An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act (voting hours)

This bill was last introduced in the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session, which ended in March 2011.

Sponsor

Don Davies  NDP

Introduced as a private member’s bill. (These don’t often become law.)

Status

Introduced, as of June 16, 2010
(This bill did not become law.)

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment changes the hours of voting in British Columbia on polling day.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Canada Elections ActRoutine Proceedings

June 16th, 2010 / 3:20 p.m.
See context

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-543, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act (voting hours).

Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce a bill to improve the accessibility of our voting system and to promote the ability of all British Columbians to exercise their democratic rights.

My bill would change the voting hours in British Columbia for a general election. Currently the polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. My bill would set the hours at 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. This would bring B.C. closer in line with other provinces where voting is open until 8:30 or even 9:30 p.m.

There are many working families in my riding. There are many single parents. Many people work long hours at multiple jobs to feed their families. Closing the polls at 7 p.m. prevents many of these people from voting. Everyone in this House has experienced election day. We know that voting places are always busiest in the hours after work. In British Columbia, where the polls close at 7 p.m., there are long lineups. Many people cannot make it in time and those who do are often discouraged by the lines and leave without casting a ballot.

With voter turnout declining in the last several elections, I believe it is the responsibility of politicians to make sure that the voting system is designed to be accessible to everyone.

This bill is simple. It is reasonable. It would not cost one penny and it addresses a very real problem in our community. I hope the government will realize the importance of this proposal and work with all members of the House to make it a reality.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)