Fair Elections Act (S.C. 2014, c. 12)

Assented to 2014-06-19

 Paragraph 16(d) of the Act is replaced by the following:

  • (d) exercise the powers and perform the duties and functions that are necessary for the administration of this Act, other than Division 1.1 of Part 16.1.

 The Act is amended by adding the following after section 16:

Marginal note:Guidelines and interpretation notes
  • 16.1 (1) The Chief Electoral Officer shall, in accordance with this section, issue guidelines and interpretation notes on the application of this Act to registered parties, registered associations, nomination contestants, candidates and leadership contestants.

  • Marginal note:Application

    (2) The Chief Electoral Officer shall, in accordance with this section, on application by the chief agent of a registered party, issue a guideline or interpretation note on the application of a provision of this Act to registered parties, registered associations, nomination contestants, candidates and leadership contestants.

  • Marginal note:Consultations

    (3) Before issuing a guideline or interpretation note, the Chief Electoral Officer shall provide a copy of the proposed guideline or interpretation note to the Commissioner and to the members of the Advisory Committee of Political Parties established by subsection 21.1(1). The Commissioner and those members may provide their written comments to the Chief Electoral Officer within 15 days after the day on which the copy is sent.

  • Marginal note:Comments

    (4) The Chief Electoral Officer shall, in preparing the guideline or interpretation note, take into consideration any comments received under subsection (3).

  • Marginal note:Pre-publication

    (5) The Chief Electoral Officer shall publish on his or her Internet site for a period of 30 days the guideline or interpretation note as well as a notice stating that the guideline or interpretation note will be issued at the expiry of that period.

  • Marginal note:Pre-publication — additional requirement

    (6) In the case of an application made under subsection (2), the guideline or interpretation note and the notice shall be published under subsection (5) within 60 days after the day on which the application is made. However, if the 60-day period coincides or overlaps with the election period of a general election, they shall be published under subsection (5) no later than 60 days after polling day for that election.

  • Marginal note:Issuance

    (7) On the expiry of the period referred to in subsection (5), the Chief Electoral Officer shall issue the guideline or interpretation note by registering it in the registry referred to in section 16.4.

  • Marginal note:Nature of guidelines and interpretation notes

    (8) The guidelines and interpretation notes are issued for information purposes only. They are not binding on registered parties, registered associations, nomination contestants, candidates or leadership contestants.

Marginal note:Application for written opinion
  • 16.2 (1) The Chief Electoral Officer shall, in accordance with this section, on application by the chief agent of a registered party, issue a written opinion on the application of any provision of this Act to an activity or practice that the registered party or a registered association, a nomination contestant, a candidate or a leadership contestant of the registered party proposes to engage in.

  • Marginal note:Consultations

    (2) Before issuing an opinion, the Chief Electoral Officer shall provide a copy of the proposed opinion to the Commissioner and to the members of the Advisory Committee of Political Parties established by subsection 21.1(1). The Commissioner and those members may provide their written comments to the Chief Electoral Officer within 15 days after the day on which the copy is sent.

  • Marginal note:Comments

    (3) The Chief Electoral Officer shall, in preparing the opinion, take into consideration any comments received under subsection (2).

  • Marginal note:Pre-publication

    (4) Within 60 days after the day on which the application is made, the Chief Electoral Officer shall publish on his or her Internet site for a period of 30 days the opinion as well as a notice stating that the opinion will be issued at the expiry of that period. However, if the 60-day period coincides or overlaps with the election period of a general election, the opinion and the notice shall be published no later than 60 days after polling day for that election.

  • Marginal note:Issuance

    (5) On the expiry of the 30-day period referred to in subsection (4), the Chief Electoral Officer shall issue the opinion by registering it in the registry referred to in section 16.4.

  • Marginal note:Opinion binding

    (6) If all the material facts have been submitted by an applicant for an opinion and they are accurate, the opinion issued by the Chief Electoral Officer under this section is binding on the Chief Electoral Officer and the Commissioner with respect to the activity or practice of the registered party, registered association, nomination contestant, candidate or leadership contestant in question. It remains binding for as long as the material facts on which it was based remain substantially unchanged and the activity or practice is carried out substantially as proposed.

  • Marginal note:Precedential value

    (7) An opinion issued by the Chief Electoral Officer under this section has precedential value for the Chief Electoral Officer and the Commissioner.

  • Marginal note:Contrary interpretation

    (8) The opinion remains binding in accordance with subsection (6), and has the precedential value referred to in subsection (7), for as long as a contrary interpretation has not been subsequently issued by means of a guideline or interpretation note issued under section 16.1 or an opinion issued under this section.

Marginal note:New interpretation

16.3 An interpretation of a provision of the Act in a guideline or interpretation note that is published under subsection 16.1(5) or in an opinion that is published under subsection 16.2(4) that contradicts an interpretation of that provision provided in a previously issued guideline, interpretation note or opinion does not replace the interpretation in that previously issued guideline, interpretation note or opinion until the date that the guideline or interpretation note is issued under section 16.1 or the opinion is issued under section 16.2.

Marginal note:Registry

16.4 The Chief Electoral Officer shall establish and maintain a registry on his or her Internet site that contains every guideline and interpretation note that is issued under section 16.1, every opinion that is issued under section 16.2 and all comments of the Commissioner that are provided under subsection 16.1(3) or 16.2(2).

 The Act is amended by adding the following before section 17:

Marginal note:Power to disclose documents and information
  • 16.5 (1) The Chief Electoral Officer may disclose to the Commissioner any document or information that he or she has obtained under this Act and that he or she considers useful to the Commissioner in the exercise or performance of his or her powers, duties and functions under this Act.

  • Marginal note:Obligation to disclose documents and information

    (2) On the request of the Commissioner, the Chief Electoral Officer shall disclose to the Commissioner any document or information that the Chief Electoral Officer obtained under this Act and that the Commissioner considers necessary to the exercise or performance of his or her powers, duties and functions under this Act.

Marginal note:2007, c. 21, s. 2

 Subsections 17(1) and (2) of the Act are replaced by the following:

Marginal note:Power to adapt Act
  • 17. (1) During an election period or within 30 days after it, if an emergency, an unusual or unforeseen circumstance or an error makes it necessary, the Chief Electoral Officer may, for the sole purpose of enabling electors to exercise their right to vote or enabling the counting of votes, adapt any provision of this Act and, in particular, may extend the time for doing any act, subject to subsection (2), or may increase the number of election officers or polling stations.

  • Marginal note:Limitation — power to adapt

    (2) The Chief Electoral Officer shall not extend the voting hours at an advance polling station or, subject to subsection (3), the voting hours on polling day.

 Section 18 of the Act is replaced by the following:

Marginal note:Public education and information programs

17.1 The Chief Electoral Officer may implement public education and information programs to make the electoral process better known to students at the primary and secondary levels.

Marginal note:Advertising
  • 18. (1) The Chief Electoral Officer may transmit or cause to be transmitted advertising messages, both inside and outside Canada, to inform electors about the exercise of their democratic rights. Such advertising messages shall only address

    • (a) how to become a candidate;

    • (b) how an elector may have their name added to a list of electors and may have corrections made to information respecting the elector on the list;

    • (c) how an elector may vote under section 127 and the times, dates and locations for voting;

    • (d) how an elector may establish their identity and residence in order to vote, including the pieces of identification that they may use to that end; and

    • (e) the measures for assisting electors with a disability to access a polling station or advance polling station or to mark a ballot.

  • Marginal note:Clarification

    (1.1) For greater certainty, subsection (1) does not prevent the Chief Electoral Officer from transmitting or causing to be transmitted advertising messages for any other purpose relating to his or her mandate.

  • Marginal note:Communication with electors with disabilities

    (2) The Chief Electoral Officer shall ensure that any information provided under subsection (1) is accessible to electors with disabilities.

  • Marginal note:Unsolicited calls

    (3) The Chief Electoral Officer shall not provide information under this section by the use of calls, as defined in section 348.01, that are unsolicited.

Marginal note:2001, c. 21, s. 2

 Section 18.1 of the Act is replaced by the following:

Marginal note:International cooperation

18.01 The Chief Electoral Officer may, at the Governor in Council’s request, provide assistance and cooperation in electoral matters to electoral agencies in other countries or to international organizations.

Marginal note:Alternative voting process

18.1 The Chief Electoral Officer may carry out studies on voting, including studies respecting alternative voting processes, and may devise and test an alternative voting process for future use in a general election or a by-election. Such a process may not be used for an official vote without the prior approval of the committees of the Senate and of the House of Commons that normally consider electoral matters or, in the case of an alternative electronic voting process, without the prior approval of the Senate and the House of Commons.

Marginal note:Power to enter into contracts, etc.
  • 18.2 (1) The Chief Electoral Officer may enter into contracts, memoranda of understanding or other arrangements in the name of Her Majesty in right of Canada or in the Chief Electoral Officer’s name.

  • Marginal note:Leases

    (2) The Chief Electoral Officer may authorize a returning officer to enter into a lease in the Chief Electoral Officer’s name, subject to any terms and conditions that the Chief Electoral Officer specifies.

  • Marginal note:Contracts, etc., binding on Her Majesty

    (3) Every contract, memorandum of understanding and arrangement entered into in the Chief Electoral Officer’s name is binding on Her Majesty in right of Canada to the same extent as it is binding on the Chief Electoral Officer.

  • Marginal note:Goods and services

    (4) Despite section 9 of the Department of Public Works and Government Services Act, the Chief Electoral Officer may procure goods and services from outside the federal public administration.

 
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