Exclusive: Alberta oilsands camps won’t get ballot boxes on election day

DM

Thousands of Alberta oilsands workers could be out of luck on September 20 as COVID-19 fears will keep Election Canada ballot boxes away from work camps. Elections Canada (EC) officials confirmed to the Western Standard on Friday because of COVID-19 protocols, their workers will not be visiting places like the Kearl Lake camp, where some 2,000 staff at the Imperial site are housed by Cevio. Elections Canada spokeswoman Leanne Nyirfa said staff visited with Cevio officials back in February or March to tell them about their decision. But one worker at Kearl Lake contacted the Western Standard to say workers are still in the dark about voting day. Kearl Lake is an approximately two-hour drive from Fort McMurray. Nyirfa said Cevio has informed them they are not putting on buses to transport workers to the poll because of COVID-19 fears. She urged oil camp workers who want to vote to use either advance polling or apply to vote via mail. The deadline to do that is September 14, at 6 p.m. Nyirfa contacted the Western Standard later Friday afternoon to say the area returning over was contacted by Cevio who said they were going to make sure all staff knew about the voting day problems.

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