Calling all voters
Federal initiative to register all voting-age Canadians

by Jennifer Pritchett
Northern News Services

NNSL (Apr 07/97) - Elections Canada wants to know who is eligible to vote and they'll be coming to your door this month, one last time, to find out.

An international voter registration drive, as well as a federal door-to-door enumeration will form a permanent voters list, according to Elections Canada.

Returning officers in ridings across Canada are opening offices to prepare to train 99,000 enumerators who will conduct the enumeration from April 10-16. It is expected to be the last enumeration Canada will ever need.

"We want to ensure that as many Canadians as possible have their names on the new register of electors," said Jean-Pierre Kingsley, Canada's chief electoral officer.

The information gathered will help create a permanent database that will save money for federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal governments.

The national register is a list of qualified electors that includes the name, address, gender and date of birth of Canadian adults. The information will be used in general elections, by-elections and referenda.

Enumerations are the single most expensive aspect of every federal election, and the new system is projected to save an estimated $138 million for the next six elections.

Offices in the NWT are opening both in the Western Arctic and Nunavut. An enumeration office is now open in Yellowknife to help build the registry of electors, while the Nunavut office is in the process of being set up.

International voters lists will be compiled through Canadian embassies and consulates throughout the world.

Northerners will learn more about the enumeration process when they receive a pamphlet called "Once and for all" in the mail in the coming days.