Canada Elections Act (S.C. 2000, c. 9)

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Act current to 2019-04-25 and last amended on 2019-04-01. Previous Versions

PART 5Conduct of an Election (continued)

Writs of Election

Marginal note:General election — proclamation

  •  (1) The Governor in Council shall issue a proclamation in order for a general election to be held.

  • Marginal note:By-election — order

    (1.1) The Governor in Council shall make an order in order for a by-election to be held.

  • Marginal note:Contents

    (1.2) The proclamation or order shall

    • (a) direct the Chief Electoral Officer to issue a writ to the returning officer for each electoral district to which the proclamation or order applies;

    • (b) fix the date of issue of the writ; and

    • (c) fix the date for voting at the election, which date must be no earlier than the 36th day and no later than the 50th day after the day on which the writ was issued.

  • Marginal note:General election

    (2) In the case of a general election,

    • (a) the date of issue of the writ shall be the same for all electoral districts;

    • (b) polling day shall be the same for all electoral districts; and

    • (c) the proclamation shall fix a date for the return of the writ to the Chief Electoral Officer, which date shall be the same for all of the writs.

  • Marginal note:Election held on a Monday

    (3) Subject to subsection (4) and section 56.2, polling day shall be on a Monday.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (4) In the case of a general election that is not held on a day set in accordance with subsection 56.1(2) or section 56.2, if, in the week in which the election is to be held, the Monday is a holiday, polling day shall be held on the Tuesday of that week.

  • Marginal note:Times when polling day is a Tuesday

    (5) If the day fixed for the vote is a Tuesday because of subsection (4) or section 56.2, any time period specified under this Act before or after polling day is to be calculated as if polling day were the Monday.

  • 2000, c. 9, s. 57
  • 2001, c. 21, s. 5
  • 2007, c. 10, s. 2
  • 2018, c. 31, s. 47

Marginal note:Writs forwarded to returning officer

 The Chief Electoral Officer shall issue a writ in Form 1 of Schedule 1 to the returning officer for the electoral district in which the election is to be held without delay after the proclamation is issued or the order is made under section 57.

  • 2000, c. 9, s. 58
  • 2001, c. 21, s. 6
  • 2007, c. 10, s. 3

Marginal note:Withdrawal of writ

  •  (1) The Governor in Council may order the withdrawal of a writ for any electoral district for which the Chief Electoral Officer certifies that by reason of a flood, fire or other disaster it is impracticable to carry out the provisions of this Act.

  • Marginal note:Duties of Chief Electoral Officer

    (2) If the Governor in Council orders the withdrawal of a writ, the Chief Electoral Officer shall publish a notice of the withdrawal in the Canada Gazette and, on being ordered by the Governor in Council to do so, shall, within three months after the date of publication of the notice, issue a new writ ordering an election to be held.

  • Marginal note:Polling day

    (3) The day named in the new writ for polling day is determined by the Governor in Council, but may be no later than the 50th day after the day on which the new writ was issued.

  • Marginal note:Postponement of election and new polling day

    (4) If the Chief Electoral Officer certifies that by reason of a flood, fire or other disaster it is impracticable to carry out the provisions of this Act with regard to an electoral district, but the Governor in Council is of the opinion that the withdrawal of the writ under subsection (1) is not warranted, the Governor in Council may, by order, postpone the election by up to seven days for that electoral district and, correspondingly, extend the election period and fix the date for the new polling day.

  • Marginal note:Postponement of election — rules

    (5) If the Governor in Council orders the postponement of an election for an electoral district under subsection (4), then, in respect of that electoral district, the following rules apply in respect of any time period before polling day specified under this Act:

    • (a) if this Act authorizes or requires anything to be done on a day that is a certain number of days before polling day or done within a period that ends before polling day, and the day occurs or the period ends before the day on which the postponement order is made, then polling day is deemed to still be the day fixed under paragraph 57(1.2)(c) and not the day fixed under subsection (4);

    • (b) if this Act authorizes or requires anything to be done within a period that ends on or before polling day and the period ends on or after the day on which the postponement order is made, then

      • (i) anything done as authorized or required on or before the day on which the postponement order is made is valid, and

      • (ii) in respect of anything not done as authorized or required on or before that day, the period during which the thing is authorized or required to be done is extended by the number of days by which the election is postponed;

    • (c) if this Act authorizes or requires anything to be done on a day that is a certain number of days before polling day and that day occurs on the day on which the postponement order is made, then

      • (i) anything done as authorized or required on that day is valid, and

      • (ii) in respect of anything not done as authorized or required on that day, the day on which the thing is authorized or required to be done is postponed by the number of days by which the election is postponed;

    • (d) if a period is extended under subparagraph (b)(ii) or a day is postponed under subparagraph (c)(ii), then any mention of a number of days before polling day prevails over any mention of a day of the week before polling day; and

    • (e) for the purposes of this subsection, if the original polling day fixed under paragraph 57(1.2)(c) is a Tuesday because of section 56.2 or subsection 57(4), it is deemed to be a Monday.

  • 2000, c. 9, s. 59
  • 2018, c. 31, s. 48

Marginal note:Returning officer to open and maintain office

  •  (1) Every returning officer shall, without delay after receiving the writ or notice by the Chief Electoral Officer of the issue of the writ, open an office in premises that are accessible to electors with a disability in a convenient place in the electoral district and shall maintain the office throughout the election period.

  • Marginal note:Hours

    (2) The Chief Electoral Officer may fix the hours that the office must be open and the minimum number of hours of compulsory attendance at it by the returning officer and the assistant returning officer.

  • 2000, c. 9, s. 60
  • 2018, c. 31, s. 49

Marginal note:Appointment of staff

  •  (1) The Chief Electoral Officer may authorize returning officers to appoint the staff that they consider necessary for the purposes of this Act.

  • Marginal note:Employment of staff

    (2) Staff mentioned in subsection (1) shall

    • (a) be appointed in the prescribed form;

    • (b) take the prescribed oath; and

    • (c) be discharged as soon as their services are no longer needed.

Notice of Election by Returning Officer

Marginal note:Notice of election

 Within four days after the issue of the writ, each returning officer shall sign and issue a Notice of Election in Form 2 of Schedule 1 that indicates

  • (a) the deadline for the receipt of nominations;

  • (b) the date for polling day;

  • (c) the date and time, not later than seven days after polling day, for the validation of results; and

  • (d) the address of the returning officer’s office.

Return by Acclamation

Marginal note:Return by acclamation

  •  (1) When, as of 2:00 p.m. on the 19th day before polling day, the returning officer has confirmed a nomination for only one candidate, the returning officer shall

    • (a) without delay declare the candidate elected by endorsing the return of the writ in the prescribed form on the back of the writ and returning it to the Chief Electoral Officer; and

    • (b) within 48 hours after the return of the writ, send a certified copy of it to the elected candidate.

  • Marginal note:Report with return

    (2) When the returning officer returns the writ to the Chief Electoral Officer, the returning officer shall include with it a report of the proceedings during the election period, including any nomination proposed and rejected for non-compliance with this Act.

 
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