Hey Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Ontario, PEI and Yukon! You’re going to the polls soon to elect new governments (or to re-elect new versions of old ones). It is not always easy to see how elections make a difference in daily life, so it might not seem very important, but different governments make different choices with respect to public services, economic management, crime prevention and the environment, among many other things. If you think of something that is important to you, or that you enjoy doing, the government probably has some influence over it.
In few places is this more evident than the workplace. In recent years, provincial and territorial governments have enacted or updated laws and regulations on workplace violence and harassment, occupational health and safety incident prevention, human rights, accessibility for persons with disabilities, flexible work arrangements, family planning and parental leaves, income and corporate taxes, minimum wages, tax credits, and much more. It should be clear that these things are not just important for employers, but for employees as well, and in some cases more so.
If it seems like an onerous task to find out exactly what the political parties are saying they’ll do if you elect them, you might be right, at least in part. In Ontario, the Liberals platform is 60 pages long! But usually, every party or local candidate has a summary of their platform on the party website, which can be found on the local elections organization website (see below), your local news organization or the CBC. You also might find talking to your family, friends and co-workers provides insight into the issues.
You should also know that employees have a right to time off work (if necessary) to cast their ballot. Find out more here.
Here are the websites for the various provinces’ election organizations:
First Reference Internal Controls, Human Resources and Compliance Editor