Calgary

Calgary plans to courier mail-in ballots for Olympic plebiscite if postal workers strike

The City of Calgary says it has a plan to prevent interruptions for mail-in ballots for the Olympic plebiscite in November if Canada Post workers strike.

Canada Post workers could strike before the end of the month

A postal worker walks past Canada Post trucks at a sorting centre in Montreal in July 26. Workers have called for a 30-day strike action. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

The City of Calgary says it has a plan to prevent interruptions for mail-in ballots for the Olympic plebiscite in November if Canada Post workers strike.

A dispute over wages and working conditions has prompted postal workers to vote in favour of strike action, which could happen as early as Sept. 26 and would shut down mail delivery.

The City will start taking in requests for mail-in ballots on Oct. 1 for the Nov. 13 Olympic plebiscite — which will give Calgarians the chance to weigh in on the non-binding vote on whether or not the city should host the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

City clerk Laura Kennedy is organizing the plebiscite, and she's arranged with the city's mail services to have ballots sent by courier for those who need to vote by mail.

"If the postal strike does occur, we have made arrangements through our mail services here at the city to courier packages within the city limits and also within the surrounding areas, to the communities in the surrounding areas if someone's in one of those areas and they're unable to get into a voting station on vote day," she said.

"Our couriers have been very gracious, and it's equivalent cost, and we should be able to have it delivered to the home within 48 hours."

The $2-million cost of the plebiscite is being covered by the province.

It will ask residents: Are you for or are you against Calgary hosting the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games?

They can choose between "I am for Calgary hosting" or "I am against Calgary hosting," as the two possible answers.

Calgary is also planning to stop offering at-home voting for residents who can't make it out to a polling station, and will replace that option with mail-in ballots.

That will go to city council for approval next week.

With files from Scott Dippel

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