COVID-19 denied democracy 43 times in Quebec. Elections rescheduled to fall 2020
As of May 1, 2020, 43 by-elections were scheduled and could not be fully held due to the state of health emergency in Quebec. Not only has the COVID-19 pandemic changed our daily lives, it has delayed democracy.
In the current context, in accordance with public health directives, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Andrée Laforest, responsible for the application of the Act respecting elections and referendums in municipalities, requested postponing any all by-elections until August 7, 2020.
In the meantime, the Ministry will work to determine the best mechanisms to allow the municipalities to hold the required by-elections in the fall. Developing procedures will be tricky considering Quebec’s high number of COVID-19 cases. It is speculated mail in ballots will play a significant roll in any up coming elections.
The minister has still not provided details as to how she plans to carry out the elections in a manner that remains in compliance with the rules prescribed by the Act respecting elections and referendums in municipalities, but also with the sanitary measures in force, while promoting municipal democracy.