CUPE uncertainty forces polling station move

The city has changed the voting locations for the upcoming municipal election

The city has changed the voting locations for the upcoming municipal election to avoid any conflicts with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

As in the past, voting was slated to take place in city facilities but with the possibility of CUPE city workers putting up picket lines, the city had to go with a backup plan.

“Polling stations were originally planned for three locations – Discovery Passage school, the Community Centre and the Sportsplex,” said Peter Wipper, city clerk and chief election officer. “But because of possible strike action, they had to be moved.”

Polling stations will now be in the gymnasiums at Ecole Phoenix Middle School (400-7th Ave.), Southgate Middle School (740 Holm Rd.) and Discovery Passage Elementary (2050 Pengelly Rd.) between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Advanced voting will take place at the Baptist Church (260 S. Dogwood St.) on Wed., Nov. 9 or on Wed., Nov. 16 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Wipper said the decision to move the polling stations out of city facilities and into the schools was made before CUPE and the city reached a tentative collective agreement last Tuesday.

Although a CUPE strike is now less likely, Wipper said because of election notification requirements set by the province, the city can’t change the locations back.

Council candidate Sean Smith said last week he was not notified of the change in venue and happened to stumble across it on the City of Campbell River website.

“All the new candidates weren’t told but the incumbents knew,” Smith said Friday.

The city issued a press release announcing the new locations on Tuesday morning after the Mirror contacted the city on Friday regarding a venue change.

In just over two weeks, Campbell Riverites will vote for a new mayor, councillors, Strathcona Regional District directors and school trustees.