Assented to 2004-05-14
An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and the Income Tax Act
This enactment amends the Canada Elections Act to adjust the requirements for political party registration in response to the June 27, 2003 decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Figueroa v. Canada (Attorney General), 2003 SCC 37.
It replaces the existing 50 candidate requirement for political party registration with a series of new registration requirements. These requirements include that a party endorse and support at least one candidate, that it provide signed declarations of support from at least 250 members and that it have no fewer than four party officers.
It adds a purpose based definition of political party and requires the party's leader to make a declaration that one of the party's fundamental purposes is as described in the definition. Entities seeking to register as political parties must also satisfy the requirements of the definition, both at registration and on an ongoing basis. The Commissioner of Canada Elections may apply for judicial deregistration where those requirements are not met.
It provides measures to prevent entities from registering simply for the purpose of obtaining financial and other benefits and from redirecting tax receipted contributions to outside entities.
It creates new offences for providing false information and for acting as an officer knowing that the party does not satisfy the requirements of the definition. It also adds mechanisms for judicial deregistration of a political party, as well as liquidation of its assets, in the event of a conviction for certain offences.
It also amends the Income Tax Act to suspend the authority of a registered party to issue tax receipts while an application by the Commissioner for judicial deregistration is pending.
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:
2000, c. 9CANADA ELECTIONS ACT
political party means an organization one of whose fundamental purposes is to participate in public affairs by endorsing one or more of its members as candidates and supporting their election. (parti politique)
Marginal note:2001, c. 21, s. 12
2. Subsection 117(2) of the Act is amended by adding the word “and” at the end of paragraph (b) and by replacing paragraphs (c) and (d) with the following:
(c) at the close of nominations, the party is a registered party.
3. (1) Paragraph 366(2)(d) of the Act is replaced by the following:
(d) the name and address of the leader of the party and a copy of the party's resolution to appoint the leader, certified by the leader and another officer of the party;
(2) Paragraph 366(2)(f) of the Act is replaced by the following:
(f) the names and addresses of the officers of the party and their signed consent to act;
(3) Subsection 366(2) of the Act is amended by striking out the word “and” at the end of paragraph (h) and by replacing paragraph (i) with the following:
(i) the names and addresses of 250 electors and their declarations in the prescribed form that they are members of the party and support the party's application for registration; and
(j) the leader's declaration in the prescribed form that, having considered all of the factors — including those described in subsection 521.1(5) — relevant to determining the party's purposes, one of the party's fundamental purposes is to participate in public affairs by endorsing one or more of its members as candidates and supporting their election.
(4) Section 366 of the Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (2):
Marginal note:Additional information
(3) To confirm that the purpose referred to in paragraph (2)(j) is one of the party's fundamental purposes, the Chief Electoral Officer may ask the party's leader to provide any relevant information, including the information described in subsection 521.1(5).
4. Paragraphs 368(b) and (c) of the Act are replaced by the following:
(b) the party has at least three officers in addition to its leader and has appointed a chief agent and an auditor; and
(c) the Chief Electoral Officer is satisfied that the party has provided the information required under subsection 366(2) and that the information is accurate.
5. Sections 369 and 370 of the Act are replaced by the following:
Marginal note:Notification of eligibility
369. (1) The Chief Electoral Officer shall, as soon as practicable after the day on which the application is received, inform the leader of a political party that has applied to become registered whether or not the party is eligible for registration under section 368. If the party is not eligible, he or she shall also indicate which of that section's requirements have not been met.
Marginal note:Loss of eligibility
(2) A political party, having been informed of its eligibility under subsection (1), loses its eligibility if
(a) it contravenes any of section 371, subsection 374.1(1), sections 378 to 380.1, subsections 382(1), (3) and (4) and 383(1) and section 384;
(b) one of its officers is not eligible under subsection 374.1(2);
(c) its chief agent is not eligible under section 376; or
(d) its auditor is not eligible under section 377.
370. (1) An eligible party becomes a registered party if it has at least one candidate whose nomination has been confirmed for an election and its application to become registered was made at least 60 days before the issue of the writ or writs for that election and has not been withdrawn.
Marginal note:Late application
(2) An eligible party whose application was made after the 60 days referred to in subsection (1) becomes a registered party for the next general election — or any by-election that precedes it — if it satisfies the requirements of that subsection for that election.
(3) The Chief Electoral Officer shall, as soon as practicable after the 48-hour period following the close of nominations,
(a) inform the leader of an eligible party that meets the requirements of subsection (1) that the party has been registered; and
(b) in the case of a general election, inform the leader of an eligible party that does not meet the requirements of subsection (1) that the party has not been registered.
Marginal note:Loss of eligibility
(4) An eligible party, other than one referred to in subsection (2), loses its eligibility on being informed under subsection (3) that it has not been registered.
Marginal note:Eligible party deemed registered
(5) For the purposes of sections 407, 422, 429 and 435, an eligible party that becomes registered under subsection (1) is deemed to have been registered from the day of the issue of the writ or writs for that election.
6. The heading before section 375 of the Act is replaced by the following:
Officers, Registered Agents, Auditors and Members
7. The Act is amended by adding the following after the heading before section 375:
Marginal note:Minimum number of officers
374.1 (1) Subject to subsection (3), a registered party and an eligible party shall have at least three officers in addition to the leader of the party.
Marginal note:Eligibility — officer
(2) Only a person whose ordinary residence is in Canada is eligible to be an officer of a registered party or an eligible party.
Marginal note:Appointment of a replacement
(3) In the event of the death, incapacity, resignation, ineligibility or revocation of the appointment of an officer of a registered party or an eligible party, the party shall, if the remaining number of officers is less than four, appoint a replacement within 30 days.
Marginal note:Report of appointment
(4) Within 30 days after the appointment of the replacement, the registered party or eligible party shall inform the Chief Electoral Officer by providing a report under subsection 382(1).
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