In a weeks time, voters across Ontario will elect their municipal candidates (Manitoba is later this week, PEI and BC vote in November). Across Ontario there will be 2,800 council members plus 700 school board trustees elected.
These people have a big impact on all of us … as an example here are the general responsibilities of municipal government:
- waste collection,
- public transit,
- land use planning,
- emergency services,
- animal control, and
- economic development.
So if you have an opinion about any of these services, the transit system, economic development in your area, waste collection or how your municipality is dealing with developers … then you need to vote. If you don’t like what your mayor and council are doing then vote for change. If you think your elected representatives are doing a GREAT job you still need to vote, because someone else might not like what they are doing and vote them out!
Here are 10 reasons why YOU need to get out and vote:
- This is a privilege of our democracy that people in other parts of the world would love to have;
- This is a privilege of our democracy that our parents and grandparents fought and died to preserve;
- This is your chance to influence the government that affects you;
- If you are reading this then likely you are intelligent, we NEED intelligent people voting;
- If the wrong people are elected they might spend YOUR money unwisely;
- The wrong people elected might represent YOU and YOUR municipality in a way you do not want to be represented;
- Voter turnout in Canada is low, Municipal elections are the lowest (in a 2004 Calgary election voter turnout was 18%!) … don’t let a few voters decide the fate of your municipality;
- If you have been embarrassed by your elected officials, vote for change;
- If you think your elected officials could do a better job, send a message with your vote;
- If you want to set an example for the future generations, then demonstrate that democracy is a good thing by voting.
There are probably 100 good reasons to vote, but hopefully the 10 I mention make you think.
Understand the issues in your municipality.
Understand what the candidates offer.
Vote with your head, and be a part of Canada’s democratic process.
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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