Chief electoral officer decides to stick with voting day amid religious concerns

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OTTAWA — Canada’s chief electoral officer says voting day this fall should not be moved.

Election day can be no later than Oct. 21 under federal law, which this year falls on the Jewish holiday known as Shemini Atzeret, meaning Orthodox Jews are not permitted to work, vote or campaign.

Elections Canada had been lobbied to change the date, but decided against it this close to an election, prompting a Federal Court challenge to the decision.

Last week, the court ordered chief electoral officer Stephane Perrault to take a second look at the decision and balance the infringement on the charter rights of affected voters against the objectives of the election law.

Perrault’s detailed decision says it is not in the public interest to move voting day.

Cabinet now has until Thursday to make a decision about Perrault’s recommendation.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Canada is a secular state so why is this even up for discussion? Bollocks to that, if your religion prevents you from voting on a particular day, hit the advanced polls or vote my mail. It’s not a difficult concept.

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