July 23, 2019
Canada’s chief electoral officer (CEO) must reconsider the federal election date because it coincides with a Jewish holiday, according to a Reuters article. In their article, authors Steve Scherer and Moira Warburton explain how a judge said that Stephane Perreault, the CEO, now has a week to appeal the Federal Court ruling or recommend a new election date, which is currently October 21, 2019. On the Jewish holiday Shemini Atzeret, voting and campaigning are forbidden for Orthodox Jews. Last month, a Conservative Party candidate and a Canadian Jewish activist filed a lawsuit arguing that the current date should be moved due to the holiday. Colin Feasby, Managing Partner of Osler’s Calgary Office, is representing B’nai Brith Canada, a Jewish advocacy group that was granted intervener status in the case. He says he hopes the CEO moves the election date back a week.
“We certainly hope the decision [the CEO] makes is the right decision … to change the election date,” Colin tells Reuters.
The article goes on to explain how Elections Canada had originally “said it would seek to accommodate Jewish voters with a range of early voting opportunities …”
According to the article, the CEO has the power to recommend the election date but the prime minister and his Cabinet determine the actual date.
For more information, read authors Steve Scherer and Moira Warburton’s article “Court orders Canada’s elections chief to reconsider changing date of federal vote,” on July 23, 2019, in Reuters.