canadian federal election is coming up on October 21. For some students, this will be their first time voting. To make sure you’re fully informed when you go to the polls, we’ve prepared some basic information on the running parties and how to vote.
The Liberal Party, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, currently hold a majority government in Parliament.
The Progressive Conservative Party, led by Andrew Scheer, are the current opposition.
The other major parties are the New Democratic Party, led by Jagmeet Singh; the Green Party, led by Elizabeth May; the People’s Party of Canada, led by Maxime Bernier.
Some ridings may also have independent candidates running. You can read more about the parties, their candidates, and their platforms on their individual party websites.
Registering to vote
An important resource is Elections Canada. On this website, you can register to vote, or update your address if you have moved since you last voted.
You must be a Canadian citizen and 18 years of age to vote – if you are voting in advance and will be 18 by October 21, you are still eligible to cast in advance.
If your address is up to date, you should receive an election card in the mail. This will tell you your polling station and when you can vote; bring this with you when you go to vote.
You will also need to bring a government-issued piece of ID with you, like a driver’s license or birth certificate, or two pieces of non-government-issued ID that include your name and address.
There is more than one way to vote – you can vote on election day, on advance polling days (October 11 – 14), at an Elections Canada office near you by the special ballot process, or by sending your vote through the mail.
The Election Canada website includes the required steps you to need to take for whichever way you choose to vote.
Note that to vote by mail or at an Elections Canada office, it must be done by 6 p.m. on October 15. Advance polling day and election day voting is open 8:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.; Elections Canada office hours are listed on their website.
If you’re living away from home and still want to vote for your local riding, you can vote at any Elections Canada office before October 15, or by mail through the special ballot process. The application form for this can also be found on their website.
If you want more information about your riding before you vote, you can enter your postal code here to locate your riding, your local Elections Canada office, view past results, and other important statistics.
A list of all the local candidates will also be posted on this part of the website by October 2. If you have any other questions about voting, you can call Elections Canada at 1-800-463-6868.
Another good resource is 338Canada. This website allows you to view electoral projections for each party, riding, or province/territory. They update these regularly as the projections change. This can show you how much of an impact your vote will have.
Though there will not be a polling station directly on campus, there will be one just a short walk away, at the Saint John Regional Hospital. The SRC will also be providing rides to the polling station via Safe Ride to ensure that voting is accessible to all students.
With this information in mind, hopefully you’ll take the time to learn about your local candidates and vote in this year’s federal election! The bottom line is: vote.