Today your Fellow Canadians are Counting on You

By Mitze Mourinho, President, Toronto East General Hospital Foundation
 
It’s Election Day.
 
This is your chance to make history by simply taking 20 minutes and casting your ballot.
 
In this city, there are eight ridings where your vote can make a difference. I’m betting that some of you live in these ridings:

  • Scarborough-Guildwood
  • Don Valley West
  • Don Valley East
  • Scarborough Southwest
  • Scarborough Centre

I also know what some of you may be thinking: why should I bother to vote when it doesn’t seem to make a difference?
 
Let me tell you a story.
 
It’s the 2011 General Election. Out of a population of 34 million Canadians, three quarters of us were registered to vote. The other quarter of the population was under 18 years old or wasn’t able to vote for legal reasons.
 
The breakdown of the 2011 Election looked like this:

  • 2% chose the Green Party
  • 4% chose the Bloc Quebecois
  • 12% chose the Liberals
  • 18% chose the NDP
  • 24% chose the Conservatives

Can you guess who the remaining 39% chose?
 
No one.
 
And when you look even closer, only 61% of eligible voters voted. So only 24% of eligible voters voted for our current government.
 
It was sadly, one of the lowest voter turnouts in Canadian History. If you’ve got a minute, this video explains this story.
 
So you see, your vote does make a difference. If you’re happy with the current government, let them know. If you’re not, well, let them know too.
 
Let them know through the ballot box. Today.
 
As many of you are aware, a few weeks ago, we hosted the major political parties for a discussion on health care. In Canada, the delivery of health care may be a provincial responsibility, but the federal government also plays a significant role in funding health care and shaping policies.
 
Canada’s 42nd federal election promises to be an interesting race.
 
Like so many of you, I’ll be tuned in, watching the results and history unfold tonight.
 
If you need more information about how to cast your ballot, the Elections Canada website has useful resources. Visit http://www.elections.ca/ for information related to:

  • Guidance for first time voters and students;
  • Information about voter registration;
  • Details of where and when to vote.

If you prefer to speak to someone in person, we encourage you to call Elections Canada at 1-800-463-6868.
 
Voting hours run from 9:30am to 9:30pm today.
 
As Rick Mercer, one of our great Canadian comedians said, “…do what young people around the world are dying to do. Vote.”
 
Your fellow Canadians are counting on you.
 

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