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Elections Canada still seeking poll workers in Nunavut

Plenty of ballots will be cast during the Oct. 21 federal election and many temporary jobs have been created in relation to the exercise in democracy.

Stephane Perrault, Canada's chief electoral officer, signs the writs of election, making official Canadians' trip to the polls on Oct. 21 to vote for a member of Parliament. The federal election means the creation of hundreds of temporary jobs in Nunavut.
photo courtesy of Elections Canada

Close to 200 part-time workers will be needed on election day and approximately 70 employees will staff advance polls, according to Matthew McKenna, a media relations specialist with Elections Canada.

Not all of those jobs have been filled yet.

“There are still many vacant positions and we’d encourage anyone who is interested to get in touch with the local Elections Canada office in Iqaluit,” McKenna stated. “We have every hope that we’ll be able to find enough Nunavut residents to be able to fill all the vacant positions. We’re committed to reaching full staffing levels, though, so if there is a need to look at recruiting from outside of the territory it is something we will consider doing.”

Nunavut returning officer Valerie Beaulieu Blanchette is “well aware” of the importance of hiring poll workers who speak the Inuit language and she is “making every every effort to do so,” said McKenna.

Wages for poll clerks start at $15 per hour. Other jobs associated with the election include registration officers, information officers and central poll supervisors.

There are mandatory three-hour training sessions prior to beginning employment with Elections Canada but trainees get paid to learn, McKenna noted.

Not every community will have an Elections Canada employee on site throughout the election period, but all communities will at least receive elections services from visiting officials, he said.

Elections-related jobs wrap up immediately after Oct. 21, except for the returning officer and assistant returning officer.

Elections Canada's headquarters in Nunavut's capital staffs 10 people. Hiring there started nearly six months ago.

During that time, Blanchette has fielded numerous questions. She regularly informs people of office hours, polling locations, voting dates and whether residents appear on the voting list, she said.