Do your eyes gloss over when anyone talks about the upcoming municipal election? I know for many people the answer is a resounding yes. That is a shame though and whether you own a full-time home or a secondary property, your vote really does matter and, in my opinion, nowhere more so than in a municipal election. There sure are many issues being discussed in our region from hospitals to new developments and from casinos to road projects.
Everything that a municipal council deals with has the potential to directly affect you, from how much taxes you will pay, to approving a new development in your neighbourhood to reconfiguring a road in front of your house. Libraries, roads, sewers, fire, and police, transit, parking enforcement, recreation (parks, pools, local paths), public health services and by-law enforcement are all things that very directly impact you every single day.
This is also the level of government where you, as a citizen, can have the most impact. If you own a property in our area, you’ll be happy to know that this year, all the municipalities including Collingwood, Blue Mountains, Meaford, Grey Highlands, Clearview, Wasaga will all have internet and phone-in voting so distance no longer matters. Here is what you need to know for this October’s election.
Who is eligible to vote
There are three ways that you can qualify to vote in a municipality:
- As a resident elector if you live in the municipality. You may own, rent, live in shared accommodation where you do not pay rent or live in the municipality but do not have a fixed address. Being a resident elector is the most common type of eligibility.
- As a non-resident elector if you own or rent property in a municipality, but it’s not the one where you live. You can only be a resident elector in one municipality. However, you can be a non-resident elector in any other municipality (or municipalities) where you own or rent property.
- As the spouse of a non-resident elector if your spouse owns or rents property in the municipality or municipalities other than the one where you live.
How Does It Work?
Electors will receive a notice in the mail providing instructions and a secure PIN number to use to vote by either the internet or telephone. Electors are encouraged to vote using either the internet or telephone up to ten days in advance of election day on October 22, 2018. Voting will be open at 10:00 a.m. on October 12 and will run until 8:00 p.m. on October 22, 2018.
Make Sure You Are On The List
Check the Voter Look UP website
Get Information About The Local Elections
Once you find the candidate names in your area, Google them and you may find a website showing their campaign platform or, find them on social media sites like Facebook. Watch for information on local All-candidate meetings which may also be televised. If you have burning issues, email the candidates with your questions. Talk to friends and neighbours.
The important thing is to participate. You have a voice and a vote, use them.