NTFL Issues Statement on Voting Opportunities for Northerners in Isolation

The following statement was released today by NTFL President, Nicole Tews:

The Northern Territories Federation of Labour is calling on the Federal Government and Elections Canada to immediately implement a method of voting for residents of the Northwest Territories who are required to isolate due to unexpected COVID-19 exposure. Voters who want to exercise their democratic right must be given every opportunity to do so.  Advance polling and mail-in ballots cannot be the only way for those in isolation to vote. Foresight should not be a requirement for fair representation.

“It is deeply disappointing to see a lack of planning and no action being taken to correct this disenfranchisement of voters in the Northwest Territories” said Nikki Tews, President of the Northern Territories Federation of Labour.  “Though we can appreciate the complexity of running an election during a pandemic, the responsibility to provide safe alternative voting measures on September 20th lies with Elections Canada.”

The residents of the NWT have lived with this pandemic for almost 2 years. The Government of Canada and Elections Canada have had sufficient time to make sure a plan was in place before calling an election. A status quo approach will not work in this election, given the unprecedented circumstances we are in. Immediate action must to be taken to facilitate the public’s right to vote.

The Northern Territories Federation of Labour is working with the Canadian Labour Congress to press for a timely solution on behalf of all eligible voters in the Northwest Territories.

In Solidarity,      

Nicole Tews,
President, Northern Territories Federation of Labour