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Friday, May 20, 2022

Canada calls snap elections: How to vote from Costa Rica

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Sunday announced snap elections for September 20 to seek a new mandate to steer the nation’s pandemic exit.

Despite rolling out massive pandemic aid, passing a federal budget and other key legislation with opposition backing over the past year, Trudeau — in office since 2015 — has lamented that parliament has become dysfunctional.

The prime minister met Governor General Mary Simon on Sunday to ask her to dissolve parliament, triggering a general election that polling shows is likely to return his Liberals to power.

“Canadians need to choose how we finish the fight against Covid-19 and build back better -– from getting the job done on vaccines, to having people’s backs all the way through to the end of this crisis,” Trudeau said after the meeting.

All five parties currently holding seats in parliament are gearing up for a fierce battle at the ballot box.

Most Canadians approve of Trudeau’s pandemic response. But if a fourth wave of Covid-19 infections strikes during the campaign, it could hurt his backing.

“This was the only window of opportunity for him because with students’ return to school and universities in two weeks, Covid cases will inevitably go up,” Felix Mathieu, political science professor at the University of Winnipeg, told AFP.

Trudeau’s government “has already held for 18 months, which is the average lifespan for a minority government,” he added.

Despite rising vaccination rates that are among the highest in the world — with almost 62 percent of Canadians fully inoculated — nearly 1,000 new daily Covid-19 cases have been reported across Canada recently. 

Voting from Costa Rica

This section comes via the Government of Canada. For more information, visit Elections Canada or contact the Embassy of Canada to Costa Rica.

If you are living, studying or traveling abroad, you may apply to be added to the International Register of Electors. You can then vote by special mail-in ballot in future federal elections, by-elections and referendums.

The International Register of Electors is a database of Canadian electors living abroad who have applied to vote by special ballot. To be included in the International Register of Electors, you must:

  • be qualified to vote (a Canadian citizen at least 18 years old on election day)
  • have lived in Canada at some point in your life

You can apply any time by

Once your completed application has been approved, your name will be added to the International Register of Electors. When a federal general election, a by-election for which you are eligible, or a referendum is called, Elections Canada will automatically mail you a special ballot voting kit.

If you usually live in Canada but will be out of your riding on election day because you are travelling or studying abroad, you may apply to vote by special ballot.

As soon as an election is called, you can apply to vote by mail. You can also call 1-800-463-6868, visit any Elections Canada office or any Canadian embassy, high commission or consulate abroad to get a special ballot application form. 

Your completed application and supporting documents must be received by Elections Canada in Ottawa by 6:00 p.m. EST on the Tuesday before election day. When your application has been approved, Elections Canada will mail you a special ballot voting kit. The kit explains how to vote.

Your completed ballot must be received at Elections Canada in Ottawa before 6:00 p.m. EST on election day. According to the Canada Elections Act, the agency cannot accept late application forms and cannot count late ballots.

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