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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Canada election: Voters head to the polls as pandemic campaign comes to end


The day has come.

Canadians from coast to coast are heading to the polls to choose their next federal government in the climax of the 44th general election.

Read more:
Live Canada election results 2021: Real-time results in the federal election

For just over a month, federal leaders have travelled around the country in an effort to convince voters to choose their party to represent them in Ottawa.

After getting Gov. Gen. Mary May Simon’s blessing, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dissolved Parliament on Aug. 15, sending Canadians to the ballot box two years before a mandated election on Oct. 16, 2023.

Read more:
Canada’s 2021 election: Here’s your last minute voter’s guide

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Opposition leaders have criticized Trudeau’s decision, accusing him of trying to secure a majority for his party and questioning why an election was being called during COVID-19’s fourth wave.

In response, Trudeau has defended his decision and said an election was necessary for Canadians to choose how they “want to end” the pandemic with the government they choose.

Read more:
Canada election: Complete list of promises made during the 2021 campaign

Throughout the campaign, party leaders have made promises on Canada’s pandemic response, the economy, affordability, child care, climate change, spending, Indigenous reconciliation, taxes and housing.

On the eve of election day, party leaders made last-minute appeals in whirlwind tours of swing ridings in an effort to convince voters to choose them.

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About 6.8 million Canadians have already voted, majority of them doing so through advanced polling Sept. 10 to 13, and the rest through special balloting either by mail or in-person at Elections Canada offices. About 30 million eligible voters are able to cast their ballots Monday.

Election day voting hours are staggered so that majority of results come in around the same time across the country, Elections Canada says.

Polls in Newfoundland and Atlantic time zones run from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Eastern time from 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Central time from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Saskatchewan and Mountain time from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Pacific time from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.


Click to play video: 'Election Day: What You Need to Know Before Heading to the Polls'







Election Day: What You Need to Know Before Heading to the Polls


Election Day: What You Need to Know Before Heading to the Polls

Elections Canada is encouraging voters to wear masks, but only requires them in provinces where they are mandated. Proof-of-vaccination rules don’t apply at voting stations in any province where they currently exist.

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Most riding winners will be decided by the end of Monday, but Elections Canada has also warned it might take up to four days to finish counting the special ballots, meaning some close races won’t have official winners for several days.

Read more:
Long lineups seen outside some Toronto polling stations on election day

With millions of Canadians heading out to vote, there have been some reports of long lines at polling stations. In Toronto, several lines were spotted at voting locations.

Party leaders are among the millions of eligible Canadians heading out to vote Monday. Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole was spotted in Bomanville, Ont. with his wife Rebecca O’Toole casting their ballots.

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Conservative leader Erin O’Toole and Rebecca O’Toole cast their ballots in the federal election Monday, Sept. 20, 2021 in Bowmanville, Ont.


Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet both voted earlier in the campaign, choosing to do so during advanced polling.


NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh takes part in advanced voting during the Canadian federal election campaign in Burnaby, B.C., Friday, Sept. 10, 2021.


Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press


Bloc Quebecois leader Yves-Francois Blanchet casts his ballot in the advance polls Friday, Sept. 10, 2021 in Chambly, Que.


Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

— with files from The Canadian Press




© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.





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