Election Results Begin to Fall as Polling Stations Close in Atlantic Canada | national
OTTAWA – Polling stations have closed in Atlantic Canada, kicking off what should be a fierce end to the federal election campaign.
The very early results began to be felt, with the Liberals appearing ready to retain their dominant position in the four easternmost provinces, although some competitions were very close.
There are 32 ridings up for grabs in the region. The Liberals held 27 before the election, including Fredericton, New Brunswick, where Green Party-elected Jenica Atwin defected from the Liberals.
The Conservatives held four Atlantic seats and the NDP held one.
The first results were the Liberals leading in 14 Atlantic ridings, the Conservatives in four and the NDP in one.
With polls suggesting a stalemate across Canada between the Liberals and the Conservatives, neither within the reach of a majority, each of the country’s 338 ridings will count.
Trudeau ended his minority Liberal government on August 15, just under two years after Canadians reduced the Liberals to a minority for the first time.
He argued that Canada is at a pivotal point in history and that Canadians deserve a chance to decide how they want to end the fight against COVID-19 and rebuild the shattered economy.
But the timing of his election call, coming as a fourth wave of the novel coronavirus began to sweep the country, quickly undermined the goodwill Trudeau had built among Canadians for his government’s handling of the pandemic over the years. 18 months previous.
And it gave rival leaders an opening to attack Trudeau’s character, portraying him as a selfish egotist who cannot be trusted to put the interests of Canadians ahead of his personal ambition for a majority.
During the day on Monday, Elections Canada reported a handful of disruptions at polling stations across the country, including a protest led by Indigenous people and election workers failing to show up, as millions of Canadians marched. voted in the country’s first pandemic election.
While the majority of polling stations opened on time and without incident, Elections Canada spokeswoman Diane Benson said issues had been reported with several sites in Ontario and Western Canada, resulting in the late opening of certain offices or the need to relocate.
These included a polling station in the constituency of Brantford-Brant, southwest of Toronto, which had to be relocated following a protest organized by the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council.
The council last week voted against setting up a polling station on what it considers its traditional territory, calling it a violation of the treaty and encouraging members not to vote.
The Turtle Island News newspaper reported that protesters blocked all three entrances to the polling station before a standoff erupted with Six Nations police.
The newspaper said the polling station was removed from the reserve following negotiations between the two sides.
“We are aware that the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council protest disrupted voting at a polling station in Brantford-Brant before the polling station could be moved,” Benson said in an email.
Benson also reported that poll workers did not show up at two polling stations in the Ontario riding of Kenora, near the border with Manitoba. Waiting workers from other parts of the region were dispatched to open polling stations by mid-afternoon.
Two polling stations in First Nations in the Alberta constituency of Grand Prairie-Mackenzie also opened late due to the inability of staff to enter locked buildings. Polling stations have since opened.
Elections Canada also knew that a polling station in the community of Yekooche in British Columbia, in the riding of Skeena-Bulkley Valley, had not opened.
Benson also reported that special arrangements have been made, with the approval of local campaigns, for several polling stations in the Toronto ridings of Eglinton-Lawrence and University-Rosedale to manage the flow of voters while respecting the security measures in place.
“We are aware of an interruption in voting services at several polling stations in Davenport,” she added. “Voting resumed.”
The isolated disruptions came as Canada’s top party leaders joined millions of residents who voted in the country’s first pandemic election, which culminated on Monday as Canadians from coast to coast to coast gathered. went to the polls.
Elections Canada said nearly 6.8 million people voted early, most early voting more than a week ago, and the rest by special ballots dropped by mail or at Elections Canada offices .
Canada has over 30 million eligible voters.
Elections Canada told The Canadian Press that it is having intermittent problems with a search tool on its website that lets voters know which polling station to go to based on their postal code. The agency urged voters to check their voting cards or call Elections Canada directly if they didn’t know where to go.
Benson said Elections Canada was also investigating high call volumes in some electoral districts, although it did not specify which ridings were affected.
Elections Canada previously warned that the pandemic could lead to longer wait times for voters compared to previous elections.
Public health protocols involve keeping people at bay and collecting additional information for contact tracing purposes, which could take longer.
The polling stations themselves were also likely to be further away, as many schools and landlords chose not to accommodate crowds of voters during the fourth wave of the pandemic. This means fewer places to vote and potentially longer queues.
Elections Canada encouraged voters to wear masks, but only required them in places where they were mandated by provincial rules. Proof of vaccination regulations do not apply to polling stations in provinces where they currently exist.
Edmonton Police said they responded to a disturbance at a polling station where a man and woman refused to wear a mask inside a local public school as they attempted to vote. Police said the man was granted medical exemption and cooperated when asked to leave.
An Elections Canada spokesperson said some polls had experienced isolated delays in implementation, which created longer waits, but nothing unusual from previous years.
George Walker voted in Toronto on Monday afternoon. He called the experience “soft” and called the security measures taken at the polling station “wise”.
“But it took longer than in the past, mainly because of COVID,” Walker said, adding that he was not worried about the extra 15 minutes of waiting.
Shannon Fernandez said voting on Election Day was “super easy”, “stress free” and “very easy”.
“I felt it was very well organized,” added Fernandez. “No complaints at all.”
Polling stations are open for 12 hours, but hours of operation vary by region, starting as early as 7 a.m. PST in British Columbia and until 9:30 a.m. EDT in Ontario and most parts of Quebec.
Most of the constituency winners will be known by the end of the evening, but Elections Canada has warned that it could take up to four days to complete the counting of all special ballots, which means some races tight may not have official winners for several days.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on September 20, 2021.