Elections Canada lays out plan for pandemic voting

Canada is headed for an unprecedented pandemic election on Sept. 20, and with COVID-19 case numbers across the country on the rise, voters are anxious to know what their experience at the polls will look like. Chief electoral officer Stéphane Perrault has laid out what Canadians can expect from Elections Canada in the 44th general election and said on Aug. 18 that election day preparations are already underway. At the polls, voters can expect mandatory masking, physical distancing, physical barriers and single-use pencils. Voters may also bring their own pens and pencils. As a result of the pandemic, Perrault said this election will be more expensive — with an estimated cost of $612 million — and take longer to call. Elections Canada expects to receive between two and five million mail-in ballots, compared to the usual 50,000 for a federal election. “If the volume of mail in ballots is high, as we’ve seen in other jurisdictions during the pandemic, it will take longer for returning officers to count those ballots.” Perrault said. The counting of mail-in ballots won’t begin until after election day and could take between two and five days to complete in some ridings.  If you’re still not sure what all of this means for you, we’ll try to address your queries here:  How strict will safety measures be at polling stations?  Perrault said the measures at polling stations, such as mandatory masking and physical di […]

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Georgian College in Barrie receives $400,000 grant to deepen equity, diversity and inclusion

Georgian College in Barrie will create a Centre for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) thanks to a $400,000 grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Georgian and 11 other post-secondary institutions across Canada will share close to $4.8 million through the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Institutional Capacity-Building Grant. The objective of the grant is to help identify and overcome systemic barriers that impede the career advancement, recruitment and retention of underrepresented and disadvantaged groups. “This is an excellent opportunity to augment the good work we’re already doing, reaffirm our commitment about the type of organization we are striving to be, and set a clear vision and action plan to ensure the entire Georgian community of students, employees and stakeholders feel and are being treated equitably and are being included,” said MaryLynn West-Moynes, president and CEO of Georgian College. “We’re continuing to seek out and welcome diversity across the college, and this exciting project is aligned with our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion in our strategic plan.” This project aims to create structural and cultural change by using equity lenses, decolonization and anti-oppression frameworks to review, assess and plan training, as well as recruit and retain faculty and staff who identify in the target groups. The centre will be focused on the staff and their exper […]

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