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Election Time!

A Provincial Election has been called; general voting will take place on Saturday, October 24, 2020.

Elections are an important time to engage in discussion and debate about the future of our province, our collective priorities and what programs and services are important to us, our families and our communities.

HSA strongly encourages members to vote.

The work we do in health care and community social services is critical, and the policies and actions of our provincial government have a significant effect on the work we do and the patients and clients we serve. Our votes matter.

Below is some important information from Elections BC to help you participate in the election.

MAKE SURE YOU ARE REGISTERED TO VOTE

To save time and make voting easy on Election Day, make sure you are registered to vote. You can check or update your status at elections.bc.ca/ovr

Once you are registered, you should receive a “Where to Vote” card in the mail. This will tell you where you can cast your ballot. If you don’t receive a card, you can use the Elections BC Where to Vote app:
https://wheretovote.elections.bc.ca/

Don’t forget to bring your ID with you when you go to vote. Information about what ID you’ll need can be found at: https://elections.bc.ca/voting/what-you-need-to-vote/voter-id/

WAYS TO VOTE

Elections BC has been preparing to safely and accessibly hold an election during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of their planning, there will be increased use of advance voting and remote voting options. You can learn more about safe voting practices at elections.bc.ca/safevoting.

Here are some of the ways you can vote:

  • You can wait until Voting Day on Saturday, October 24 and vote at your assigned polling station between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm Pacific time.
     
  • Advance voting places will be open for seven days of advance voting, from Thursday, October 15 to Wednesday, October 21. You can vote at your assigned advance voting location from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm local time.
     
  • You can request a vote-by-mail package from Elections BC either online at elections.bc.ca/ovr or by calling Voter Services at 1-800-661-8683. Elections BC has suggested this as the best option for voters with underlying health conditions and voters who do not wish to vote in person during a pandemic.

You can find more information on voting options on the Elections BC website: https://elections.bc.ca/voting/where-to-vote/

REMEMBER, YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO TIME OFF FROM WORK TO VOTE

Eligible voters are allowed four (4) consecutive hours free from work to cast their vote on Election Day – October 24, 2020. If your hours of work do not allow for four consecutive hours to vote during voting hours (8:00 am to 8:00 pm Pacific time), your employer must give you time off.

This does not necessarily mean four hours off work. It means you must have a four-hour period with no work sometime between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm. It is up to your employer to decide when you may take time off work to vote. Time off may be at the beginning, in the middle of, or at the end of your shift, or may be unnecessary if your scheduled working hours already provide the required four consecutive hours free from employment.

Members are encouraged to discuss with their supervisors in advance about how staff will be provided with the required time to vote. You are also encouraged to consult with your Collective Agreement on additional provision regarding time to vote in elections.

Have more questions? Check out Elections BC’s information here: https://elections.bc.ca/voting/voting-accessibility/time-off-work-for-voting/

POLITICAL PARTIES

As health care and community social service professionals, we know how important it is that our government maintains a strong commitment to protecting and defending the public services we deliver.

Please take the time to read up on the candidates running in this election and the commitments of their political party on the issues you care about.

Here are the links to the websites of the main political parties in this election:

BC New Democratic Party - https://www.bcndp.ca/
BC Liberal Party - https://www.bcliberals.com/
Greens of British Columbia - https://www.bcgreens.ca/

ISSUES MATTER

Elections are an important time to raise the issues that matter to us, and help shape the priorities our elected representatives will act on. There are many challenges facing our communities, many issues that need the attention of our elected representatives.

We encourage members to be active on the issues that matter to you.

One issue that HSA has been actively supporting, and that the COVID-19 pandemic has spotlighted, is the importance of our public health care system. Public health care, offered on the basis of need and not on ability to pay, is a crucial part of our ability to endure this crisis and care for one another in the future.

We strongly encourage members to think about our health care system when casting your ballot. In this election, we need political parties to make a real commitment to investing in all aspects of our public health care system. This means something different to each HSA member, but can include: recruitment and retention of staff, investments in new facilities and equipment, helping separate more people from the poisoned street drug supply, expanding community health and primary care centres, and ensuring our long-term care residences are appropriately staffed.

Remember: your vote matters.

* This document is for the information of HSA members.

PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

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