On October 22 cities and towns across Ontario held elections. In at least one place, Burlington, there was an elite class of voters.
Members of this group were automatically on the voters list. They were mailed their voter credentials and information about advance voting and polling locations on election day.
Group members were in the top 50%, older and disproportionately male. Their names are on the up-to-date property deeds at the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC).
Burlington officials said they “relied” on MPAC data for the list used for the mailout. Officials said that list also included “non-MPAC” citizens from the 2014 rolls and people who registered on their own. The city did not use the Ontario election data from June.
City reps said they tried to reach out to everyone. They pointed out how easy it was to register by phone or register and vote on election day.
But was it fair?
Were all citizens treated equally?
In Burlington we weren’t.
A request has be made to the city to look at the database used to mail the credentials. It could breakout the MPAC names, the 2014 names and self-registered. If the MPAC/Non-MPAC and tenant/non-tenant ratios are badly skewed then the election should called into question.
A very good lawyer advises judges are leery about intervening in the electoral process. Judges would argue that an unlisted eligible voter is not denied her or his vote.
But what if the voters list was badly skewed in Burlington? Hamilton? London? Most municipalities in Ontario?
Were the Ontario municipal elections stacked?
I vote yes.
According to a reliable source Toronto had access to the Ontario voters list. (Unconfirmed information suggests Ottawa and Windsor did not have access to the Ontario list). The source also reports that until 2014 MPAC asked landlords for, but did not require, data on tenants. In 2014 MPAC wrote the province asking to be released from the tenant data chore. The government did not respond. MPAC, on its own, stopped. The source also noted the reliance on MPAC data for jury pools and the concept of trial by one’s peers.
jg november 5, 2018