Green Party Leader Annamie Paul reiterates call to suspend Toronto by-elections, due to pandemic

TORONTO  – "The situation in Toronto-Centre is critical - it is not like every other riding in Canada. It is the densest riding in the country, where over 85 per cent of residents live in high-rise buildings and many vote in their buildings. In some of the low-income, racialised neighbourhoods in the riding, more than 7 per cent of residents are infected with COVID-19. The Prime Minister is asking Toronto Centre residents to choose between exercising their democratic right to vote or risking a potential superspreader event.

“On October 5, Elections Canada proposed draft legislation to introduce the "three fundamental changes" to the Canada Elections Act it believes are necessary in order to administer "an accessible, safe and secure election during the pandemic." Instead of ignoring this legislation, the government should implement it without delay, and prior to holding any further elections, including those planned for Toronto-Centre and York-Centre.

“Two of Toronto's COVID-19 hot zones are in Toronto Centre. Holding a by-election in a low-income, racialised riding that has been severely impacted by COVID-19, before the new Elections Canada rules are in place, is the latest insult to a community that already suffers from neglect. The last thing our Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Njoo said in today's federal public health update was that people have a civic duty to stop transmission by avoiding personal contact. The least the government can do is to help Toronto Centre residents respect this critical request of our chief public health experts by postponing the Ontario by-elections "

# # #

For more information or to arrange an interview contact:

Rosie Emery

Press Secretary