Take time to vote in provincial by-elections October 29

Generalvoting will be held on Wednesday, October 29 in 2 by-elections in theprovincial constituencies of Vancouver-Fairview and Vancouver-Burrard.  Polls are open that day from 8:00 am to 8:00pm.  HSA members who live in theseconstituencies are urged to vote in these critical by-elections. 

Section 74of the BC Election Act states thatemployees are entitled to 4 consecutive hours on October 29 for the purpose ofvoting.  Elections BC has provided thefollowing interpretation of this requirement:

-Anyemployee who is entitled to vote is entitled to have four consecutive hoursfree from employment during voting hours on General Voting Day for the purposeof voting.  Voting hours on GeneralVoting Day are 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Pacific time.

It is up tothe employer to determine when any necessary time is to be taken off work tovote. Time off may be at the beginning or end of an employees shift, orunnecessary if normal working hours already provide the necessary time freefrom employment. It is an offence for an employer to take any deduction from anemployees pay, or exact any other penalty, for time off for voting. Section 74of the Election Act also specifies that individuals who work in suchremote locations that they cannot reasonably expect to reach any voting placeduring voting hours are not entitled to the time off."

Forexample, if you work 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, your employer is obliged to allow youeither 3 hours at the beginning, or 1 hour at the end of your shift, to provideyou with 4 consecutive hours to vote.  Itis your employers choice which option to provide.

Registeredvoters should receive a voting card in the mail indicating where you mayvote.   Voters may vote at any of thevoting locations in your constituency, and unregistered voters may register tovote at any voting location. 

Additionalinformation about eligibility to vote and voting locations is available at the ElectionsBC website at www.elections.bc.ca, or by phoning your local Elections BC office, or the local campaign ofany of the major political parties.

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