2007 Québec Provincial Election - A Message from the CSA

Posted date : Mar 26, 2007.Back to list


On Monday, March 26, 2007, the citizens of Québec will choose their next provincial government. As a member of the Canadian Snowbird Association (CSA), now is the time to ensure your voice is heard!

Take the time to learn where your local candidates stand on these important issues. Do they support your right to travel? What will they do on your behalf?

We don't want election promises! We want fair treatment!

Voting by mail for electors temporarily absent from Québec
The Election Act and the Referendum Act of Québec allow Québec electors who are outside Québec to vote by mail at the time of a general election, a by-election or a referendum.

You need to submit your application form right away. During an election period, you only have a few days to register. In fact, the duly completed registration form, together with the required documents, must be returned by midnight March 7, 2007.

To obtain a registration form, please click on the link www.electionsquebec.qc.ca that will take you directly to the Elections Québec website. You can conveniently complete the application form directly on your computer screen. If you wish to submit your application electronically by e-mail, you must first use a scanner to scan your supporting documents that need to be appended to the application.

Whether submitting your application by mail, fax or e-mail, you will need two supporting documents. One document must mention your name and your date of birth (e.g. passport, birth certificate or citizenship card). The other document must indicate your name and the address of your domicile in Québec (e.g. driver's licence, lease, utility bill, etc).

Once processed, your ballot paper will be sent to you by mail or by any other private courier company that can ensure the service within the time periods stipulated by the Chief Electoral Officer. The Chief Electoral Officer will pay the mailing costs to get the ballot paper to you.

Please note you are responsible for the cost of returning your ballot paper. In order for your vote to count, the Chief Electoral Officer must receive the ballot paper at his Québec City office, by mail or by courier, not later than March 26, 2007, at 8 p.m. (end of the exercise of the right to vote in Québec).


Access To Emergency Health Coverage When Travelling
Québec's practice for reimbursing Quebecers for emergency health services while abroad contravenes sub-paragraph 11(1)(b)(ii) of the Canada Health Act. The Act clearly establishes that portability includes emergency health services provided to Canadian residents while outside the country. The Act states that where emergency health services "are provided out of Canada, payment is made on the basis of the amount that would have been paid by the province for similar services rendered in the province."

The maximum rate paid for hospital in-patient services is $100 per day. While Québec would not disclose its per-day rate provided for emergency services required while within Québec, $100 is well below the average rates paid for in-province services in other Canadian jurisdictions. Québec reimburses emergency out-patient hospital services required by travellers at a rate of $50 per day. This is also below the average rate per day paid for in-province services in other jurisdictions.

Québecers who embark on long-term travel nonetheless pay a full year of taxes to the federal and provincial governments. We must pay for infrastructure and other government services that we do not use for a full year, but one thing we expect and deserve is to have full, equal access to the health care and drug coverage for which you pay taxes. Unfortunately, in many cases we are denied the same benefits as those who remain at home. We have paid our taxes all our working lives, why are we now being discriminated against because we want to travel?

We are simply asking provincial and territorial governments to reimburse emergency in-patient and out-patient services required by travelers at the same rate per day as that paid for similar services within the province or territory.

We are not asking the provincial and territorial governments to pay the high costs of U.S. hospital stays and our proposed changes will not cost the those governments any more money than if the emergency had occurred while the patient was in their home province or territory.

Question: Does your local candidate support the portability principle of the Canada Health Act? Do they support reimbursing emergency in-patient and out-patient services required by travellers at the same rate per day as that paid for similar services within the province? Do they support updating these rates to match changes in real costs?

Access to Prescription Drugs For Use During Travel
Québec has no published plan limiting the quantity of prescription drugs that will be covered by the province's drug program. This would seem to suggest that travellers could receive a six-month supply of prescription drugs to cover the allowable travel time. However, the absence of a clear policy creates uncertainty for travellers.

Québec will not reimburse plan members for prescriptions purchased while outside the province.

Question: Does your local candidate support enacting clear legislation and regulations ensuring that travellers can receive coverage for a supply of prescription medication at least equal to the six consecutive months they can be absent while still receiving health care coverage?

Will they support reimbursing the cost of medication prescribed by appropriately accredited physicians and dispensed outside Québec?

Access to Voting Rights for Travellers

Absentee mail-in voting is permitted in Québec for citizens who will be out of the province at the time of a general election, a by-election or a referendum. An application for an absentee ballot, including photocopies of two pieces of identification, must be either mailed or faxed to the chief electoral officer at least 19 days prior to election day.

Applications may not be sent by e-mail. An absentee voting kit will be sent by return mail or courier to ensure that the voter receives it in sufficient time to send back the ballot. Marked ballots must be received by 8:30 p.m. on election day.

Question: Does your local candidate support allowing applications for absentee ballots to be made via e-mail?

Do they support extending the deadline for submitting an application for mail-in ballots or eliminating the deadline, but clearly communicating the last day by which absentee voters' applications should be received in order to ensure that they receive their ballots in sufficient time to vote?

Do they support the acceptance of mail-in ballots that have been post-marked prior to the close of polls?

Do they support fixed election dates so travellers can plan accordingly?

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