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September 16, 2021

Election Update

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On the campaign trail – Day 33

By Scott Munnoch, Temple Scott Associates

On Sunday August 15th, Justin Trudeau took a walk with his family to see the newly-installed Governor General and asked her to dissolve the 43rd Parliament and send the country to an early election on Monday September 20th.

Some 32 days later we are on the eve of that election day. Pollsters are busy with new numbers being released daily showing that the outcome of the election is too close to call. Advance polls have come and gone with a record 6 million Canadians casting their ballots already. Add to that approximately 1 million who have voted by mail and this has the potential to be one of the largest voter turnouts in recent times.

So, what does this all mean and how will the last 3 days unfold as those still to vote take a last look at candidates and political party leaders before casting their ballot on Monday.

The Leaders and their teams will be fanning out across the country in a series of quick whistle-stops in ridings where they think they can make a difference with one last outreach to voters. You will be able to identify the individual party strengths by where the Leader’s don’t go. Conversely, as they attend various events in various regions, these will represent the areas that are “in play’ and where the individual parties will be putting added effort over the weekend to solidify and grow their vote.

The platforms are published, the mailings are all out, the debates have taken place, the media interviews are mostly finished and the travel is now focused on targeted regions.

It means that all the work and effort up to now won’t matter if individual riding campaigns don’t have a smooth and efficient election day plan ready to go.

GOTV, not a new TV station, but an acronym for “Get Out The Vote” will be essential in this election. There are many close races across the country. In many races, two of the three major parties are battling it out for each vote. In others, fringe party’s such as the People’s Party of Canada, may siphon enough votes from a contending party to make a difference in the final outcome. In Quebec, the separatist Bloc party has a unique agenda that will be a serious threat in that province alone.

The well-organized and efficient campaigns will have identified their vote through weeks of canvassing, phone banking and digital tracking. Now their challenge is to have teams of volunteers, callers, drivers and poll scrutineers all work together to make sure that all their identified supporters make it to the polls.

The Election Day Chair and their team will be on top of every individual poll in the riding, with detailed lists marked with voter intentions, assigned volunteers, phone directories and email addresses. They will want to get those identified who intend to vote for their candidate to the voting station no matter what it takes.

In this election, the added challenge for campaigns may be more than just making sure your supporters get to the polls. The true test may be to keep them there and make sure that they actually vote. With Covid-19 still affecting our everyday lives, there are fewer voting places in every riding and safety protocols in place limiting access, lengthening line-ups and making the process more cumbersome. This may result in significant line-ups in order to vote and campaigns will need additional resources to make sure voters don’t get frustrated and leave. This too is likely the biggest factor that led to 7.5 million Canadians voting in advance and by mail.

On Monday night, we may not have a new government in Canada. Rather we might have an election in progress……

Data indicates that there are many tight races and many will result in additional review and scrutiny. Local mail-in ballots and advance polls are counted after the initial ballots and with the integrity check applied to the mail-in ballots, this could take a day or two after September 20th. In some tight races, this might be enough to make a difference in the final outcome.

Many suggest the final outcome will be a smaller minority government then we currently have. If this is truly the case, the riding-by-riding GOTV operation for each party will be the key to victory. A majority government seems very unlikely, so in the end, many will be asking why we needed this campaign. That question has still to be answered and maybe the answer is simply that we don’t know the answer.

Monday night may be long and many results will late in coming.

Have patience and above all, get out and vote. If you don’t vote, don’t complain.

Party Leaders respond to CFA Election Survey

At the beginning of the campaign the CFA sent an election survey to Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, Conservative leader, Erin O’Toole, NDP leader, Jagmeet Singh, Green Party leader, Annamie Paul asking them to provide more insight into the issues that are important to franchise business across Canada.

On Tuesday three of the four party leaders responded to our survey.  double to read the results please click on the link below

Click here to read each of the leader’s responses to the CFA’s questions

By the Numbers (as of September 9, 2021)

Courtesy of the CBC Poll Tracker

Note: Bracket indicates change since previous CFA Election Update

The Latest Polling

Conservative Liberal NDP Green BQ
31.2 (-0.1) 31.7 (-0.2) 20.1 (+0.7) 3.3 6.4 (+0.6)

Seat Projections (170 seats are needed for a majority government)

Conservative Liberal NDP Green BQ
120(-2) 150(-1) 38(+3) 1 29


Odds of Winning

Liberal Conservative
Majority Minority Minority Majority
12% (-4%) 59% (+3%) 27% 1% 

What it means

Though the Liberals and Conservatives are effectively tied with a small edge given to the Liberals, Justin Trudeau's party is favoured to win the most seats and has roughly a three-in-five chance of being re-elected with a minority government. The Conservatives are holding their support but are trailing in some key battlegrounds. NDP support is rising and the party could see a big increase in its seat count. The Bloc Québécois has recovered from a slide in support but their surge appears to have stalled. The PPC and Green vote has steadied in recent days.

The Liberals are better than two-to-one favourites to win the most seats, though a minority government headed by either the Liberals or the Conservatives remains far more likely than a majority government formed by either party. The NDP stands to pick up seats while the Bloc could lose a couple, and both parties could still hold a balance of power in the House of Commons. The Greens could also lose a few seats, while the PPC is unlikely to win one.

The Liberals lead in Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada by margins of at least five points, but are in third throughout Western Canada and have dropped further back in British Columbia. The Conservatives are ahead in Alberta, where they have taken a hit, and the Prairies. The New Democrats are second in Western Canada and are on the rise in Alberta. The Bloc is holding second spot in Quebec and the PPC has moved ahead of the Greens in every region except B.C., with its strongest support now on the Prairies.

Employees must be given three (3) consecutive hours to vote on election day – September 20

By law, everyone who is eligible to vote must have three consecutive hours to cast their vote on election day.

If an employee’s hours of work do not allow for three consecutive hours to vote, then the employer must give the employee time off to vote.

For example, if your employee lives in a riding where voting hours are from 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and they usually work from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., their hours of work will not allow for three consecutive hours for voting. To give the employee three consecutive hours to vote, the employer could allow the employee to arrive late (for example, at 12:30 p.m.), or let the employee leave early (for example, at 6:30 p.m.), or give them three consecutive hours off at some point during the work day.

Who decides when employees may take time off work to vote?

The employer has the right to decide when the time off will be given, not the employee.

Can an employee lose pay for taking time off to vote?

No. Employers cannot penalize an employee or make a deduction on their pay for taking time off to vote, as required by the Canada Elections Act. An employee must be paid what he or she would have earned during the time allowed off for voting.

Is there a penalty for employers who do not give employees time off to vote?

Yes. It is an offence for employers to fail to provide time off for voting as required under the Canada Elections Act. It is also an offence for an employer to reduce an employee's pay when the employee has been provided time off to vote in accordance with the Act. The maximum penalty for violating these prohibitions is a fine of up to $2,000, three months' imprisonment, or both.

For more information click here

Elections Canada warns of problems, delays ahead of voting day

With fewer polling stations, fewer election workers and more public-health protocols because of COVID-19, Elections Canada is bracing for the most challenging and protracted voting day in the country’s history next Monday.

The pandemic has presented unprecedented tests for Canada’s national voting agency throughout the five-week campaign. It’s still about 40,000 people short of its goal for hiring election workers, and had to cut down on the number of voting locations to meet physical-distancing requirements and because some businesses, school boards and other organizations didn’t want to host voters during the COVID-19 crisis.

For employers this shortage could result in longer delays for staff that are voting.

Nearly 5.8 million Canadians used advance polling

Nearly 5.8 million people have taken advantage of the advanced polling to cast their vote in this federal election, an increase of 18.5 per cent compared to the 2019 election and a 57 per cent increase from the 2015 election.

Election Too Close to Call? Temple Scott Associates Election Pool to Test Your Skills!

All the polls say the 2021 Canadian Federal Election is going to be the closest in decades.  So it’s a great time to test your skills – and your luck - with the TSA’s 2021 Federal Election Pool.

Click here to access the TSA pool online. The deadline for entries is Monday, September 20 at 12:00 Noon Eastern.

The winner’s name will be announced on TSA’s Twitter account and – in addition to bragging rights – TSA will make a donation to Scleroderma Society of Ontario.

Click here to get started – and GOOD LUCK! 

Note: The election pool is run by Temple Scott Associates not the Canadian Franchise Association.

Thank You to Our Advocacy Champions
Click Here to Donate to CFA Advocacy

Other News

Inflation jumps to 4.1% in Canada

Inflation in Canada accelerated to the fastest pace since 2003. The consumer price index rose 4.1 per cent in August from a year earlier, Statistics Canada reported Wednesday in Ottawa, marking the fifth consecutive month of inflation readings above the Bank of Canada’s 3 per cent cap. That’s the highest since March 2003, when it touched 4.2 per cent. Economists were predicting a yearly gain of 3.9 per cent. A surge in housing costs has been a key driver in annual inflation.

Although policy makers are likely to view price pressures as transitory, the report comes at an inopportune time for Trudeau, in the final days of a tight election battle. Affordability is a central campaign issue, and the main opposition Conservatives have been accusing the incumbent Liberal government of stoking inflation with debt-financed spending.

Gasoline and the homeowners’ replacement cost index-- related to new home prices -- were the largest upside contributors to annual inflation in August. The shelter index rose 14.3 per cent in August from a year earlier. That’s the largest yearly increase since 1987 and fourth consecutive month of double-digit price growth, the report said. 

Gas prices rose 32.5 per cent, largely because of lower production by oil-producing countries and artificially low prices last year when the pandemic shut down much of the economy.

The Canadian dollar was little changed after the report, trading at C$1.268 per U.S. dollar as of 8:48 a.m. The yield on benchmark 10-year Canada bonds jumped to 1.196 per cent as of 9:05 a.m. in Toronto, up about 3 basis points from where it stood immediately before the inflation report.

Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem’s latest forecasts show inflation creeping up to 3.9 per cent in the third quarter. He has warned against overreacting to the “temporary” spike that’s being driven by global supply-chain disruptions and pent-up demand for services as the economy reopens.

On a monthly basis, prices rose 0.2 per cent, compared with economist estimates of a 0.1 per cent gain. The monthly increase in August was driven by a sharp increase in the cost of airplane tickets and other travel-related expenses. That reflects the reopening of the Canadian economy throughout the summer months. 

The average of core measures of inflation, often seen as a better measure of underlying price pressures, rose to an annual 2.57 per cent pace in August, the highest since 2009.

U.S. retail sales unexpectedly jump in sign of resilient demand

U.S. retail sales rose unexpectedly in August as a pickup in purchases across most categories more than offset weakness at auto dealers, showing resilient consumer demand for merchandise. 

The value of overall retail purchases climbed 0.7 per cent last month following a downwardly revised 1.8 per cent decrease in July, Commerce Department figures showed Thursday. Excluding autos, sales advanced 1.8 per cent in August, the largest gain in five months.

The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 0.7 per cent decline in overall retail sales, with forecasts ranging from a 3.3 per cent drop to a 1.1 per cent gain.

The surprising improvement in sales, underpinned in part by back-to-school shopping and payments for millions of families with children, suggests healthy demand for goods. The report showed firmer receipts at online retailers, general merchandise stores, furniture outlets and grocery stores.

The delta variant is curbing demand for services such as travel and leisure, which may be allowing Americans to shift their spending back to goods. The retail sales data showed receipts at restaurants and bars, the only services-spending category in the report, stagnated in August. Meantime, grocery-store receipts climbed 2.1 per cent.

A surge in US COVID-19 infections, rising prices and persistent supply chain challenges prompted a wave of downgrades to third-quarter economic growth forecasts in recent weeks. Earlier this month, economists at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. downgraded their third-quarter consumption forecast to a 0.5 per cent annualized decline because of delta’s impact on services spending.

Alberta to launch proof-of-vaccination program

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney on Wednesday introduced strict and sweeping new measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 as he apologized for his government's handling of the pandemic.

The measures include a new program that requires people to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test in order to gain entry to participating businesses and social events.

A decision this spring to move from a pandemic-to-endemic approach — or learning to live with the virus — seemed like the right thing to do based on data from other jurisdictions with similar vaccination rates, Kenney told a news conference.

Alberta has declared a state of public health emergency and is taking immediate action to stave off the ongoing crisis in the health-care system, the premier said.

Restrictions — and an exemption program

The new measures include restrictions on restaurants, indoor gatherings, weddings and funerals, retail, entertainment venues, and indoor sport and fitness. 

Kenney said the government "reluctantly decided" to bring in the ’restriction exemption program’ despite his previous concerns about vaccine passports.

Under the program, vaccine-eligible Albertans will be required to provide government-issued proof of immunization or a negative COVID-19 test to patronize businesses and social events that apply for exemptions under the program.

To enter these establishments, which include restaurants, bars and indoor organized events, people aged 12 and older will be required to show their proof of vaccination or a recent negative test result.

Businesses that choose to ask for proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test will operate under fewer restrictions. Those establishments that don't want to ask for proof of vaccination will operate under the new stricter rules.

Some of the new public health measures begin Thursday include:

  • Working from home will be mandatory unless an employer determines a physical presence is required.
  • Indoor private gatherings for fully vaccinated individuals are limited to a single household, plus one other household, to a maximum of 10 people. There are no restrictions on children under the age of 12.
  • Eligible people who are unvaccinated are not permitted to attend any indoor private social gathering.
  • Outdoor private social gatherings are limited to a maximum of 200 people, with two-metre distancing maintained at all times.
  • Places of worship must limit attendance to one-third of fire code capacity. Face masks will be mandatory and physical distancing will be required between households.
  • No attendance restrictions on outdoor events and facilities, but two-metre physical distancing must be in place.
  • Schools will be required to have mandatory masking for students in Grade 4 and up, plus staff and teachers in all grades. Exemptions will be available for schools with alternate safety plans.
  • Indoor children's sport and recreation activities are permitted, with requirements for physical distancing and masking where possible.

Other measures take effect next Monday:

  • Restaurants will be limited to outdoor dining only, with a maximum of six people per table. Liquor sales will continue to end at 10 p.m., consumption will stop at 11 p.m.
  • Indoor weddings and funerals will be limited to 50 attendees or 50 per cent fire code capacity. No indoor receptions will be permitted.
  • Outdoor ceremonies for weddings and funerals must be limited to 200 people. Liquor restrictions will apply.
  • Attendance at retail, entertainment and recreation facilities will be limited to one-third fire code capacity. People will only be permitted to attend with their household or two close contacts for those living alone.
  • No indoor sport, fitness and recreation activities for adults will be permitted. One-on-one training or workouts will be permitted but with three-metre distancing.

Sask. Premier Scott Moe announces mandatory masking and proof of vaccination policies

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe announced Thursday that the province will implement mandatory masking, a proof of vaccination policy and a requirement for government employees to get vaccinated or receive negative tests. Moe made the announcement in a video posted to his social media Thursday morning.

The provincial mask policy, which will apply to all public indoor spaces, begins Friday and Moe said the province has a target of lifting it in late October. The proof of vaccination policy will start Oct. 1 and will apply to establishments, businesses and event venues.

Indoor masking

The government said mandatory indoor masking, which begins Friday, includes all indoor public spaces. Private homes or living spaces are exempt. Youth participating in sports do not have to wear a mask while they are taking part in their activity. The mandate will include areas of a business or venues that are restricted to staff only.

Proof of vaccination

As of Oct. 1, the government will require either proof of vaccination or negative test to access a variety of public places, including:

  • Indoor dining at restaurants.
  • Nightclubs, bars, taverns and other licensed establishments.
  • Event and entertainment venues, including conference centres, casinos, movie theatres, concert venues, live-music venues, museums and indoor facilities hosting ticketed sporting events.
  • Indoor fitness centres and gyms.
  • The government will not require proof of vaccination for the following:
  • Retail businesses, including grocery stores.
  • Places of worship.
  • Fast-food restaurants offering takeout and delivery.
  • Health-care services, professional services or personal services.
  • Hotels or other lodging.
  • Facilities hosting non-ticketed amateur sporting events, including youth athletics and recreational leagues.
  • Business meetings and places of business closed to the general public, unless otherwise directed by the business or employer.
  • Private gatherings held at an indoor public residence.

Children under the age of 12 are exempt from the proof of vaccination or negative test requirements.

The government said it is developing protocols on proof of negative test requirements.

Government employees vaccine mandate

Starting Oct. 1, all government ministry, Crown and agency employees must be fully vaccinated or provide a negative COVID test on a "consistent basis." The government said it is "encouraging" other employers, including school divisions, to implement similar policies for staff.

P.E.I. reimposing indoor public-space mask requirements

P.E.I. is reimposing mask requirements in indoor and public spaces following a recent COVID-19 outbreak at a Charlottetown school.

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison said at a briefing Wednesday the mandate comes into effect at 8 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 17.

The mask mandate will target retail businesses, salons, taxis and public transit, places of worship as well as workplaces open to the public.

Personal gatherings will also be now restricted to 20 people, down from 50.

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