With federal election only days away, Elections Canada needs workers in N.L.

·2 min read
The advance polls are over, but Elections Canada is still looking for workers on election day.  (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press - image credit)
The advance polls are over, but Elections Canada is still looking for workers on election day. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press
Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

Elections Canada is still looking for workers in both the St. John's East and St. John's South-Mount Pearl ridings, with the federal election less than a week away.

It's a temporary gig with training, and the 12-hour election day shift on Sept. 20 is the only commitment needed.

Francoise Enguehard, who works in the Atlantic region of Elections Canada, told CBC Radio's The St. John's Morning Show the agency knew recruitment would be difficult due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But, Enguehard said, recruitment has always been a bit of a struggle.

"I've done this for a long time and it's always a challenge to get election workers. Elections Canada, in the last election, looked to hire about 250,000 people and we fell a bit short of that," she said. "It's a lot of people for a very short time."

Newfoundland and Labrador just finished four days of advance polls. Enguehard said the focus is now on election day and help is still needed.

The St. John's East riding needs between 50 and 100 workers. In St. John's South-Mount Pearl, there's a need for 150 to 200 people.

CBC
CBC

Enguehard said Elections Canada has consulted every local health authority and is following their rules on how to best operate under the pandemic.

"Anybody who works with Elections Canada right now, whether it be at the election offices or at the polling locations, everybody has to wear a mask," she said.

"There have been a lot of measures to ensure everybody is safe."

'Wonderful opportunity'

Interested residents can go to the Elections Canada website and look under the Jobs section, she said. Candidates have to be a Canadian citizen, be at least 16 years old on election day, refrain from partisan politics, and have basic literacy, interpersonal and analytical skills.

The pay is between $17.72 an hour and $23.44 an hour, Enguehard said. Three hours of paid training is included, along with the 12-hour election day shift.

"Out of those 12 hours, four hours, and that's new this year, four hours will be paid at time and a half," said Enguehard.

Depending on the position, she said, people can make between $300 and $400.

"I think it's an eye-opener to work in a polling station, at a polling location, to see what is done to make sure that we can just go in and mark our ballot," Enguehard said.

"It's a wonderful opportunity to see how things work from the inside, and I encourage anyone of any age to do it."

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