The Current State of Calgary’s Waste

By Andrea Eitle 

In 2007, Council adopted the goal of diverting 80 per cent of waste from landfills by the year 2020. Progress is measured in terms of the amount of waste received at the city landfills per person. The target is to reduce waste disposed of in landfills to 188kg per capita by 2020 from 753 kg per capita in 2007.

Steady progress is being made: waste to landfills decreased in 2012 to 556 kg per capita, compared to 630 kg per capita in 2011. This can be attributed partially to the success of programs such as blue cart recycling, leaf and pumpkin composting, Christmas tree mulching, and electronics and tire recycling, as well as efforts made by citizens and the private sector to reduce, reuse, and recycle.            

What Calgary has achieved so far:

Green Cart Pilot

The Green Cart Pilot began in March 2012, and was a success right from the start in the four participating Calgary communities. Pilot residents of Abbeydale, Brentwood, Cougar Ridge and Southwood received a 120-litre green cart and a kitchen pail for their food and yard waste, along with an instruction guide. The green carts were collected weekly, as were the blue recycling carts. Black garbage carts, now void of any ‘wet or smelly’ waste, were collected every second week.

Household garbage was reduced by over 40 per cent, as 1.9 million kilograms of food and yard waste was collected to be composted after one year. An Ipsos Reid Survey in December 2012 found that 83 per cent were satisfied with the size of the green cart, many saying that they would have liked them to be even bigger. 78 per cent did not have any concerns with having three carts. The findings from the pilot will be used to design a proposed city-wide composting program planned to launch in 2017.

Blue Cart

Since the introduction of the blue cart recycling residential pick-up program in 2009, the program has been running successfully and the total diversion of recyclables in Calgary has increased significantly.

 Waste 1

Diversion Programs

Waste & Recycling Services has been providing more services at the three city landfills to expand waste diversion opportunities. Since June 2012, collection of end-of-life electronics, including televisions, computers, and printers is available at the East Calgary, Shepard, and Spyhill sites. Additional waste diversion initiatives for the construction & demolition Sector were implemented this year, including an expansion of the materials being accepted.  Residents are also able to take all vehicle tires, including rims, for recycling to any city landfill at no charge.

In 2012:

  • 1,369 tonnes of commercial food waste were diverted at landfills for composting
  • 973 tonnes of chemicals were diverted from landfills
  • 34,464 Christmas trees were diverted from landfills
  • 20,815 propane tanks were collected at Household Hazardous Waste locations at landfills

Waste 2 Waste 3

 

Improving Calgary’s performance in waste reduction:

The upcoming residential green carts for compost waste pickup, scheduled to begin in 2017, will help divert more than half the residential waste coming from households. Yard waste and food waste combined currently make up 57% of household waste, and 38% of multi-family household waste.  When food and yard waste is buried in a landfill it takes decades to decompose (due to a lack of oxygen), all the while producing greenhouse gases such as methane gas, and harmful liquid leachate.

 Waste 4

Calgary’s residential waste stream could also see improvement if, as residents, we ensure that all possible recyclable materials are placed into the recycling in our homes. The images above show that 11% of household waste and 23% of multi-family household waste is made up of materials that belong in the recycling, but instead are still being put into the garbage, ending up in the landfill.

The category of ‘other divertible waste’ accounts for 17% of household waste and 26% of multi-family household waste. This category includes divertible waste such as electronics, automotive batteries, scrap metals, large appliances, lumber, re-usable goods (clothing, sporting goods, etc.), and household hazardous waste including chemicals, paints, used motor oil, oil filters, oil containers, and propane tanks.

A large percentage of the waste going to Calgary landfills is also made up of non-residential waste, such as construction and demolition, as well as industrial, commercial and institutional. Moving forwards towards an increase in waste reduction will require continuous improvement in diversion from all sectors.

Future progress:

Stakeholder engagement is ongoing in the multi-family, institutional, commercial and industrial (ICI), and construction and demolition (C&D) sectors to increase opportunities for waste diversion. Through surveys, focus groups and workshops, the City of Calgary’s Waste and Recycling Services has been collecting feedback to help develop strategies that will move the city closer to the 80/20 by 2020 goal. In early 2014 waste diversion strategies for the ICI and multi-family sectors will be brought to Council.

Citizen Satisfaction:

In the 2012 Citizen Satisfaction Survey, Calgarians again ranked garbage collection and recycling services highly in terms of value and importance. In terms of importance, W&RS is mentioned three times in the top 10. In the satisfaction ratings, 94 per cent of Calgarians were satisfied with residential garbage collection, 90 per cent with residential blue cart recycling, and 88 per cent with City-operated recycling programs.

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Campaign Funding Transparency Update

On October 16, our report on Campaign Funding Transparency showed that 57% of candidates polled by Sustainable Calgary had committed to disclosing their campaign financing.

Several more candidates having gotten in touch with Sustainable Calgary since last week, and this number is now up to 66% of candidates  - who were polled within a week of nomination day, or who have contacted us since then – who have released their campaign financing (see graph below).

Campaign Disclosure Final

 

Candidates who have released their campaign financing include (in alphabetical order): Brent Alexander, Bob Bowles, Gian-Carlo Carra, Diane Colley-Urquhart, Peter Demong, Pritpal Dhaliwal, Nargis Dossa, Bernie Dowhan, Druh Farrell, Adam Frisch, Chris Harper, Michael Hartford, Bev Hearn, John Hilton-O’Brien, James Istvanffy, Shawn Kao, Jordan Katz, Shane Keating, Stephanie Kusie, Darwin Lahue, Gail MacLeod, James Maxim, Ian Newman, Joylin Nodwell, Brian Pincott, Shawn Ripley, Scott Sorokoski, Ward Sutherland, Judi Vanderbrink and Evan Woolley.

Civic Camp houses many of the candidates’ campaign financing reports here.  Candidates who do not appear on this list house their campaign finance information on their own campaign websites.

Have a lovely evening Calgary, and Happy Voting Day tomorrow!

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State of our City 2013

For the past several months, we’ve been rolling out our indicators for the 2013 edition of Sustainable Calgary’s State of our City on this website.  Now we’re putting it all together!

Below are links to the entire suite of blogs laying out Sustainable Calgary’s 2013 State of our City 2013.  Check out how we’re doing in our community, economy, education system, natural environment, use of resources, and – in our exciting new suite of indicators – governance systems.

We hope you’ve found our blogs engaging and informative, and we’ll keep you posted on the final report!

State of our City 2013 Rolls Out

Community Indicators 

Economic Indicators

Education Indicators

Natural Environment Indicators

Resource Use Indicators

Wellness Indicators

Governance Indicators

Effectiveness of Planning

Cultural Diversity in Leadership Positions 

Representativeness of Electoral System – Unearned Runs (Seats) Average 

Governance and Finance

Campaign Financing Transparency 

To view past reports, click here.

 

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The Sustainability Book Club Is Back!

Welcome to season six of the Sustainability Bookclub. This year we have another series of interesting and provocative books on offer. Check out the details. click here

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Calgary Housing Choice and Affordability Ignores Car Dependency

Research by University of Calgary professor Dr. Noel Keough shows the surprising impact that transportation choice has on the affordability of home rental and purchase. The report entitled: Action Research on Transportation Housing Affordability, funded by the Calgary Mortgage and Housing Corporation, details how for different income levels and communities in Calgary, car ownership costs impact affordability.

Slide1 Slide2 Slide3 Slide4 Slide5 Slide6 Slide7

At an average of $9,000 per year to operate a private vehicle, Dr. Keough calculated the deep impact this has on housing affordability, in some cases, increasing the available choice of affordable homes for moderate income households by over 1000%. “This research shows that as Calgarians move away from their dependence on private vehicle ownership they’re realizing great benefits in the homes that become affordable”, says Keough.

The findings also underscore what makes housing affordable in a city where many housing options which are less expensive are also distant from the core and public transportation, moving cost from one type of expense the another.

The report also counters some Calgary developers’ argument that greenfield developments provide more affordable housing for Calgarians.

“I shouldn’t be putting my post-tax dollars into possibly the worst investment a person can make, a vehicle, when I can invest that money into my home for the future? I know that housing cost is related to what it costs to get around and I value my income and my time too much to always depend on a car.” commented Gerald Wheatley.

For the full report click here

 

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Governance Indicator #5: Campaign Financing Transparency

On September 27, our sneak peak on campaign funding transparency showed that 35% of candidates polled by Sustainable Calgary had committed to disclosing their campaign financing.

This number is now up to 57% of candidates, who were polled within a week of nomination day, that have now released their campaign financing information (see graph below). [i]

Campaign Finance Disclosure

Any candidates who did not receive our poll invitation and/or have not yet sent us information are welcome to write to us at stateofourcity2013@gmail.com - we will publish any updates. 

Candidates who have released financing information on their campaign websites include: Brent Alexander, Bob Bowles, Gian-Carlo Carra, Diane Colley-Urquhart, Peter Demong, Bernie Dowhan, Druh Farrell, Chris Harper, Michael Hartford, Shawn Kao, Jordan Katz, Shane Keating, Gail MacLeod, James Maxim, Ian Newman, Joylin Nodwell, Brian Pincott, Shawn Ripley, Scott Sorokoski, Ward Sutherland, and Judi Vanderbrink.

Why is transparency with campaign financing important?  As stated by Sustainable Calgary volunteer Binnu Jeyakumar in her blog last month, disclosing campaign funding prior to the elections is not only a great way to engage voters and increase informed voting, but it is an “effective method of holding candidates accountable and keeping a check on undue influences from major contributors in city politics.”

Do we have major contributors in Calgary?  Civic Camp’s Analysis of Campaign Financing in the 2010 Election shows that certain business sectors do in fact dominate campaign financing.  In 2010, 2/3 of funding for all candidates came from corporations, and 2% from groups such as trade associations and unions (Figure 2).  Of these corporations and organizations, approximately 2/3 of campaign funding came from the building industry, including developers and home builders (47%) and architects, planners, and contractors (19%) (Figure 3).

Campaign Finances Figure 2 Campaign Finances Figure 3

Source:  Civic Camp, 2013

For more analysis of how the 2010 election was financed, check out Civic Camp’s analysis tool here.

Thanks all for reading, and stay tuned for State of our City indicators on the Natural Environment!

 


[i] This information was gathered by Sustainable Calgary volunteers both through polls administered by email, and by looking at candidate websites.

 

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Natural Environment Indicators for SOOC 2013

The synopsis: We’re seeing positive trends when it comes to water quality, water consumption, and Christmas bird counts, but pesticide use in Calgary is a concern, and air quality shows mixed results.

Sustainable Calgary’s State of our City tracks 5 indicators of the Natural Environment, including Air Quality, Food Grown Locally, Pesticide Use, Christmas Bird Count and Water Consumption.  Here are some of our results:

Air Quality: Evaluations of Calgary’s air quality are mixed.  Alberta’s goal is to ‘maintain “good” air quality at least 97% of the time in urban areas, with no “poor” air quality events’.   Calgary met these targets in 2008, but we fell short of the former goal at 2 testing stations in 2009, including downtown (good 96% of the time) and in the northwest (95% of the time) (Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, 2013).

We have experienced significant decreases in nitrogen dioxide concentrations in Calgary between 1990-2012 (from 24-50% depending on the testing station) and target thresholds have not been exceeded in Calgary or Alberta since 1993, despite decreasing the target acceptable concentration by 25% in 2011  (Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, 2013). Siemens Green Cities Index nonetheless found that Calgary ranked poorly when it came to total emissions of nitrogen (rather than local concentrations of nitrogen).  We ranked 23rd  among 27 North American cities with emissions of 50 kg NOx/year, compared to the index average of 20kg.

Food Grown Locally: This trend has been very positive so far!  Community gardens increased from 9 in 2004 to 90 in 2010.  In the same period, the number of farmers’ markets increased from 4 to 14, and 4 orchards were planted as pilot projects.

While community gardens contribute to local food production directly, they are most often touted as places where people find opportunities to learn – about each other, about sustainable food production, about cooking and nutrition – and where people find opportunities to interact.  As such, community gardens can contribute to a neighbourhood’s sense of community, decrease isolation, contribute to local knowledge, and engage citizens in a multitude of issues – on top of being places that provide healthful food with no associated gas bill.

Pesticide Use: This is an area of concern for the Natural Environment.  A few fast facts:

  • Calgary is the largest municipality in Canada without a cosmetic pesticide bylaw.
  • Herbicide use by the City has been on an upward trend since 2003, despite a significant blip in 2008.[i]
  • More Alberta households used pesticides in 2009 than the Canadian average – 33% compared with 15% (Environment Canada, 2012).
  • Only a small portion of Calgary parkland inventory is pesticide free – 0.03% or 7,822 ha –primarily due to voluntary initiatives, and several pilot projects inspired by these initiatives (City Council Commissioners Report, C98-90).
  • In total, 172,131 kg of active ingredients in pesticides was sold in Calgary as domestic pesticide in 2012 (Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, 2013).

Why is this important?  Pesticides can harm plants, animals and humans. In their second comprehensive review of research on the effects of pesticides on human health, the Ontario College of Family Physicians (OCFP) reiterated its strong recommendation that the public reduce their exposure to pesticides wherever possible (June 19, 2012). The review covering 142 studies showed positive associations between pesticide exposures and various neurological disorders, respiratory diseases as well as reproductive problems.  In addition, the review noted that children in utero are particularly vulnerable to pesticide exposure. Later in the year the American Academy of Pediatrics released a Policy Statement on Pesticide Exposure in Children (Nov. 2012) with similar findings as the (OCFP) and included associations with childhood cancers.

Surface Water Quality:  Surface water quality, as measured by the water quality index[i], was at an all-time high in the Bow River downstream of Calgary in 2009/2010, based on data dating back to 1996/1997.  Its score of 93 may have been artificially high due to low  low precipitation rates during this time period, but overall, surface water quality has been increasing since a low of 77 – or “fair” – in 2005/2006.  There is a measurable difference between upstream and downstream water quality however, with an upstream score of 99 (Alberta Environment and Sustainable Development, 2010).  In 2010, the water quality standard for E. Coli, Health Canada’s most reliable indicator of fecal contamination in freshwater bodies, was exceeded in 0 of 6 samples.  The standard for fecal coliforsms was exceeded in 3 of 6 samples (Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, 2011)

Christmas Bird Count:  2012 marked a 5-year high in total number of birds counted, and the second highest ever record of species counted.  It also saw the highest ever number of “birders”, but not the highest number of hours –more people volunteer for the Christmas Bird Count, but fewer hours per capita.  The 2012 numbers include:

The relevance of the Christmas Bird Count is several-fold.  Firstly, it represents more than 100 years of citizen engagement and contribution in science – amazing!  As an environmental indicator, it identifies species at risk and can signal changes to the natural environment.  Lastly, by getting us out into nature, bird-watching can be beneficial to our stress levels and overall health.

Water Consumption: This is an area of tremendous progress and achievement!  Per capita water consumption has been on a continuous decreasing trend since 1984, as seen in the graph below, and 2012 marked the second lowest per capita water consumption, after 2011 (City of Calgary Water Management, 2013).  Use by single family residential homes was the lowest on record, at 237 l/day (City of Calgary, 2013).  Out of 27 major North American cities, Calgary topped the list for least amount of water used per capita in the Siemens’ Green Cities Index.

 

Water Consumption

What you can do:

  • Install a water meter, low-flush toilet, and rain barrel in your home and garden
  • Consider xeri-scaping your lawn so that is thrives on rainfall alone
  • Avoid the use of pesticides in your yard, and support a ban on cosmetic use of pesticides in Calgary
  • Use safe alternative methods of pest control
  • Get involved in the Christmas Bird Count
  • Visit a farmers’ market and ask your grocer to carry more local produce
  • Undertake energy efficiency measures at home (eg. insulate, turn down the thermostat, seal cracks)
  • Walk, cycle, rollerblade or take transit to work and other locations
  • Support policy measures that protect air, water, and the natural environment
  • Spend time outside!

 

Thanks all for reading, and stay tuned for more on State of our City Indicators!

 



[i] Leading up to a Council vote on a cosmetic pesticide bylaw in the latter months of 2008 the City instituted a voluntary moratorium on herbicide use over the summer.


[i] The water quality index takes into account metals, nutrients, bacteria, and pesticides.

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Governance Indicator #4: Governance and Finance

by Byron Miller 

A critical aspect of governance concerns the ability of democratically elected governments to actually implement the policies they adopt.   Having robust democratic decision-making at the municipal scale means nothing if, at the end of the day, municipal governments cannot carry out the wishes of their citizens.  Over the last three decades we have seen federal and provincial governments adopt a variety of neoliberal governance strategies, cutting spending to reduce deficits and debt.  The result has been the cutback or elimination of a range of federal and provincial programs, e.g., social housing, and the downloading of more responsibilities to municipal governments.  While Canadian cities have to take on more and more responsibilities, their fiscal capacity has not increased.  Indeed, municipal fiscal capacity remains highly constrained—among the most constrained of all OECD countries.  In rapidly growing cities such as Calgary, where substantial infrastructure investments are needed to keep pace with rapid growth, insufficient fiscal capacity is a major problem.  Calgary’s current infrastructure deficit is estimated at over $6 billion, and that’s only acknowledging bare bones infrastructure needs.

But there’s a further twist to this story.  Calgary actually contributes substantially more revenue to federal and provincial coffers than it gets back in expenditures—and this discrepancy has grown significantly over the past two and a half decades.  In 1988 Calgary contributed $700 million more in revenue than it got back in expenditure.  By 2007 that figure had ballooned to $12.2 billion!

Increasingly Calgary finds itself facing a fiscal crisis.  Calgary is projected to face an operating revenue shortfall of $300 million dollars by 2021.  Under provincial law, cities cannot engage in deficit spending to cover operating expenses, so something has to give.  Given its highly constrained ability to raise revenue, Calgary’s only real options are to cut services, raise user fees, and/or raise property taxes.  Other revenue generation mechanisms available to cities in most other OECD countries are not available to Calgary and, under current arrangements, the City cannot rely on the provincial and federal governments to fill the gap, despite Calgary’s massive over-contribution to federal and provincial coffers. Similarly, and perhaps even more concerning, Calgary faces a projected cumulative capital funding deficit (above and beyond the current infrastructure deficit) of $7 billion by 2021. The City could legally incur more debt to cover this gap, but there are limits to how much debt a city can incur without negative consequences, and it appears Calgary is nearing that point.

In short, Calgary is a rapidly growing city with rapidly growing infrastructure and service provision needs.  It is also a wealthy city that contributes far more revenue to the provincial and federal governments than it receives back in expenditures.  Through elections as well as public opinion polls Calgarians repeatedly indicate their support for infrastructure investment and high quality services.  Yet because revenues consistently fall far short of what is needed and, indeed, contributed, our democratically elected officials are unable to fully carry out the mandate given them by the citizens of Calgary.

Table 1: Government Fiscal Positions in Calgary 

1988  Share of total 2007  Share of total 1988-2007 Compound annual growth rate
Total revenue* $7.3 billion 100% $27.4 billion 100% 7%
Federal government $3.4 billion 47% $14.0 billion 51% 8%
Provincial government $3.1 billion 43% $11.6 billion 42% 7%
Local government $0.7 billion 10% $  1.8 billion   7% 5%
Total expenditure* $7.0 billion 100% $16.3 billion 100% 5%
Federal government $2.4 billion 34% $  4.2 billion 26% 3%
Provincial government $3.2 billion 46% $  8.3 billion 51% 5%
Local Government $1.4 billion 20% $  3.8 billion 23% 5%
Net contribution* $0.7 billion 100% $12.2 billion 100% 17%
Federal government $1.1 billion 164% $  9.9 billion 81% 12%
Provincial government $0.1 billion 17% $  3.7 billion 31% 20%
Local government $ -0.5 billion -81% $ -1.5 billion -12% -5%
Source: City of Calgary 2010 A Case of Fiscal Imbalance: the Calgary Experience (original data sources: Statistics Canada; Corporate Economics)
* excluding intergovernmental transfers

Net contributions excluding government transfers represents a government’s net fiscal position from a tax payer’s perspective.  It is the net of a government’s total own-source revenue collected from a region’s tax payers and the total expenditure the government spent for the same tax payers.  If the number is positive, the government collects more than it gives back to the same tax payers.  A negative net contribution means the government spends more for the tax payers than it collects from them. 

 

City of Calgary 2011 Long-Range Financial Plan Chart 1

Source:  City of Calgary 2011 Long Range Fiscal Plan 

 City of Calgary 2011 Long-Range Financial Plan Chart 2

Source:  City of Calgary 2011 Long Range Fiscal Plan 

 City of Calgary 2011 Long-Term Financial Plan Chart 3

Source:  City of Calgary 2011 Long Range Fiscal Plan

 

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Governance Indicator #3: Representativeness of Electoral System – Unearned Runs (Seats) Average

by Noel Keough

One of the Hall Marks of a sustainable community is well-functioning, fair and transparent institutions of governance.  One of the pillars of our system of governance is the electoral process. In a representative democracy we expect that the people who represent us do in fact mirror the popular will expressed at the voting booth. There has been a rising chorus of concern that in Calgary, at the provincial and federal level, this is just not the case. The culprit has been rightly identified as the first past the post, winner take all electoral system.

The usual response to a critique of this system is that it has served us well for a hundred years, or that other systems are just too complicated.

But there is a well-developed alternative with a track record in most of the developed countries of the world. It is proportional representation. Though there are various types of proportional representation, the most basic premise of the system is that the proportion of seats any party occupies in legislatures or parliaments should, as close as possible, equal the popular vote received.

The Representativeness of Electoral Systems indicator for State of our City 2013 demonstrates that in Canada, Albertans and Calgarians are not well served by first past the post, and have not been for a long time now.

The attached table, Federal Electoral Representativeness, shows the numbers for the past six federal elections going back to 1997. It shows a woeful discrepancy between percentage of votes cast for each party and the percentage of seats awarded in Parliament. The case of Alberta is akin to the case in Quebec – one party dominates the seats way out of proportion to the actual percentage of voters who support them.

In Alberta the Conservatives routinely win 90 – 100% of the seats with support from 65-70% of voters. Examining this discrepancy with an eye to voter turnout is also instructive. Only 52-62% of Albertans voted in the previous 6 elections. So in fact the Conservatives are awarded 90-100% of seats on the basis of between 35-45% of eligible voters casting a vote for them.

These statistics tend toward the absurd at times. In 2006 the Conservatives got 65% of the vote yet were awarded all 28 seats – no representation for the other 35% of Albertans who voted for other parties. In the 2010 federal by-election the Conservative winner was sent to Ottawa to represent citizens of Calgary Centre on the basis of less than 10% of eligible voters expressing their support for the candidate.

For this State of our City indicator we have coined a new measure – unearned run (seat) average[i]. This is a measure of how many more seats the party was awarded compared to the seats it would have held if seats were proportional to popular vote.  What we see is that in the past 6 elections at least 25% of the Conservative seats were unearned. In 2006 it was 36% and since 2004 it has been at least 30%.

For more on proportional representation, check out these links: 

http://www.votesbc.org/en_ca/des-modes-de-scrutin/representation-proportionnelle

https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/polit/damy/BeginnningReading/howprwor.htm

 

Data source: Electionscanada.ca


[i] Editor’s note: For those who don’t follow baseball (like me!), this is a baseball metaphor.  You can learn more about the glorious sport of baseball here , and its earned/unearned runs here.

 

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Election Education 101 from the Disability Action Hall

Accessing the voting booth isn’t always straightforward – from having the right voter ID, to arranging transportation, getting time off work, or accessing a wheelchair ramp.  Further challenges include accessing information, knowing what information is trustworthy, and getting it in plain language.

The Disability Action Hall consistently does great work around citizen and voter engagement.  Yesterday, I went with them to the Advance Polls so we could vote as a group, as seen in the picture below.  I definitely got a rush I don’t usually get when I vote alone.  Plus, there were pizza and cookies afterwards!

IMG_0880

Below is what members of the Disability Action Hall had to say last week about the voting process.  For the full post, click here – they have many more tips on voting on their website!

Many of us find barriers to voting. Here is what some members of the Disability Action Hall said at our last meeting:

  • Voting, its confusing, I don’t know who to vote for.
  • It is hard to tell the difference between city politics and provincial politics.
  • Hard to remember what to ID to bring.
  • Hard to figure out where to go and voting stations change.
  • We do not like the word incapacitated voter when reading help is all we need.
  • The information created by candidates is not easy to understand.
  • Information is not easy to access if you do not have the internet.
  • If you make  a mistake on the ballot, they don’t give you an eraser. What if I make a mistake? Can we  get a new one?
  •  If you are blind, you cannot read them, and was refused help to read out the card.
  • It would be easy for candidates to tell us what is a city issue and a provincial issue. It is confusing.
  • How do know if they are a good candidate?

Solutions: 

  • Use plain language.
  • Make it easier to hire people with disabilities to work at a polling station, we understand people have to take a test and do a workshop, take out the test.
  • For those who cannot read, have a reader with them.
  • Vote as a group. Have a party!
  • Change the word incapacitated voter to, “a voter who needs help to vote”.
  • Use Picture driven voter machines like the ones used in the States.
  • We like the bus that is driving around to help people vote at certain LRT stations.
  • More advertising prior to the voting day, not just the internet.
  • We need people to compile information important to people with disabilities. A score card, bingo card or report card are handy tools.
  • Got to a a debate and listen to the candidates. To learn when there is one in your area, Civic camp has a listing on their website.visit http://www.election.civiccamp.org/2013-forums
  • In the past, we have had more success educating ourselves as a group and voting as a group.

 

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