SKEENA Bulkley-Valley returning officer Warren Wilson and his staff are busy leading up to the official federal election day of Oct. 19.

Returning officer covers huge section of northwestern B.C.

The Skeena - Bulkley Valley riding is the fourth largest by size in Canada

The man who is at the helm of the Skeena-Bulkley Valley riding for the 2015 federal election says Canada is lucky to have a stable democracy.

Former Terrace educator and school principal Warren Wilson says that compared with places he and his wife visited on their year-long honeymoon in 1976, we’ve got it good here.

After seeing inaccessible polling stations watched over by teenagers bearing submachine guns in Iraq and Afghanistan, he says he returned with a desire to one day engage in the much better electoral system we have here.

This plan has materialized as Wilson takes on his role as non-partisan Election Canada’s returning officer in the region, overseeing the election process.

The Skeena – Bulkley Valley riding is the fourth largest of the 338 in the country. That number increased from 308 in the last Parliament because of a redistribution in areas where the population has grown.

By way of comparison, Wilson says a typical riding in Toronto might be six square kilometres while the Skeena – Bulkley Valley riding is 628,000 square kilometres.

The central office he and his team work out of is located beside Shoppers Drug Mart in the old Source storefront in Terrace.

There are four other sub-offices in Kitimat, Smithers, Burns Lake and Prince Rupert.

The Terrace office will employ 18 people and there are seven employees in each of the other offices.

Those other offices each have an assistant returning officer, the most out of any riding in Canada, Wilson says.

At the peak leading up to and including election day Oct. 19 there will be 650 workers in the area including poll clerks and deputy returning officers, with hiring ongoing for some of those positions this week.

There are 60,000 eligible voters in the riding, which encompasses the whole north coast and inland as far as Fort St. James (not including Vanderhoof).

It’s the job of

Wilson and the electoral team to make sure that voter information cards get sent out so the voters list can be updated.

Wilson says that people can even come into one of the five central offices any time before the Oct. 19 election to vote.

Information is available online or by calling or stopping at the offices.

With changes brought in by the Conservative government’s Fair Elections Act, there are new rules about ID and also for vouching for a person who may not be on the voters list.

No longer can one voter confirm the identity of another who doesn’t have ID.

Every voter needs one valid government-issued ID with a photo.

If they don’t have that, they need two pieces of ID which don’t necessarily need photos but which must be on a list of approved IDs.

If you are visiting from somewhere other than where your address is, you can vote in that riding.

But it should be no later than six days before the election day so your ballot can be mailed to Elections Canada and then recorded in your home riding’s tally.

To vote early in case of absence, there are advanced polling days.

In addition to administering the voters list and managing the voting on election day, one of Wilson’s other jobs is to officially approve of the candidates selected by their respective political parties. Perspective candidates have to file by September 30, 19 days prior to the October 19 election.

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Festival of Mini-Trees raises almost $7,000 for Dr. R.E.M. Lee Hospital Foundation

Twenty Christmas trees decked out with merchandise, gift cards were given out in raffle draw

Caledonia Kermode basketball team holds first-ever Men’s Health Night fundraiser

Approximately $250 was raised during the senior boys’ home opener game

Here are the top earners at Coast Mountains School District

Audited financial report released for 2018/2019 fiscal year

Skeena Voices | The wild path

Courtenay Crucil is a nature-based therapist and herbalist who helps people with the earth in mind

Northwest B.C. physician receives Medal of Good Citizenship Award

Dr. Peter Newbery was one of 18 people in B.C. to get provincial recognition

VIDEO: SNL skewers Trudeau’s mockery of Trump in high school cafeteria sketch

The three world leaders won’t let Trump sit at the cool kids’ table

B.C. universities post $340 million worth of surpluses thanks to international student tuition

Students call for spending as international enrolment produces huge surpluses at many universities

Conservative urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

INFOGRAPHIC: How much money did your local university or college make last year?

B.C. university and colleges posted a combined $340 million surplus in 2018/19

B.C. creates $8.5M organization to improve safety for health care workers

Group will bring together unions, province, health care organizations

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Brain injury from domestic abuse a ‘public health crisis,’ says B.C. researcher

Nearly 80% of the domestic violence victims who reported to police last year were women

Most Read