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

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Act current to 2019-02-28 and last amended on 2019-01-19. Previous Versions

PART 19Enforcement (continued)

Investigations and Prosecutions (continued)

Marginal note:Presiding officer

  •  (1) Any individual who is a barrister or advocate of at least ten years standing at the bar of a province, or who has been a barrister or advocate at the bar of a province for at least ten years, may be designated as a presiding officer.

  • Marginal note:Remuneration and expenses

    (2) A presiding officer is to be paid the remuneration fixed in the order designating them as such, and is entitled to be paid the travel and living expenses, incurred in the performance of their duties under this Act, in accordance with Treasury Board directives.

  • 2018, c. 31, s. 357.

Marginal note:Administration of oaths

  •  (1) The presiding officer may administer oaths for the purpose of examinations conducted under an order made under paragraph 510.01(1)(a).

  • Marginal note:Orders of presiding officer

    (2) A presiding officer may make any order that they consider to be proper for the conduct of an examination under an order made under paragraph 510.01(1)(a).

  • Marginal note:Examination to be in private

    (3) The examination before the presiding officer shall be conducted in private.

  • Marginal note:Application to judge

    (4) A judge may, on application by a presiding officer, order any individual to comply with an order made by the presiding officer under subsection (2).

  • Marginal note:Notice

    (5) No order may be made under subsection (4) unless the presiding officer has given the individual in respect of whom the order is sought and the Commissioner 24 hours’ notice of the hearing of the application for the order, or any shorter notice that the judge to whom the application is made considers reasonable.

  • 2018, c. 31, s. 357.

Marginal note:Confidentiality

  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), neither the Commissioner nor any person acting under his or her direction shall disclose any information relating to an investigation that comes to their knowledge in the exercise of their powers or the performance of their duties and functions under this Act, including information that reveals or from which may be inferred the name of the complainant, if any, the person whose conduct is being investigated or any witness.

  • Marginal note:Disclosure authorized

    (2) The Commissioner may disclose or may authorize any person acting under his or her direction to disclose

    • (a) with the consent of the person in question, the name of any of the following: the complainant, if any, the person whose conduct is being investigated and any witness;

    • (b) information that, in the Commissioner’s opinion, is necessary to carry out an investigation;

    • (c) when a matter is referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions under subsection 511(1), information that the Director of Public Prosecutions requires;

    • (d) information that is required to be disclosed in the course of a prosecution for an offence under this Act;

    • (e) information that is required to be disclosed under any other Act of Parliament;

    • (f) information that, in the Commissioner’s opinion, is necessary in order to enter into or renegotiate a compliance agreement; and

    • (g) information whose disclosure is, in the Commissioner’s opinion, in the public interest.

  • Marginal note:Public interest

    (3) For the purposes of paragraph (2)(g), the Commissioner shall take into consideration the effects of disclosure on

    • (a) the privacy rights of any person who is the subject of the disclosure;

    • (b) the right of the person under investigation to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law; and

    • (c) public confidence in the fairness of the electoral process.

  • 2014, c. 12, s. 108.

Marginal note:Director of Public Prosecutions may prosecute

  •  (1) If the Commissioner believes on reasonable grounds that an offence under this Act has been committed, the Commissioner may refer the matter to the Director of Public Prosecutions who shall decide whether to initiate a prosecution.

  • Marginal note:Information

    (2) If the Director decides to initiate a prosecution, the Director shall request the Commissioner to cause an information in writing and under oath or solemn declaration to be laid before a justice, as defined in section 2 of the Criminal Code.

  • Marginal note:Search and seizure

    (3) For the purposes of section 487 of the Criminal Code, any person charged by the Commissioner with duties relating to the administration or enforcement of this Act is deemed to be a public officer.

  • 2000, c. 9, s. 511;
  • 2003, c. 19, s. 62;
  • 2006, c. 9, s. 130.

Marginal note:Director’s consent required

  •  (1) No prosecution for an offence under this Act may be instituted by a person other than the Director of Public Prosecutions without the Director’s prior written consent.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to an offence in relation to which an election officer has taken measures under subsection 479(3).

  • Marginal note:Proof of consent

    (3) Every document purporting to be the Director’s consent under subsection (1) is deemed to be that consent unless it is called into question by the Director or by someone acting for the Director or for Her Majesty.

  • 2000, c. 9, s. 512;
  • 2006, c. 9, s. 131.

Marginal note:Commissioner may intervene

 The Commissioner, where he or she considers it to be in the public interest, may take any measures, including incurring any expenses, in relation to an inquiry, injunction or compliance agreement under this Act.

  • 2000, c. 9, s. 513;
  • 2006, c. 9, s. 132.

Marginal note:Limitation period

  •  (1) Proceedings in respect of an offence under a provision set out in subsection 500(1) may be commenced at any time within, but not later than, six years after the day on which the subject-matter of the proceedings arose.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (2) Despite subsection (1), if a prosecution cannot be instituted because the offender has left the jurisdiction of the court, the prosecution may be instituted within one year after the offender’s return.

  • Marginal note:No limitation period

    (3) Proceedings in respect of an offence under a provision set out in any of subsections 500(2) to (5) may be commenced at any time.

  • 2000, c. 9, s. 514;
  • 2003, c. 19, s. 63;
  • 2006, c. 9, s. 59;
  • 2014, c. 12, s. 109.

Marginal note:Allowance of costs

  •  (1) Any court of criminal jurisdiction before which a private prosecution is instituted for an offence against this Act may order payment by the defendant to the prosecutor of such costs and expenses as appear to the court to have been reasonably incurred in and about the conduct of the prosecution.

  • Marginal note:Prior recognizance required

    (2) A court shall not make an order under subsection (1) unless the prosecutor, before or on the laying of the information, enters into a recognizance with two sufficient sureties, in the amount of $500, and to the satisfaction of the court, to conduct the prosecution with effect and to pay the defendant’s costs in case of acquittal.

  • Marginal note:Costs of defendant

    (3) In case of an information by a private prosecutor for an offence against this Act, if judgment is given for the defendant, the defendant is entitled to recover from the prosecutor the costs incurred by the defendant by reason of the proceedings, which costs shall be taxed by the proper officer of the court in which the judgment is given.

Injunctions

Marginal note:Application for injunction

  •  (1) If the Commissioner has reasonable grounds to believe that a person has committed, is about to commit or is likely to commit an act or omission that is contrary to this Act, the Commissioner may, during an election period, after taking into account the nature and seriousness of the act or omission, the need to ensure fairness of the electoral process and the public interest, apply to a competent court described in subsection 525(1) for an injunction described in subsection (2).

  • Marginal note:Injunction

    (2) If the court, on application by the Commissioner under subsection (1), is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe that a person has committed, is about to commit or is likely to commit an act or omission that is contrary to this Act, and that the nature and seriousness of the act or omission, the need to ensure fairness of the electoral process and the public interest justify the issuing of an injunction, the court may issue an injunction ordering any person named in the application to do one or both of the following:

    • (a) refrain from committing any act that it appears to the court is contrary to this Act; and

    • (b) do any act that it appears to the court is required by this Act.

  • Marginal note:Notice

    (3) No injunction may be issued under subsection (2) unless at least 48 hours notice is given to each person named in the application or the urgency of the situation is such that service of notice would not be in the public interest.

 
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