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Canadian Township Changes Saturday Plebiscite Date at Jewish Request

A plebiscite originally set for a Saturday in the Township of North York was changed to another day after the Canadian Jewish Congress and B’nai B’rith pointed out that many Jewish voters would not be able to vote for religious reasons.

The Joint Community Relations Committee of the two Jewish organizations raised the question in a letter to Norman Goodhead, Reeve of the township and to the Liquor License Board of Ontario which had set the plebiscite for March 23.

The protest noted that “the Jewish community is a sizable proportion of the general population” and that the choice of a Saturday would “be regarded with resentment by the Jewish citizens of North York both from the view of the propriety of calling an election on a religious day of rest and for the hardship it will create for observant Jews by making it impossible for them to express their democratic franchise on the matter.”

The letter asked the license board to reconsider the date. In reply, the license board said that it had set the Saturday date at the express request of the township but that after “further representations” from the municipal council of North York, the Board “has acceded to their request and changed the date for the holding of this vote to March 27, a Wednesday.”

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