Live updates: Leaders face off in second federal election debate in French
This is the Montreal Gazette’s live coverage of tonight’s federal leaders’ debate. Questions/comments? [email protected] Top updates: Trudeau and O’Toole neck and neck with less than two weeks left in campaign: Leger poll Welcome to our live coverage Tonight’s French debate, Thursday’s English debate pivotal for federal leaders In 2019, the Liberals narrowly outpaced the Bloc in Quebec The Greens were poised for a breakthrough in 2019. Now their woes may impact the wider election Opinion: With two weeks to go, the real campaign is beginning Opinion: No room for error in Round 2 of federal leaders’ debates Opinion: With two weeks to go, can Justin Trudeau reverse th
Canadians are showing out in force to cast their ballots ahead of federal election day with 1.3 million Canadians casting a ballot on Day 1 of advance voting.
The advance polls were open from Sept. 10-13, and for some, it became a necessity to avoid the major crowds that might show up on election day during a pandemic. Tamara Hinz, a child psychiatrist out of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan made sure to cast her vote in her riding of University over the weekend.
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“It was sort of a priority for me to get there today before it closed,” said Hinz. “It was a great experience — painless and quick.”
The mother of two school-aged children, Hinz said the process was not too laborious. When she arrived to vote, there was a steadily moving line and she was able to get in and out within 20 minutes. In fact, she said she felt safe from the moment she walked in as she saw staff fully masked, practicing social distancing and contact tracing.
“I hope that nobody is scared off from voting because of the pandemic,” said Hinz. “It felt safer than going to the grocery store.”
Video: Elections Canada
The opening day turnout eclipses the 1.25 million Canadians who voted in 2019. While numbers for day two have not been fully tallied, Elections Canada told Global News that the total is higher than the 970,000 voters who voted on the second day of advance voting in 2019.
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Over 1.3 million Canadians voted on Day 1 of advance voting. Canadians are showing out in force to cast their ballots ahead of federal election day with 1.3 million Canadians casting a ballot on Day 1 of advance voting.
But it wasn't the case at all polling stations in Canada. Some early-bird voters described hour-long waits on Twitter.
In a long line up to vote in the Canadian federal election on the first day of advance voting, but it's totally worth it! Fellow Canadians please remember to vote, it's important and every voice matters! #cdnpolipic.twitter.com/0lxIGjSX3y
— Vectnin (@Vectnin_) September 10, 2021
Advance voting lines in #ldnont are long because of distancing & reduced capacity. I expected to wait, but was pleasantly surprised they were bumping people with young kids to front of the queue. Grateful to be in & out instead of wrangling impatient kids for an hour. #cdnpoli
— Kate Traill (@katetraill) September 10, 2021
Went for bike ride last-night in TO. Advance voting is real, so are lines. Seeing long lines (social dist. attributing to perception of longer than norm lines) outside #ElectionsCanada locations is good. There may have been a few fist pumps, cheers as I cycled past #letsdothis
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— ???????? (@kesrockkenn) September 14, 2021
Elections Canada acknowledged that, because of strong turnout at advance polls, "there may have been line ups in some places."
To some, those long line-ups — somewhat a quintessential aspect of the pandemic at this point — were a good sign.
"Our wait is about one hour," Uttara Chauhan tweeted Monday night, the last day for advance voting. "But happy that folks are getting out to vote!!"
Very long line at my advance voting centre this evening. Our wait is about one hour. But happy that folks are getting out to vote!! And the @ElectionsCan_E staff is super helpful. #Election2021#Elxn44#ElectionsCanada
— Uttara Chauhan (@Uttara_Chauhan) September 14, 2021
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For Hinz, she's spent much of the past four week dredging the voting process. But, when it came time to make up her mind cast her ballot, she said the process of voting in-person felt a lot closer to normal than she anticipated.
“It's nice they went the extra steps to make sure it felt safe,” she said.
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Hinz, who is a progressive voter, was caught off guard by the election call. With no looming threat of a non-confidence vote or otherwise, Hinz said that while she does take her voting responsibilities, having to go to the polls with an impending fourth wave was not ideal.
“It felt a bit unnecessary to call an election... I would have rather not voted in a pandemic,” she said.
It’s not just a matter of the pandemic itself, but due to her profession, Hinz has been swarmed at work. She’s also a mother of two elementary-aged children, so making time to listen to the debates or follow along with every party promise has been seemingly impossible.
“It feels like a bit of relief to just to exercise my democratic duty and not have to worry about it,” she said.
That sense of relief is echoed by Jennifer Taylor in Nova Scotia. The 38-year-old voted in her third federal election in the Dartmouth-Cole Harbour riding.
“I’m relieved to have checked this off,” she said.
Video: Voters’ rights advocate says voter turnout could drop
Throughout the course of the election, Taylor has felt “pretty uninspired” by the fact she’s had to vote in an election that she thinks was “not needed”. The early election call led to Taylor voting for the NDP and giving less consideration to the Liberals.
Battle for Quebec ends with Legault front and centre
QUEBEC – It started as the election about nothing until the premier of Quebec waded in hip deep. If in the 2019 federal election François Legault took a few well-placed jabs at Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau over Quebec’s secularism law, Bill 21, in this campaign a Scud missile was his weapon of choice for the attack. As a result, the uneasy truce between Legault and Trudeau on display in the early part of the federal election campaign went down in flames as Legault, donning his father-to-the-nation cap, offered free advice to Quebecers on how they might want to vote Monday. His suggestion was that the vote not be Liberal, New Democratic Party or Green.
“It was quite a crass political move for the Liberals to call the election now, but we got to do our civic duty,” said Taylor.
Read more: Workers harassed, threatened in riding of Dartmouth-Cole Harbour, says Elections Canada
Taylor, who just voted in the provincial election less than a month ago said the process was virtually identical. Much like the provincial election, her decision to cast an early vote usually relied on finding a candidate she believed in and think will be a strong advocate for her community. But during COVID times, things are naturally different, so she had to weigh-in the possibility of having to self-isolate or getting sick, which encouraged her to get to the polls early.
“In previous non pandemic elections, I was more keen to wait until Election Day...we just knew with COVID there is a chance we might not be able to go,” she said.
While she’s glad to have voted early, Taylor said the location of the advance poll was fairly inconvenient for her and could be the reason she saw limited traffic there.
“It was not a convenient location for many people,” she said.
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In Winnipeg, the location was not a problem for Susan Ainley who was able to vote at the VIA Rail station in downtown Winnipeg. Ainley, who said she’s never missed an election of any sort, described the process as streamlined and as easy as previous years.
“It felt very safe, very easy,” she said.
Ainley, who said she doesn’t mind voting in person, is feeling a sense of relief knowing she doesn’t have to make time out on election day to vote and potentially around a swarm of others.
“I don't have to think about it now. I'm not hemming and hawing,” she said.
Much like the other voters, Ainley said she thought that she had reached her bandwidth with COVID-19 news, and trying to follow an election from a distance was a challenge.
“I found for me it wasn't so easy to get that information as maybe in past years you could just show up at a forum and get a lot of information at one time,” she said.
While advance voting has ended, eager voters can still cast their voters in person at an Elections Canada office until 6pm on the 14th. Alternatively, electors can apply for a mail-in ballot by that time and those ballots must be returned to Elections Canada by the end of Election Day.
Federal election live updates: Tight results expected as polls close in Quebec .
This is the Montreal Gazette’s live election night coverage. Questions/comments? [email protected] Top updates: Tight results expected as polls close in Quebec As long as you arrive before your polling station closes, you can vote: Elections Canada Video: Montrealers sound off on the federal election campaign Seven people injured after being struck by vehicle outside West Island polling station There were long waits at some Montreal polling stations today Election results start trickling in as polls close in Atlantic Canada Canada’s COVID-19 response could be key factor for many voters, poll suggests Here are 14 Quebec ridings to watch tonight Leaders make last-m