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

Full Document:  

Act current to 2019-03-27 and last amended on 2019-01-19. Previous Versions

PART 2Chief Electoral Officer and Staff (continued)

Chief Electoral Officer (continued)

Marginal note:Powers and duties of Chief Electoral Officer

 The Chief Electoral Officer shall

  • (a) exercise general direction and supervision over the conduct of elections;

  • (b) ensure that all election officers act with fairness and impartiality and in compliance with this Act;

  • (c) issue to election officers the instructions that the Chief Electoral Officer considers necessary for the administration of this Act; and

  • (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.

  • 2000, c. 9, s. 16;
  • 2014, c. 12, s. 4.

Marginal note:Guidelines and interpretation notes

  •  (1) The Chief Electoral Officer shall, in accordance with this section, issue guidelines and interpretation notes on the application of this Act — other than Division 1.1 of Part 16.1 — 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 — other than a provision of Division 1.1 of Part 16.1 — 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 45 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).

  • (5) and (6) [Repealed, 2018, c. 31, s. 9]

  • Marginal note:Issuance

    (7) The Chief Electoral Officer shall issue the guideline or interpretation note by registering it in the registry referred to in section 16.4 as soon as possible after preparing it.

  • 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.

  • 2014, c. 12, ss. 5, 153;
  • 2018, c. 31, s. 9.

Marginal note:Application for written opinion

  •  (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 — other than a provision of Division 1.1 of Part 16.1 — to an activity or practice that the registered party or a registered association, nomination contestant, candidate or 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 30 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 90 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 90-day period coincides or overlaps with the election period of a general election, the opinion and the notice shall be published no later than 90 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.

  • 2014, c. 12, ss. 5, 153;
  • 2018, c. 31, s. 10.

Marginal note:New interpretation

 If an opinion that is published under subsection 16.2(4) interprets a provision of the Act in a way that contradicts an interpretation of that provision provided in a previously issued opinion, the new interpretation does not replace the former interpretation until the date that the new opinion is issued under section 16.2.

  • 2014, c. 12, s. 5;
  • 2018, c. 31, s. 11.

Marginal note:Registry

 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).

  • 2014, c. 12, s. 5.

Marginal note:Power to disclose documents and information

  •  (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.

  • 2014, c. 12, s. 5.1.

Marginal note:Power to adapt Act

  •  (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.

  • Marginal note:Emergency — extending voting hours

    (3) If voting at a polling station is interrupted on polling day by an emergency and the Chief Electoral Officer is satisfied that, if the voting hours at the polling station are not extended, a substantial number of electors will not be able to vote, the Chief Electoral Officer shall extend the voting hours at the polling station for the period the Chief Electoral Officer considers necessary to give those electors a reasonable opportunity to vote, as long as the polling station does not in any case

    • (a) close later than midnight on polling day; or

    • (b) remain open during polling day for a total of more than 12 hours.

  • 2000, c. 9, s. 17;
  • 2007, c. 21, s. 2;
  • 2014, c. 12, s. 6.

 [Repealed, 2018, c. 31, s. 13]

Marginal note:Public education and information programs

  •  (1) The Chief Electoral Officer may implement public education and information programs to make the electoral process better known to the public, particularly to those persons and groups most likely to experience difficulties in exercising their democratic rights.

  • Marginal note:Communication with public

    (1.1) The Chief Electoral Officer may, using any media or other means that he or she considers appropriate, provide the public, both inside and outside Canada, with information relating to Canada’s electoral process and the democratic rights to vote and to be a candidate.

  • Marginal note:Information outside Canada

    (1.2) The Chief Electoral Officer may establish programs to disseminate information outside Canada concerning how to vote under Part 11.

  • Marginal note:Communication with electors with a disability

    (2) The Chief Electoral Officer shall ensure that any information on the following that is provided under subsections (1) to (1.2) in an advertising message is accessible to electors with a disability:

    • (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 them 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 prove 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:Communication with future electors with a disability

    (2.1) If the Chief Electoral Officer provides, in an advertising message, any information under subsections (1) and (1.1) on how a future elector may have their name added to the Register of Future Electors and may have corrections made to information respecting them in that register, the Chief Electoral Officer shall ensure that the information is accessible to future electors with a disability.

  • 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.

  • 2000, c. 9, s. 18;
  • 2014, c. 12, s. 7;
  • 2018, c. 31, s. 14.
 
Date modified: