Côte Saint-Luc supports vote by mail system for next municipal elections
February 08, 2021
The City of Côte Saint-Luc was the first municipality in the country to implement mandatory mask wearing.
As Mayor Mitchell Brownstein stated, “we are leaders when it comes to measures regarding COVID-19.”
Municipal Elections are scheduled to be held in Quebec municipalities on November 7, 2021. On Monday night we adopted a resolution calling upon the Quebec government to permit voting by mail upon request.
Yes, the elections are 10 months away, but does anyone really believe that we will be pandemic-free by then? Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promises us that every Canadian wlllbe vaccinated by the end of September. I do not believe him. The Quebec government has decided not to give people who had their first shot the booster that Pfizer and Moderna recommended. Then there are the new variants.
“We have no guarantee we won’t be in a red zone next November,” St Laurent Borough Mayor Alan DeSousa said recently.. “But you need to do the planning ahead.”
Trudeau might call a snap election. Federally voting by mail is permitted. We saw it done successfully in British Columbia and the United States. So why can’t Quebec allow this too?
The Union des municipalités du Québec is pushing very hard on the issue. Montreal, Laval, Longueil, St. Laurent and others support this. So what is the problem? If Quebec cannot get its act together on this dossier then perhaps they should consider delaying the vote until the fall of 2022.
Côte Saint Luc has a senior population of over 10,000 who are at greater risk to the effects of COVID-19. Even if they are all vaccinated, what happens if the new variant still makes them vulnerable to catch the virus? How will we conduct door to door campaigns? Will people be willing to work at polling stations and serve as scrutineers?
Our city council wishes to ensure a safe electoral process and promote democracy with the maximum possible participation. In order to allow for mail in ballots, the Quebec government must modify the applicable law pertaining to elections for all municipalities.
We can only hope that the Quebec government consults with the UMQ and concerned municipalities without delay!
Le problème demeure comment la campagne électorale peut-être juste si le porte-à-porte n’est pas possible? L’équipe sortante, qui a les adresses internet de nombreux résidents peut s’en servir sans partager avec les candidats d’une autre formation.
J'espère que les élections auront lieu au moment prévu, novembre 2021 et qu’il y aura un processus qui protégera l’égalité des chances d’une campagne honnête pour tous les candidats à cette élection municipale.
Posted by: Ghislaine Pedneault | February 11, 2021 at 09:38 AM
This is a worthy discussion for public debate. One option is for municipalities to mail ballots that electors can complete at home and return to polling places. This will minimize any onsite delays and minimize exposure and fatigue.
Now more than ever, there must be a plan to encourage citizen engagement in the electoral process. Residents will be angry if appropriate measures aren't made to protect the process. There is plenty of time to put healthy plans in place. We should be encouraging more participation in our civic process, not less.
Posted by: Cecilia McDonnell | February 11, 2021 at 10:25 PM