Democracy/Elections

Should blind canadians not be able to vote independently?

Submitted by Jeffrey Stark on Mon, 04/11/2011 - 19:20

I ask why Blind Canadians are not afforded the same right to vote independently?  The recent Ontario provincial Elections showed that it can be done.   For the first time this year, during the provincial elections, I had the opportunity to cast my vote without anyone else knowing who I voted for.   This is a simple right most people take for granted.   Now, for the Federal elections, Elections Canada feels that it is ok that I have to rely instead on someone else to mark my ballot and hope they get it right, and hope they don’t spoil it, and hope they don’t tell anyone.  Providing me with a template that does not allow me to read the entries  and verify my vote is insufficient.

Why does Elections Canada feel that this level of mediocrity is acceptable?

 

See email from Elections Canada:

 

From:INFO9 [mailto:INFO9@elections.ca]
Sent: Monday, April 11, 2011 7:01 PM
To: 'jds.ncr@gmail.com'
Subject: Elections Canada

 

We thank you for your telephone call of April 11, 2011.

 

You will find information on the accessibility of the electoral process for electors with disabilities on our Web site. For ease of access, please use the following link: Accessibility of the Electoral System.

 

The Canada Elections Act states:

 

Subsection 154(2): The deputy returning officer shall, on request, provide a template to an elector who has a visual impairment to assist him or her in marking his or her ballot.

 

At this time, this is the only option for an elector with a visual impairment to vote without assistance from another person.

 

We invite you to access the relevant sections of the Canada Elections Act from our Web site. For ease of access, please use the following link: Canada Elections Act. Scroll down the page and under the title Part 9 , you will find Sections 154 to 175 about Special Voting Procedures.

 

For more information about the Canadian federal electoral system, visit our Web site (www.elections.ca) or call 1 800 463‑6868, toll‑free in Canada and the United States. Our hours of operation are from Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time).

 

Public Enquiries Unit

Elections Canada

 

2011 Elections Canada E-bulletin #1 /

 

 

 

VOTE. SHAPE YOUR WORLD.

A federal election will be held on Monday, May 2.

 

 

 

You may vote in this federal election if you:

·          Are a Canadian citizen

·          Will be 18 or older on election day

·          Canprove your identity and address(http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=vot&dir=ids&document=index&lang=e)

Registering to vote

If you’re already registered on the voters list, you will receive a personalized voter information card from Elections Canada that directs you where to vote.

If you don’t receive this card by Wednesday April 13, you will need to register or update your registration information. It’s simple:

·          Call 1-800-463-6868, or

·          Go to:

o   Your local Elections Canada office (http://www.elections.ca/scripts/pss/FindED.aspx?L=e)

o   Your polling station on an advance voting day (http://www.elections.ca/scripts/pss/FindED.aspx?L=e), or

o   Yourpolling station on election day (http://www.elections.ca/scripts/pss/FindED.aspx?L=e)

Ways you can vote

·          Vote by mail (http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=vot&dir=reg/svr&document=index&lang=e)

·          Vote at your local Elections Canada office (http://www.elections.ca/scripts/pss/FindED.aspx?L=e)

·          Vote at youradvance polling station on Friday (http://www.elections.ca/scripts/pss/FindED.aspx?L=e), Friday April 22; Saturday, April 23; or Monday, April 25

·          Vote at your polling station on election day (http://www.elections.ca/scripts/pss/FindED.aspx?L=e), Monday May 2

·          Voting in advance at home (contact us for details)

 

Voting at the polls

Find your polling station for an advance poll or for election day by:

·          Checking your voter information card

·          Typing your postal code into our Voter Information Service (http://www.elections.ca/scripts/pss/FindED.aspx?L=e)

Remember to bring identification

·          When you vote, you must be able to prove your identity and address (http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=vot&dir=ids&document=index&lang=e). Consult the list of ID authorized by Elections Canada (http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=vot&dir=ids&document=index&lang=e#two).

·          The CNIB identification card is now an authorized piece of voter identification – you may use it along with another piece of authorized ID.

 

A variety of options for electors with disabilities

·       Level accessto polling stationsand local Elections Canada offices (http://www.elections.ca/scripts/pss/FindED.aspx?L=e).

·          Sign language interpretation, requested in advance by calling 1-800-463-8080 or TTY 1-800-361-8935.

·          Braille voting templates, large-print lists of candidates and assistance in marking a ballot at polling stations.

·          Materials in multiple formats (http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=cont&document=form1&lang=e) (i.e. Braille, American Sign Language and Langue des signes québecois, audio CD and large print), available on the Elections Canada Web site

New! Accessibility feedback process

Elections Canada recently implemented an accessibility feedback process (http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=cont&document=form&lang=e). We are committed to ensuring that polling sites are as accessible as possible, and we want to hear and learn from voters with disabilities.

Elections Canada is committed to improving accessibility and services to electors with disabilities. We welcome any feedback you may have.

A unique experience:
Work during the election!

·          Elections Canadais now accepting applications for election workers (http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=emp&lang=e). [link to descriptions of election positions, requirements & pay]

·          Apply to work (http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=emp&lang=e) in this federal election by calling 1-800-463-6868 or by visiting www.elections.ca.

 

For more information, contact us:

www.elections.ca
1-800-463-6868
TTY 1-800-361-8935

 

Leader's Debate Question: Participation

Submitted by Terrance Green on Thu, 04/07/2011 - 21:40

-----Original Message-----
From: Terrance Green [mailto:tjgreen@bellnet.ca]
Sent: April-07-11 4:18 PM
To: 'question@electiondebate2011.ca'
Cc: staff
Subject: Canadians with disabilities can participate...

On behalf of Citizens With Disabilities Ontario, I am submitting the
following question for consideration for the Leaders Debate 2011.

For some Canadians with disabilities, their disability can be reduced if not
eliminated, through new medical procedures or through the use of service
animals, etc.; however, where medical research has not caught up to these
new practices, what will your Party do to assist Canadians with disabilities
to take advantage of such practices so those Canadians with disabilities who
desire to participate can reduce the impact of their disability on their
lives?

Terrance Green
Chairperson
Citizens With Disabilities Ontario

Leader's Debate Question: Affordable Housing

Submitted by Terrance Green on Thu, 04/07/2011 - 21:38

-----Original Message-----
From: Terrance Green [mailto:tjgreen@bellnet.ca]
Sent: April-07-11 3:51 PM
To: 'question@electiondebate2011.ca'
Cc: staff
Subject: Canadians with disabilities need affordable and accessible housing...

On behalf of Citizens With Disabilities Ontario, I am submitting the
following question for consideration for the Leaders Debate 2011.

Many Canadians with disabilities are prisoners where they live simply
because they cannot afford the costs of accessibility. What will your Party
do after the election to encourage Canadians with disabilities to be more
comfortable where they live through increasing affordable and accessible
housing?

Terrance Green
Chairperson
Citizens With Disabilities Ontario

Leader's Debate Question: Improving Access & Inclusion

Submitted by Terrance Green on Thu, 04/07/2011 - 21:37

-----Original Message-----
From: Terrance Green [mailto:tjgreen@bellnet.ca]
Sent: April-07-11 2:34 PM
To: 'question@electiondebate2011.ca'
Cc: staff
Subject: Canadians with disabilities are being left out...
On behalf of Citizens With Disabilities Ontario, we submit the following
question:

Canadians with disabilities feel that they are being left out of Canadian
Society, if your Party is elected to form the Government, what will your
Party do to improve Access and Inclusion of Canadians with disabilities back
into our society?

Will Your Party support:
. Accessibility regulations, instead of voluntary codes, for modes of
transport in Federal jurisdiction?
. An accessible technology procurement policy?
. The renewal and expansion of the Social Development Partnerships
Disability Program?
. The re-establishment of the Court Challenges Program for equality
rights test case litigation?
. Amendment of the National Building Code to include Universal Design?
. Accessible voting, including independent voting and verification for
persons handicapped by print?
. Amendment of the Official Languages Act to give ASL/LSQ official
language status?
. Establishment of a Parliamentary Committee on Disability Issues?

Terrance Green
Chairperson,
Citizens With Disabilities Ontario

Leader's Debate Question: CRPD

Submitted by Terrance Green on Thu, 04/07/2011 - 21:35

-----Original Message-----
From: Terrance Green [mailto:tjgreen@bellnet.ca]
Sent: April-07-11 12:10 PM
To: 'question@electiondebate2011.ca'
Cc: staff
Subject: Election Debate Question

On behalf of Citizens With Disabilities Ontario, we submit the following
question:

Mr. Harper, if you receive a majority of seats in this election, what will
your Government do to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons
With Disabilities (CRPD), which your Government did ratify on March 11,
2010?

In the short Term Will Your Party Commit to delivering on the intent of CRPD
by:

* Design of a National Action Plan providing the vision and framework for
successful implementation of the CRPD. An action plan that identifies
necessary mechanisms for collaboration, benchmarks for monitoring and
reporting, and strategies for priority areas, the disability community has
identified, including:
- Access to disability supports,
- Poverty alleviation,
- Labour force participation,
- Accessibility and inclusion.

Leader's Debate Question: monitor for CRPD

Submitted by Terrance Green on Thu, 04/07/2011 - 21:33

-----Original Message-----
From: Terrance Green [mailto:tjgreen@bellnet.ca]
Sent: April-07-11 12:59 PM
To: 'question@electiondebate2011.ca'
Cc: staff
Subject: Canadians with disabilities want their rights protected...

On behalf of Citizens With Disabilities Ontario, we submit the following
question:

Mr. Harper, if you receive a majority of seats in this election, will you
name the Canadian Human Rights Commission to be the monitor for
implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons With
Disabilities (CRPD), which your Government did ratify on March 11, 2010?

Canadians with disabilities are watching the clock and the first report is
due, from Canada to the UN in March 2012 and that does not give any time for
Canada to design a robust participation strategy to ensure Canada meets its
CRPD obligations to consult with and actively involve persons with
disabilities through their representative organizations in implementing the
CRPD. If you are given a majority, how can you address this at such a late
date? And, why hasn't the monitor been identified already?

Terrance Green
Chairperson,
Citizens With Disabilities Ontario

Leader's Debate Question: UN Convention - Optional Protocol

Submitted by Terrance Green on Thu, 04/07/2011 - 21:27

-----Original Message-----
From: Terrance Green [mailto:tjgreen@bellnet.ca]
Sent: April-07-11 1:31 PM
To: 'question@electiondebate2011.ca'
Cc: staff
Subject: Canadians with disabilities represent approximately 17% of the population

On behalf of Citizens With Disabilities Ontario, we submit the following
question:

Mr. Harper, if you receive a majority of seats in this election, will you in
order to protect the rights of Canadians with disabilities enunciated in the
UN Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities (CRPD), ratified,
by your Government, on March 11, 2010, will your Party, establish a clear
timeframe and process to review Canada's position on Article 12 and the
Optional Protocol?

Terrance Green
Chairperson,
Citizens With Disabilities Ontario

Leader's Debate Question: Work

Submitted by Terrance Green on Thu, 04/07/2011 - 21:24

-----Original Message-----
From: Terrance Green [mailto:tjgreen@bellnet.ca]
Sent: April-07-11 3:16 PM
To: 'question@electiondebate2011.ca'
Cc: staff
Subject: Canadians with disabilities want to work...

On behalf of Citizens With Disabilities Ontario, we submit the following
question:

The unemployment rate for Canadians with disabilities averages around 70%
and for specific types of disabilities, i.e. Canadians who are blind or
deaf, the unemployment rate is over 90%; If your Party receives a majority
of seats, will you address this imbalance in Employment, by:
. Set participation goals for Canadians with disabilities in labour
market agreements with provinces and territories; and make such transfer of
Federal funds conditional upon meeting these goals?
. Expand the contribution to the Multilateral Framework Agreement on
Labour Force Participation of People with Disabilities and the Opportunities
Fund to create more employment opportunities for Canadians with
disabilities.
. Make the Government of Canada a model employer, both in its hiring
and disability accommodation practices?
. Achieving the goal of equitable representation of people with
disabilities at all levels of the federal public service?

Terrance Green
Chairperson,
Citizens With Disabilities Ontario

Leader's Debate Question: Poverty

Submitted by Terrance Green on Thu, 04/07/2011 - 21:20

-----Original Message-----
From: Terrance Green
Sent: Thursday, April 07, 2011 10:44 AM
To: question@electiondebate2011.ca
Cc: staff
Subject: Canadians with disabilities?

On behalf of Citizens With Disabilities Ontario, I would like the following question asked:

What will your Party do respecting Canadians with Disabilities living in Poverty?

In the short Term will your Party:
• Make the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) refundable?
• Make recipients of the Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefit
automatically DTC eligible?
• Extend Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits to 52 weeks of
coverage?

In the long Term Will your Party:
• Support an expanded federal role in disability income support to
free provincial/territorial resources for re-investment in disability-related supports?

Terrance Green
Chairperson,
Citizens With Disabilities Ontario (CWDO)