Returning Officers are at the end of their tether and the election is only into its tenth day. Imagine this: one returning office in the Toronto region requires 900 staff. Across the country, in its 338 ridings, more than 250,000 election workers have to be hired. Add to this the fact that the electoral law stipulates that half of the positions must be held open for seven days so that parties and candidates who participated in the previous election can fill them with recommended people. That leaves less than 30 days to conduct interviews and hire.
Keep in mind that many of the people who typically fill these positions, mostly seniors, are not going to be available because of COVID concerns. Elections Canada made a proposal to the parliamentary committee in charge of electoral law matters to change polling day from the single 12-hour day on Monday September 20, to two 8-hour days on Saturday and Sunday to enlarge the pool of available hirees, among other reasons. Furthermore, Elections Canada said the conditions of working a 12-hour day, wearing masks, would be difficult and expressed fears that some might even walk off the job. This proposal was rejected by the committee. [More]
On August 23, Ontario reported 639 new cases of COVID-19. Of those, 124 people (21 per cent) were fully vaccinated, 65 were partially vaccinated and the remainder were unvaccinated. Of people in hospital in Ontario on the same day, 23 were fully vaccinated, nine were partially vaccinated and 103 were unvaccinated.
Stories circulating from across Canada report similar statistics with hotspots reported in Windsor, Ontario, a senior’s home in Saskatchewan, Parkside Extendicare in Regina, and other places. The Parkside Extendicare outbreak is particularly worrisome given that the same thing happened during the first round of the pandemic during which 39 people died in this facilility. [More]