Election Day is fast approaching. On October 21st, millions of Canadians will make their way to polling stations across the nation to cast their ballots. On that day however, many eligible voters will miss out on their opportunity to vote.
In the 2015 federal election, only 68.3% of Canadians and 67.8% of Ontarians voted.  That means approximately 30% of the population, or 8 million Canadians, did not vote. The most commonly cited reasons for not voting are: lack of political and civic knowledge;  lack of trust and confidence in the political system;  and political apathy.
Voter turnout is associated with income levels.  The lower the income, the less likely people are to vote. With that comes the misconception that low-income households do not vote because they do not care about politics, when in fact, many do not vote because they feel excluded and disconnected from the political process.  As a result, people with low incomes are less likely to see their interests and preferences reflected in public policy.
Our elected representatives will make decisions on policies that will affect everyone’s lives, from affordable housing, to childcare, to transportation and employment. While these decisions affect everyone, they will have greater impact on the lives of those who already struggle to meet their basic needs.
At Daily Bread, we are committed to promoting democratic engagement and amplifying the voices of the communities we serve. As a member of the Canadian Vote Coalition, the largest non-partisan voter engagement campaign in Canadian history, we are supporting food bank clients to vote by sharing resources to de-mystify the voting process. Click here to download our election primer.
Additionally, on October 16th, we will be hosting an all candidates meeting for the Etobicoke-Lakeshore riding, in partnership with LAMP Community Health Centre, Mimico Lakeshore Community Network, and the New Toronto Lakeshore Village Residents’ Association.
Our objective is to increase political participation in the democratic process by providing members of our community with the tools necessary to make an informed decision on Election Day. We also hope to educate local candidates about the importance of including policies to reduce poverty and food insecurity in their platforms. With a growing population struggling to afford the basic costs of living, civic participation and exercising the right to vote have never been more important.
To attend the Etobicoke-Lakeshore All Candidates Meeting on October 16th, please RSVP here.
 Forty-Second General Elections 2015: Official Voting Results. (n.d.). Retrieved from Elections Canada: https://www.elections.ca/res/rep/off/ovr2015app/41/table4E.html
 Torney-Purta, J., & Amadeo, J.-A. (2017). Civic and Political Knowledge and Skills. In The SAGE Encyclopedia of Political Behavior (pp. 87-90). Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781483391144.n47
 Confidence in Democracy and the Political System. (n.d.). Retrieved from Environics Institute: https://www.environicsinstitute.org/docs/default-source/project-documents/americasbarometer-2014/confidence-in-democracy-and-the-political-system.pdf?sfvrsn=d0728b2d_2