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Voting Rules icon

Students get sneak peek at new program
on voting and democracy

Elections Canada and Elections Ontario join forces to create a new
dynamic voting education program for teachers and students.

April 29, 2011

Toronto / Ottawa The Chief Electoral Officer of Canada, Marc Mayrand, and Chief Electoral Officer of Ontario, Greg Essensa, joined over 200 students at the Ontario Model Parliament today to introduce Voting Rules!, a new hands-on civic education program being piloted in 800 classrooms this spring. As part of the preview to Voting Rules!, student participants committed to vote in their first election after they turn 18.

"We believe that engaging and educating young people is key to building and maintaining a healthy democracy in Canada", said Marc Mayrand. "Studies show that dynamic and hands-on civic education is most effective in helping youth develop the habit of voting."

Based on Ontario curriculum, Voting Rules! is a civic education program designed to promote a higher sense and understanding of democratic responsibility among Ontario grade 5 and grade 10 students.

"We want to work with educators to help students understand and appreciate the privileges and responsibilities of living in a strong democratic society," said Greg Essensa. "We want to help cultivate the next generation of voters."

Voting Rules! features dialogue-driven lesson plans, engaging activities and clear and accurate information about voting in Ontario and Canada in a graphic novel format. Hundreds of teachers have received materials to pilot before the end of the school year.

Elections Canada and Elections Ontario share a common public education mandate to make the electoral process better known to and understood by the public, including young Canadians. With Voting Rules!, the agencies have engaged in a unique partnership and shared their resources and expertise to respond to a need expressed by the teaching community for civic materials.

Elections Canada is the independent, non-partisan agency responsible for conducting federal elections and referendums.

Elections Ontario is the non-partisan agency responsible for administering provincial elections, by-elections and referenda.

Elections Ontario Media Relations
Alicia Fowlie
416.212.6186 / 1.866.252.2152

Elections Canada Media Relations
John Enright or Diane Benson
1.877.877.9515 / 613.993.2224