Spences Bridge’s right to vote taken away

Author laments the loss of the town's federal polling station.

Dear Editor

Recent revelations by Elections Canada that quite possibly thousands of voter information cards may have been sent out that are incorrect, putting some Canadians “right to vote” at risk, are alarming at best.

Now factor in that there will be no polling station in Spences Bridge…the plot thickens!

How many communities across Canada, like Spences Bridge, have been casting their ballot on Election Day for over a Century? I would suggest the number is significant.

How many of these communities have a significant demographic composed of First Nations? Seniors and even young folks that are eligible to vote… but do not drive.

I would suggest this number is also significant.

With government looking for ways to address the serious concerns surrounding decreasing voter turnout, I would boldly suggest the elimination of polling stations in small rural communities is a giant step backwards not only in regards of voter turnout but in terms of democracy itself.

Voting Day is big time in small rural. We wake up to coffee… a buzz in the air… lively conversation…we will elect our new leaders, our new direction… maybe even a new era in Canada.

It also raises the question of the aforementioned voter demographics in small rural communities across Canada. Does the voter information card fiasco and small town demographics lend itself to a hidden agenda? Maybe or maybe not but it certainly raises the question.

Given the jobs, the lifestyle, the values of rural Canada, it would seem the Conservatives may not have gained many votes (by the bad “voter info card” mail out or the rural polling station cutback) but it would certainly seem that the NDP, Liberal and Green parties will most certainly be losing votes.

Small communities with no transit, no taxi, no way to get to the polls without help from family or friends, should have “ease of access” to their greatest right of all – the right to vote.

Compare this to Kamloops – transit, taxi, even ride share options to get to any of the 16 polling stations. Yes – 16 polling stations!

Taking nothing from our neighbours, this is about Elections Canada.

Hear ye, Hear ye. Earth to Elections Canada – could Spences Bridge borrow a Polling Station from Kamloops, ust for one day? Say Oct. 19. What do you say?

Small rural communities across Canada have lost their libraries, RCMP, gas stations, bus station… They have even lost their bridges. Now we are losing arguably our most sacred possession of all, our voting booth.

A sad day for Spences Bridge, a sad day for small rural communities. A sad day for Canada.

Steve Rice

Spences Bridge