There is a provincial election taking place in BC, concluding on October 24th. Every election is an important opportunity for educators to take part in our democracy. When you vote, you have your say in who the government will be for the next four years.

This election is taking place during a pandemic, so while the importance of taking part is the same, there are some key differences to keep us all healthy and safe.

Here’s our top 5 list of questions to ask and things to know to help you take part in the election.

1) Are you eligible to vote?

  • In order to vote, you must be:
  1. 18 years or older by General Voting Day, and;
  2. a Canadian citizen, and;
  3. a B.C. resident for the past six months as of General Voting Day.

2) Make a plan to vote!

  • If you’re eligible to vote, make a plan to vote that includes the following:
  1. How – do you want to vote by mail, or in person? If you want to vote by mail, request your mail-in ballot from Elections BC today. Here is the Elections BC information about safe voting during the pandemic.
  2. When – look at your upcoming schedule. Do you have time to vote during the advance polls or on Election Day October 24? If these are busy days for you, consider voting by mail or in person at an district electoral office.
  3. Where – once you’ve decided how and when you’re going to vote, make sure you know the location of the mail box, postal office, or voting location you’re going to use, and put all the details in your calendar.

3) Decide who to vote for.

  • The provincial government has responsibility for managing a number of important services we rely on, including our healthcare system, post-secondary education institutions, and worker health and safety regulations;
  • Each political party has different ideas about how to manage these systems. Look up what they say on the issues that matter to you. Based on their positions, decide which party aligns with your views; and/or
  • Look up who the candidates are in your electoral district and make a decision based on their individual profiles (although they will largely agree with the provincial stances on issues taken by the party they are representing).

4) Don’t know who to vote for? Ask questions!

  • If you don’t find the answer to a question you have in any of the party platforms, ask the candidates or the campaigns. Don’t be afraid to follow up if you don’t hear back.
  • Ask your local union if they are holding a candidate debate or issuing a candidate questionnaire. Attend the debate and ask a question or read the candidate responses to find out more about what they think about the issues that matter to you.

5) Remind your friends and family to vote!

  • Our democracy is strongest when we all participate. Once you’ve made your vote plan and decided who to vote for, reach out to your friends and family to remind them to vote too! With so much going on, your gentle reminder for people to vote could be all that’s needed to have their valuable perspective included too.

About FPSE

The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC is the provincial voice for faculty and staff in BC teaching universities, colleges and institutes, and in private sector institutions. FPSE member locals, represented by Presidents' Council and the Executive, represent over 10,000 faculty and staff at 19 public and 5 private sector institutions.