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Choice of Election Date Under Fire

An Anglican priest has withdrawn as the Liberal Party’s candidate for Parliament in a by-election in the Eglinton Riding (district) because the election date, Oct. 16, falls on Succoth. Rev. Roland Decorneille, executive director of the League for Human Rights of the Canadian B’nai B’rith District 22, said he could not run in good conscience on a date that would effectively disfranchise some 30,000 Jewish voters.

Decarneille, whose decision leaves the Liberal Party without a candidate, noted that for 16 years he has been preaching the need of sensitivity to the rights and practices of religious minorities. It would thus be impossible for him to seek election on Succoth, he said.

The Canadian Jewish Congress and others had warned the government of the conflict in date. Three earlier dates proposed for the election are not helpful since one is Oct. 7, a Saturday; a second, Oct.9, is Thanksgiving Day in Canada; and Oct. 10, Yom Kippur. (By Ben Kayfetz)

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