Are you ready to cast your vote?
Canadians are going back to the polls on Monday, Sept. 20, just 23 months after the governing Liberals were returned to power with a minority government.
The federal election will determine which 338 individuals will become the sitting members of the House of Commons to the 44th Canadian Parliament. The election was realized after the writ was issued by Governor General Mary Simon on Aug. 15 when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau requested the dissolution of Parliament.
Ten candidates, including Conservative incumbents Alice Wong in Richmond Centre and Kenny Chiu in the Steveston-Richmond East riding, are vying for your support in the two Richmond ridings during a 36-day campaign, the minimum campaign period under Elections Canada rules.
Electors must be registered at their current address and can register through Elections Canada’s online service. Given the current pandemic, Elections Canada is strongly encouraging electors to take advantage of its online services. They can also contact the elections office in their riding or call 1-800-463-6868 for more information.
Elections Canada will mail a voter information card to all registered electors by the first day of advance polls on Sept. 10. Advance polls will continue to be open through Sept. 13 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day.
The deadline to apply to vote by mail is 6 p.m. on Sept. 14 at any Elections Canada office or online at electionscanada.ca. And if you have applied to vote by special ballot, you cannot change your mind and vote at advance polls or on election day.
Canadians who are 18 or older on election day, and able to provide accepted identification and current address, are eligible to vote.
Turnout in the 2019 federal election on Oct. 21 was 67 per cent, down slightly from the 2015 election when just over 68 per cent of the 26 million registered voters cast ballots. The last time more than 70 per cent of registered voters cast ballots was in the 1992 fall election when 71.8 per cent exercised their democratic right.
The Richmond Centre electoral district was created in 1987 and first contested a year later. Conservative Tom Siddon was the first Member of Parliament to represent the riding in the House of Commons, followed in 1993 by the election of Liberal Raymond Chan. Chan was re-elected to serve a second term from 1997 to 2000 when he was defeated by then-Alliance Party candidate Joe Peschisolido who, after crossing the floor, served as a member of the Liberal party from 2002 to 2004. Chan returned to Parliament in the 2004 election and was re-elected again in 2006. Chan was then defeated by Conservative Alice Wong in the 2008 election. Wong has remained the riding’s incumbent MP since.
The Steveston-Richmond East riding was created by the 2012 federal electoral boundaries redistribution and first contested in 2015 with the election of Liberal Joe Peschisolido who defeated Conservative Kenny Chiu by fewer than 3,000 votes. The current incumbent, Chiu defeated Peschisolido by a similar margin in the 2019 election.
Richmond Centre 2019 election recap
• Conservative: Alice Wong (incumbent), 19,037 votes (49.04 per cent)
• Liberal: Steven Kou, 11,052 votes (28.47 per cent)
• NDP: Dustin Innes, 5,617 votes (14.47 per cent)
• Green: Françoise Raunet, 2,376 votes (6.12 per cent)
• People’s Party: Ivan Pak, 538 votes (1.39 per cent)
• Independent: Zhe Zhang, 197 votes (0.51 per cent)
Steveston-Richmond East 2019 election recap
• Conservative: Kenny Chiu, 17,478 votes (41.66 per cent)
• Liberal: Joe Peschisolido (incumbent), 14,731 votes (35.11 per cent)
• NDP: Jaeden Dela Torre, 6,321 votes (15.07 per cent)
• Green: Nicole Iaci, 2,972 votes (7.08 per cent)
• Independent: Ping Chan, 449 votes (1.07 per cent)
Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Richmond Sentinel