Elections BC is anticipating a record number of mail-in votes for the provincial election on Oct. 24, which could delay the final election results. (Photo credit: Elections BC)

Elections BC is anticipating a record number of mail-in votes for the provincial election on Oct. 24, which could delay the final election results. (Photo credit: Elections BC)

Record numbers requesting mail-in vote package for BC election

Plus upcoming AGMs, free webinars, Clinton seeks more firefighters, and more

Vote by mail packages

A provincial election will be taking place on Oct. 24, and voting by mail numbers are expected to skyrocket because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Elections BC, which oversees voting for the election, is releasing the estimated number of vote-by-mail package requests they receive, with the figure updated every weekday.

The estimate reflects the cumulative number of vote-by-mail package requests received by Elections BC. It does not represent the number of vote-by-mail packages issued to date, or the number of mail-in ballots that will be considered for counting. This is because voters may not return their vote-by-mail package by the deadline, and all vote-by-mail packages must be screened before being accepted for counting.

During the 2017 provincial election, some 6,500 British Columbians chose to vote by mail. As of Tuesday, Sept. 29, more than 431,000 requests for vote-by-mail packages had been received. According to Elections BC, the agency can process up to 200,000 mail-in ballots in time for the final count, which is legislated to begin no less than 13 days after election day on Oct. 24 (which would be Nov. 6 at the earliest). However, it is estimated that up to 35 per cent of voters, or 800,000 people, could choose to mail in their ballot, which might mean a delay in determining the final election results.

To view the number of vote-by-mail package requests received, go to https://bit.ly/36a8ZbN. For information about how to request a vote-by-mail package, go to https://bit.ly/3kUs1Hh.

One more Cache Creek market

With warm weather still with us, the Cache Creek market is taking advantage of it, and will hold one last outdoor market on Saturday, Oct. 3 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the parking lot beside Chum’s Restaurant. The next Cache Creek market will be an indoor one on Saturday, Dec. 5; details will be coming soon.

E. Fry Society AGM

The South Cariboo Elizabeth Fry Society is holding its annual general meeting on Monday, Oct. 5 starting at 5:30 p.m. at its office at 601 Bancroft Street, Ashcroft.

The society is looking to add a few more talented, conscientious, and committed volunteer board members to lead and strengthen its programs. Anyone who can contribute their time, thoughtfulness, and leaderhsip one evening a month, and who is interested in exploring this opportunity, is welcome to attend the AGM and learn more.

Sweet treats help sick kids

From Oct. 5 to 11, Dairy Queen fans are invited to support sick kids by picking up Blizzards or DQ cakes from their nearest participating Dairy Queen — including the one in Cache Creek — to help raise funds for the BC Children’s Hospital. During that time, at least $2 from every Blizzard and $5 from each cake sold will be donated to the hospital, through in-store, pick-up, and drive-thru orders.

The partnership between Dairy Queen and the Children’s Miracle Network — of which the BC Children’s Hospital is part — began in 1984, and to date has raised more than $135 million in support of sick and injured children across North America.

Concert time change

Earthbound — a Kamloops-based, four piece band who have been performing together for many years — will be bringing their organic soul, R&B, and funk to UniTea Café in Ashcroft on Saturday, Oct. 10. The show has been switched to the afternoon, and will now start at 4 p.m., with seating beginning at 3. Tickets are $20 each (general seating; social distancing rules in place, with groups of one to six people) or $25 each for VIP seating (front row chairs/tables for groups of two to four people). Only 50 tickets are available in total, and they must be purchased in advance.

Beer, wine, cider, pop, and water will be available for purchase, and washrooms and sanitizing stations are available. To reserve tickets, drop by UniTea or go to www.uniteacafetakeout.com.

Ashcroft HUB AGM

The Ashcroft HUB will be holding its annual general meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the HUB. Members of the public are invited to attend and hear about what has happened at the HUB in the past year, and have their say about where it is headed. Participation by Zoom is also available; email ashcrofthub@gmail.com for information.

Collaborating for community success

The South Cariboo E. Fry Society and the Ashcroft HUB are hosting a free event where participants can learn to navigate the challenges of COVID-19, fast track projects and ideas that can sometimes takes weeks or months to implement, uncover emerging issues and opportunities, learn how to connect with others during challenging times, and more.

The session is from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 20, with COVID-19 protocols in place, and lunch will be provided. Virtual access is also available. For more information or to register, email ashcrofthub@gmail.com, call (250) 453-9177, or go to https://ashcrofthub.ca.

Business webinars

Community Futures is presenting a series of free webinars and coaching sessions for small businesses, starting with a return of the popular “Digital Marketing 101” series (Oct 6, 9, 13, and 16). Participants will learn marketing strategies and tools to help grow your business, find your target audience, and increase customer engagement.

“Employment Law and COVID-19” (Oct. 8, noon to 1 p.m.) will provide up-to-date legal information about best practices in the workplace, while “E-Commerce 101: What? Why? How?” (noon to 1:30 p.m., Oct. 13 and 20) will help you decide if e-commerce is right for your business and discuss online selling, popular platforms, tips to market your site, and more.

Finally, “HR Toolkit” (seven sessions between Oct. 21 and Dec. 9) will help participants learn about what is required for successful human resource management in their organization. Private and confidential coaching sessions are also available for most of the webinars.

For more information, or to register, go to https://www.takingcareofbusiness.biz/workshops/.

Clinton looking for firefighters

The Clinton Volunteer Fire Department is looking for new members. Practices are held every Monday at 7 p.m., and anyone interested in being a part of an extraordinary team of individuals is invited to attend the next practice at the fire hall (309 Lebourdais Avenue) on Monday, Oct. 5.

Reproductive health care survey

How do British Columbians understand reproductive health care? More specifically, what do people know about abortion care? How do people access abortion care? What are patients’ rights to abortion health care? These are questions that a study by UBC Okanagan researchers will be exploring over the next few months.

The study focuses on the regions of Okanagan, Thompson Cariboo Shuswap, Kootenay Boundary, and East Kootenay, and there is an online survey that will take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete. At the end of the survey participants are also welcome to volunteer for a follow-up interview if they would like to further discuss the topics and questions in the survey.

The researchers believe that the practical availability of abortion care might be impacted by the level of knowledge of those seeking care or those who are supporting someone seeking care. Everyone residing in the Okanagan, Thompson Cariboo Shuswap, Kootenay Boundary, and East Kootenay is welcome to participate. The survey is accessed at https://bit.ly/RHKnowledgeBC, and additional information about the project is provided on the survey page. The survey, which opened on Aug. 7, will be open for a minimum of four months.


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