YOUR OPPORTUNITY – AND RESPONSIBILITY – TO VOTE
Ontarians head to the polls June 2nd. This is an opportunity for members of Canada’s Jewish community to play their role in the democratic process. With a brief campaign, and some voting limitations linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, voters should avail themselves of any number of options that will help ensure their voice is heard.
Elections Ontario will again be publishing its voters’ guide in Hebrew, Yiddish, Russian and numerous other languages.
In 2022, in part because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Elections Ontario will also be introducing innovations to the voting process, which will ensure opportunities for members of the Jewish community to make their views count: voting by mail will be more accessible and the Province has developed an app to help provide important voting information.
B’nai Brith Canada will again be mounting an online Election Centre in 2022; this Election Issues Guide is one part of that effort. We will focus on ensuring Jewish community members have the information and tools they need to fully participate in the democratic process. We recommend, for example, that:
- Jewish community leaders should know their Returning Officers (ROs) and, in various ridings, Community Relations Officers (CROs), who can provide a wealth of advice and materials on the electoral process and voting options.
- Jewish community leaders should not hesitate to engage in dialogue with ROs (and CROs) to seek information and convey any concerns.
- Voters should know their ridings and their candidates, including candidates from smaller parties and those running as independents. For those with internet access, simply go to the Elections Ontario website and enter your postal code.
- Everyone should consult the Guide to the Ontario Election (for Hebrew, Yiddish and Russian, go to the ‘Other Languages’ button).
- There are many ways to vote. Special ballots are available so you can vote by mail, if you prefer not to cast your ballot in person. The processes for alternative voting methods have been simplified. The deadline to apply to vote by special ballot is Friday, May 27th at 6:00 p.m.
- University students should be aware of how they can vote if they are on campus and not at their ordinary places of residence.
- Be mindful that, in addition to their website, information is posted by Elections Ontario on all major social media channels.
For now, we encourage the community to follow us on social media for developments (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and watch for updates on our Election Centre page. In addition, Elections Ontario is already making information resources available (While we do our best to provide accurate guidance, remember that Elections Ontario has the final say on the voting process).
We say that the most effective step our community can take is to ensure our voices are heard. We urge Ontarian Jewish electors to play their full part in the upcoming provincial election, by getting to know the candidates and the party platforms, by asking hard questions about policies and positions that impact the Jewish community, and by voting!