The City of Brampton was facing staffing issues on the eve of its municipal election, with “an unprecedented number of public and staff election worker resignations and training no-shows.”
An internal email sent by Brampton’s interim chief administrative officer and city clerk to all staff said the city needed many more people to be available to work delivering the local election.
Voting in Brampton takes place on Monday between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.
The email — seen and confirmed by Global News — said that “at least 150” extra city staff would be needed in various election roles between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. on Monday.
After the email was sent at around 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, a spokesperson for Brampton said “an overwhelmingly positive response” from city staff meant “the City is well prepared to deliver tomorrow’s election”
A spokesperson for Ontario’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing said the province “is not in receipt of correspondence from the Clerk pertaining to this matter.”
The internal email painted a stark picture of the potential staffing crisis.
“Staff need access to a vehicle to be deployed to a voting location anywhere across the City,” the email read.
Brampton staff in non-critical roles were warned they may be called upon to help with running the city’s local election.
“Your assistance is desperately requested,” the email pleaded.
The city said the email was sent out “to prepare for contingencies” and in anticipation of staff shortages in the morning that are experienced at “each election.”
“All voting locations have adequate staffing and election workers are trained and ready to serve Brampton voters,” the city spokesperson said. “The City would like to thank its staff and union partners for helping to deliver the election.”
Paul Morrison, the city’s interim chief administrative officer, told Global News the email was sent out as Brampton aimed to have “an overabundance of staff” for the election.
Polling day in Brampton will see one of the most dramatic mayoral races in Ontario come to its final conclusion.
Incumbent Patrick Brown, who has seen his first term as Brampton mayor mired by allegations and boycotts from two sides of a polarized council, is seeking a second term.
His most high-profile rival is Nikki Kaur, a city hall staffer who has taken a leave of absence during the campaign.
The other candidates who will appear on the ballot are Vidya Sagar Gautam, Prabh Kaur Mand, Tony Moracci and Bob Singh.
Kaur’s campaign released a statement expressing concern about the potential staffing problems.
“The clerk’s office should have sent sufficient notice of the situation with election day staffing to all campaigns in a timely manner, not less than 24 hours until the vote begins,” the statement said. “The city should have anticipated Diwali on Monday, and better prepared for tomorrow’s election.”
Global News also reached out to Patrick Brown’s campaign for comment.