Letter to the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada

Wednesday, April 06 2011

The President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops asks the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada to ensure accommodations for the staff and volunteers of Elections Canada who may be required to work during Holy Week.

Mr. Marc Mayrand
Chief Electoral Officer of Canada
Elections Canada
257 Slater Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0M6


Dear Mr. Mayrand:

The news release issued by Elections Canada on 26 March 2011 confirmed that the next federal general election will be on Monday, 2 May 2011, with the possibility as well of Canadians also being able to choose to vote by using mail-in ballots or by going to advance polls on 22, 23 or 25 April 2011. The holiest days of the Christian calendar are Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday, which fall this year on 21 to 24 April.

Following a number of calls received from Catholics in various places across the country, I am writing to express the following concern on behalf of Elections Canada staff and volunteers who may be required to prepare or staff polling stations on Holy Thursday, Good Friday or Holy Saturday. We would ask that Elections Canada ensure accommodations are readily provided for any staff or volunteers wishing to participate in prayer and worship on those days.

Thank you for your help in assuring that your staff and volunteers enjoy the full opportunity to participate in the life and worship of their respective Christian communities.

Sincerely in Our Lord,


The Most Reverend Pierre Morissette
Bishop of Saint-Jérôme
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops

c.c.: The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada