Chasing down $300 from Elections Canada

Let me tell you a story about money. This time it’s about trying to track it down and the wrong bank. It’s all a bit ridiculous.

So. I signed up to work as a Deputy Returning Officer (DRO) for the most recent Federal Election on October 19. I’d done it thrice before and I really like doing it. It’s a long day but I like seeing people come in to vote.

This time around it was even better because the turnout at my polling station was AMAZING. It was busy from 3 to 9. Six hours straight. People wanted to vote in this election. They were determined to vote. Sure, there were a couple of voters who wanted to vote in pen so no one would change their vote but most of the people were lovely.


So I wait for my cheque to come in 4-6 weeks later as expected. Except two months later, no cheque. I wait one more week then call Elections Canada and ask why I haven’t been paid. Turns out the cheque was sent – to a bank account at BMO.

I don’t bank at BMO. I never have.

“Do you bank at BMO,” asked the pleasant fellow.

“No, never have. And I didn’t give anyone my bank information,” says I pleasantly while eye-rolling. This is why I didn’t give them banking information. Elections Canada relies on temporary employees and apparently this latest crop wasn’t all that great. What? They admitted it to me on these calls.

(Hey, one of our information officers lost her shit, said we weren’t respecting her and walked off the job at 11 a.m. on voting day. So to be honest, I wasn’t that surprised.)

Elections Canada guy thinks that the person made a mistake. I can believe it because I got a call on the Sunday before the election asking if I could bring in a cheque. I said no because I didn’t have cheques.

“Could you bring it in tomorrow?”

“No, the election is tomorrow. When am I supposed to bring it in?”

So my money is sitting in a BMO account. They have to trace it and take it out before they can give me my money.

(Cue Rihanna)

“So why can’t you cut me a cheque while tracing the money?” I ask on a second call. This time I’m on the bus meeting a friend for lunch. It’s -20 outside and I was not walking. No.

Turns out they can’t because they work out the budget beforehand and take exactly that amount, or so I’ve been told. They don’t want to dip into the public purse again, even for $300.

I can live with that. I still want my money. I’m supposed to call this week to find out if any progress has been made.

So I still haven’t been paid and maybe I should apply to Elections Canada.

Recommended reads: You should read Diane’s The Thing with 39. It’s breathtaking and honest. We’ve all been there.



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