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