No. 18September 9, 2021
Elections Canada reported that as of September 8 at 11:59 pm, it had issued a total of 660,139 special mail-in ballots to electors and 196,887 have been returned to the agency.
Of the ballots issued, 556,906 — just over 84 per cent — went to electors who want to vote by mail while they reside at home, and 185,322 of these have been returned. People who are in Canada but outside of their riding have been issued 54,904 and 7,640 have been returned.
People living outside of Canada account for 48,329 of the Special Ballots issued and 3,925 have been returned. This is about the same as in the 2019 Federal Election.
As a general rule, electors who apply for a special mail-in ballot forfeit their right to vote in person. Exceptional circumstances, such as requesting a ballot but not receiving it, are accommodated; the elector must fill out a special form to vote in person. If their mail-in ballot is used it will not be counted, as the register of voters will indicate that in-person voting was exercised. Mail-in ballots are counted after in-person ballots.
The number of special ballots processed does not yet reflect the projection of anywhere from 2 million to 5 million people choosing to mail in their ballots. Whether this indicates that there will be a lower than normal voter turn-out or that people have decided that they will vote in person remains to be seen. Electors can request mail-in ballots up until 6:00 pm on Tuesday, September 14.
– Anne Jamieson, MLPC candidate, Vancouver South –
When distributing copies of Renewal Update (RU) and talking with people in my riding, we notice that everyone is very responsive to the RU issue that clearly exposes “the irresponsible snap election” for what it is: a barefaced tactic by the Trudeau Liberals to try to consolidate their power during what they consider to be an opportune time for them. In the middle of a pandemic with a fourth wave already taking place is apparently an opportune time for them. Wildfires displacing people in BC is also no deterrent to calling an election at this time. The fact that people have no time or opportunity to discuss the serious issues that should be discussed during an election is considered to be a plus for the powers that be.
Media sources cynically do the calculations as to whether Trudeau and his entourage have guessed right in calling an election now rather than later: a free weekly newspaper in Vancouver asks “Will Trudeau’s gamble pay off?” The Economist weighs the pros and cons: “Now, before people get to know the new Conservative leader better?” etc.
People are, in fact, angry about the snap election being called and many are disgusted by all cartel party politicians at present. Popularizing the program of the Marxist-Leninist Party is more important than ever to dispel feelings of despair among people, and turn feelings of helpless fury among many into a determination to free themselves from the domination by the cartel party system over the political process. In other words, to empower themselves. An informed vote YES! Party government NO! All out for democratic renewal!
Lack of affordable housing is a problem that plagues hundreds of thousands of people across this country. Housing advocacy organizations at the national and community level are organizing and raising their voices demanding that government authorities, regardless of who is in power, have an obligation, a duty to guarantee affordable housing for all.
Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now Canada (ACORN) is one such organization. The last week in August it launched its organizing campaign leading up to National Housing Day in November.
ACORN is calling on governments to build and protect affordable housing. ACORN Canada has posted its Housing Platform on its home page and is mobilizing public opinion for affordable housing for all.
At the end of August ACORN held meetings in a number of communities. Actions were held on the August 28/29 weekend in Hamilton, Toronto, Ottawa and Calgary. In BC, ACORN members recently met with the assistant deputy minister for housing after a long campaign demanding his government take the needs of tenants more seriously. In Calgary, ACORN rallied for real change and real affordable housing in East Calgary.
Canadians want change, a new pro-social direction for society that benefits the people and society. By working out our own vision for society and putting our demands into action, we can bring about change that favours the people!
When it comes to the severity of the housing crisis, homelessness and poverty in this country, the talking points of the cartel parties pledging a million units of this, 600,000 of that, show just how out of touch and non-serious they are about the problem facing the people. Housing insecurity, COVID-19 evictions, outright homelessness, overcrowded, mold and pest-infested housing, poverty and food insecurity are real problems for a significant number of Canadians. This reality is totally ignored in the numbers game played by the cartel parties. They are in fact pledging new ways to pay the rich, the bankers, mortgage brokers, developers, in the name of “housing programs” while ignoring the actual conditions faced by so many people.
Prior to the pandemic it was estimated that 12.7 per cent of the population lived with housing insecurity. There were 1.2 million people unemployed at that time. Another 1.5 million became unemployed as a result of the pandemic. As many as 25 per cent or 390,000 of those who became unemployed due to the pandemic did not qualify for CERB assistance. Homelessness, housing insecurity, food insecurity have increased significantly as a result of the impact of the pandemic.
The official definition of homelessness is not limited to those who are living on the streets or in parks and other public spaces in and around our cities. The homeless include those who take refuge in emergency shelters, those living in temporary accommodations without security of tenure, as well as those whose current economic and or housing situation is precarious or does not meet public health and safety standards.
The Canadian Institute of Child Health reports that more than a quarter of on-reserve First Nations live in overcrowded homes, a rate that is seven times greater than that of non-Indigenous people. Furthermore, 43 per cent of First Nations houses on reserve are in need of major repairs and as many as 85,000 new homes are needed. Housing conditions of Indigenous and Inuit peoples in Canada are deplorable and a source of physical and mental health problems as well as social problems.
The situation of Injured workers is another example. The Ontario Network of Injured Workers Groups reports that one in five workers lose their home after injury. One in five experience extreme poverty (income of less than $10,000 per year) after being injured and 40 per cent report income of less than $15,000 per year. Injured workers experience nearly four times the Ontario poverty rate.
According to Statistics Canada, about 3.7 million Canadians — or 10.1 per cent of the population — were living below the poverty line in 2019. Of single people not living with family, 26 per cent lived in poverty and 30 per cent of children living with a single mother lived in poverty.
Even many home owners are facing a housing affordability crisis — meaning 30 per cent or more of their before-tax income goes to housing costs. Twenty three per cent of homeowners who are servicing a mortgage find themselves in that situation while for those renting it is closer to 40 per cent. That is why 11.6 per cent of homeowners with a mortgage are at risk of food insecurity while roughly one quarter of all people paying market rents are facing food insecurity.
Housing is a right that belongs to all by virtue of being human. Every worker regardless of status, every injured worker, every person living with a disability, the unemployed and working poor are all entitled to a Canadian standard of living. Together let us build a modern Canada that guarantees the rights of all. Let no one be left behind.
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