Long lineups at advance polls caused by Harper cuts to Elections Canada, says Sukh Dhaliwal

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Surrey: A $7.5 million dollar budget cut to Elections Canada by Stephen was the cause of mass voter frustration this past weekend at advance polls, according to Liberal Candidate for Surrey-Newton Sukh Dhaliwal.

“2.4 million Canadians cast ballots in the first three days of advance polls, and across the country, lineups forced voters to wait a minimum of one hour, with some places reporting delays of over two hours. Early results point to over 1 million additional voters casting ballots on the holiday Monday”, said Sukh Dhaliwal.

This is just another way the Conservatives have attempted to make it difficult for Canadians to cast their ballot, contends Dhaliwal.

“First Stephen Harper’s Fair Elections Act introduced identification requirements that made it harder to vote, and now we are seeing the results of his budget cuts to Elections Canada.”

He added, “In 2011, it was determined that Conservative operatives and companies paid by the Conservative Party were responsible for massive voter suppression tactics, and former Conservative staffer Michael Sona was criminally charged as a result.”

In response, Stephen Harper’s first act following the election was to cut Election Canada’s budget by 8 per cent, Dhaliwal said.

He claims that in spite of the Conservative government’s attempts to discourage the electorate, this past weekend’s turnout represents a massive increase from advance polls in 2011.

“I saw voters of all ages and backgrounds lining to vote over the past four days, and I am so proud that we have such an engaged population in this riding,” adds Dhaliwal.  “Regardless of who you voted for, I want to thank each and every Surrey-Newton resident who stood in these lineups and waited patiently to exercise their democratic right.”