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What You Need to Know About the Municipal Election on October 22

Your vote helps shape the community you live in, from road safety to public transit

Person in salmon buttondown placing a closed ballot into an election ballot box

The next municipal election will be held October 22, begging the question: how important is your vote, really? The answer is, very important. Our municipal governments are responsible for making decisions that affect everyday life in our communities. It’s a responsibility we cannot take for granted.

The value of a ballot

Do you wish your kids had greater access to community recreational programs? Do you want better street lighting for sidewalks and walkways? How about improving the facilities at your local library? 

Municipal governments—and the city councillors you vote for—play a significant role in the way our communities function, from garbage collection, snow removal and transportation services to public transit, bike lanes and the nature of local businesses.

How CAA’s advocacy sparks change from Toronto to Timmins

A recent survey conducted by CAA found that just about every municipal issue impacts CAA Members, though some weigh more heavily on their minds.

  • Road infrastructure tops the list at 93%. 
  • Concern over new municipal revenue sources comes in at 84%.
  • 83% of those surveyed worry about distracted driving.
  • 82% of respondents say pedestrians and road safety is a topic that keeps them up at night.

Considering the importance of these issues, CAA South Central Ontario takes its advocacy role very seriously, maintaining an ongoing conversation with municipal leaders on the issues that matter most to our Members. 

Take CAA’s annual Worst Roads campaign, which asks the public to weigh in on the conditions of roads and highways across the province. The campaign’s goal is to generate local conversations around necessary repairs and encourage municipalities to take action before infrastructure issues become larger, more expensive problems. 

CAA also encourages cycling safety and better cycling infrastructure in Ontario through such initiatives as the Watch for Bikes and Heads Up! campaigns. And for over a decade, CAA has been one of the fiercest proponents of implementing stronger penalties to eliminate distracted driving.

Every one of these efforts underlies a long-standing commitment by CAA to work with local government on issues that matter to us all. And you can play your part, too. By voting on October 22, you can help to shape policy decisions that impact your community. 

How to vote in this year’s municipal election

To vote on October 22, you first need to be sure you’re on the voters list. The best place to check is voterlookup.ca. If you’re not yet there, you can add yourself. You can also edit your personal information and make other changes. 

On election day, remember to bring identification with you to the voting booth: something that has your name and address on it. Check out Ontario’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for a list of acceptable documents for voter identification.

We know that important local issues weigh on CAA Members’ minds. The good news is that Members are much more likely to vote: 92% of Members voted in previous municipal elections, compared with 58.3% of average Ontarians, and 87% intend to vote in the upcoming election.

If you can’t make it out to vote on October 22, don’t fret. You may be allowed to appoint a voting proxy to cast a ballot on your behalf or vote prior to election day. Check with your municipality to confirm. 

For more information about this election, visit caasco.com/elections.

Concerned about road safety in your community?

See the simple technique that can make the roads safer for everyone.

Plus, learn more about how CAA advocates for safety through CAA Advocacy.

Image credit: istock/mariusFM77