October 2021
Advocacy Update: Professional Activity Day on Municipal and School Board Election Day

2021-10-19 3:02:01 PM

Running an election is not an easy thing. There is a lot to consider, a lot to think about and a ton of planning that goes into delivering an election. That’s why AMCTO provides election training and education every four years. Our clerk members are already deep into election planning and execution with municipal and school board elections just over a year away.

So imagine, having to run elections for municipal councils AND on top of that, manage elections for school board representatives. One challenge that affects many clerks every four years is finding large and accessible spaces in their communities to host polling stations, the places voters go to cast their ballots. Often times, the best place to go is to the local schools.

We know that while legislation allows the clerk to use schools as polling stations, getting the support of local principals can be difficult. We recognize the efforts of our members who are working to partner with local schools to ease the facilitation of Municipal and School Board Election Day. Every four years our members engage their local school boards in school-year calendar planning discussions to encourage boards to schedule a Professional Activity (PA) Day on Municipal and School Board Election Day. That is why in successive submissions on amendments to the Municipal Elections Act, we have requested that the Province mandate a Province-wide Professional Activity Day to make this democratic process easier.
In an effort to find an interim ‘non-legislative’ solution to this issue and to support existing local efforts, we have sent a letter to school boards across the province formally requesting that school boards schedule a PA Day on Municipal and School Board Election Day – October 24, 2022. The letter outlines the various benefits to scheduling a PA Day on Municipal Election Day including helping local clerks ensure a smooth and effective democratic process, providing voters with a large, accessible polling station, and serving to enhance citizen engagement.
We have also written to the Minister of Education asking him to use his existing regulatory authority to apply one of the provincially mandated PA Days to Municipal and School Board Election Day for 2022 if school boards decide against this action. We will continue to advocate for this mandate to be applied on a go-forward basis.

Local partnerships are increasingly important for ensuring effective democracy and municipal service delivery. We hope that we can count on school boards to support their municipal clerks who facilitate the election of their representatives, in scheduling a PA Day on Municipal and School Board Election Day – October 24, 2022 – and for every municipal election thereafter.


Blog post currently doesn't have any comments.