As you know, we are currently in the midst of an historic transition–from our traditional approach of enumeration to one that involves targeted enumeration in order to maintain a permanent register of voters. At the best of times, the development of the Schedule of Fees is a lengthy and complex process. This time around has been particularly challenging, given the evolving approach to enumeration. Indeed, we are learning and improving as we go along.
As some background, we worked with the Ministry of Justice to compile a Cabinet submission a couple months back. The proposal was subsequently reviewed and approved by Cabinet. Because we thought the work related to the Schedule of Fees was completed a month ago, we wanted to provide clarity to the field leadership team on the amounts to be paid as soon as possible. But recognized soon after that the words used by our lawyers do not always match the simple language we try to include in our communications. Upon further review of the wording in the approved regulation, it became clear that we needed to seek additional clarification from the Ministry of Justice as the wording in the Schedule of Fees did not exactly match the original fee proposal. This is not unusual for legislation given the complexities of drafting legislation.
We know that you’ll appreciate that we could not pay the full amounts until the legal intent of the words in the approved regulation were confirmed by the Ministry. We’re happy to report, however, that we’ve now received the information necessary to resolve the issue and are confirming that for the 28th General Election cycle each returning officer will be receiving $500 for the completion of each of the first five polling divisions enumerated (election clerks – $375) and $200 for each subsequent polling division (election clerks – $175).