Reform Act, 2014 (S.C. 2015, c. 37)

Assented to 2015-06-23

Reform Act, 2014

S.C. 2015, c. 37

Assented to 2015-06-23

An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and the Parliament of Canada Act (candidacy and caucus reforms)

SUMMARY

This enactment amends the Canada Elections Act to provide that the chief agent of every party is to report, in writing, to the Chief Electoral Officer the names of the person or persons authorized by the party to endorse prospective candidates.

It also amends the Parliament of Canada Act to establish processes for the expulsion and readmission of a caucus member, the election and removal of a caucus chair, leadership reviews, and the election of an interim leader, and to provide that these processes apply to party caucuses that vote to adopt them.

Preamble

Whereas Members of Parliament are elected by their constituents to represent them in the Parliament of Canada;

Whereas the leadership of political parties must maintain the confidence of their caucuses;

And whereas, in Canada, the executive branch of government is accountable to the legislative branch in accordance with the concept of responsible government, which is the foundation of the Westminster system of parliamentary democracy;

Now, therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

SHORT TITLE

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Reform Act, 2014.

2000, c. 9CANADA ELECTIONS ACT

  •  (1) Paragraph 67(4)(c) of the Canada Elections Act is replaced by the following:

    • (c) if applicable, an instrument in writing, signed by the person or persons authorized by the political party to endorse prospective candidates that states that the prospective candidate is endorsed by the party.

  • (2) Section 67 of the Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (4):

    • Marginal note:Report

      (5) The chief agent of every political party shall, in writing, no later than 25 days before polling day, report to the Chief Electoral Officer the names of the person or persons who are authorized by the party to endorse prospective candidates.

 Subsection 383(2) of the Act is replaced by the following:

  • Marginal note:Endorsement of candidates

    (2) A registered party and an eligible party shall include with the statement or report referred to in subsection (1) a statement certified by its chief agent that sets out the names of the person or persons who are authorized by the party to endorse prospective candidates at a general election.

R.S., c. P-1PARLIAMENT OF CANADA ACT

 The Parliament of Canada Act is amended by adding the following after section 49:

Division C.1Caucuses

Definition of “caucus”

49.1 In this Division, “caucus” means a group composed solely of members of the House of Commons who are members of the same recognized party.

Marginal note:Expulsion of caucus member

49.2 A member of a caucus may only be expelled from it if

  • (a) the caucus chair has received a written notice signed by at least 20% of the members of the caucus requesting that the member’s membership be reviewed; and

  • (b) the expulsion of the member is approved by secret ballot by a majority of all caucus members.

Marginal note:Readmission of member

49.3 A member of the House of Commons who has been expelled from the caucus of a party may only be readmitted to the caucus

  • (a) if the member is re-elected to the House of Commons as a candidate for that party; or

  • (b) if

    • (i) the caucus chair has received a written notice signed by at least 20% of the members of the caucus requesting the member’s readmission to the caucus, and

    • (ii) the readmission of the member is approved by a majority vote by secret ballot of the members of that caucus who are present at a meeting of the caucus.

Marginal note:Election of chair
  • 49.4 (1) After every general election or following the death, incapacity, resignation or removal of the chair of a caucus in accordance with subsection (2), a chair shall be elected by a majority vote by secret ballot of the members of that caucus who are present at a meeting of the caucus.

  • Marginal note:Removal of caucus chair

    (2) The chair of the caucus of a party may only be removed if

    • (a) the chair has received a written notice signed by at least 20% of the caucus members requesting that the occupancy of the chair be reviewed; and

    • (b) the removal of the chair is approved by secret ballot by a majority of all caucus members.

  • Marginal note:Senior caucus member

    (3) Any vote that is taken under subsection (1) or (2) shall be presided over by the caucus member with the longest period of unbroken service in the House of Commons as determined by reference to the Canada Gazette.

Definition of “leadership review”

  • 49.5 (1) In this section, “leadership review” means a process to endorse or replace the leader of a party.

  • Marginal note:Leadership review

    (2) If a written notice to call a leadership review signed by at least 20% of the members of a party’s caucus is submitted to the chair of the caucus, the chair shall order that a secret ballot vote be taken among the members of the caucus to conduct a leadership review.

  • Marginal note:Notice made public

    (3) The chair of the caucus shall make public the content of the written notice immediately upon receipt.

  • Marginal note:Interim leader

    (4) If a majority of the caucus members vote to replace the leader of the party, the chair of the caucus shall immediately order that a second vote be taken by secret ballot to appoint a person to serve as the interim leader of the party until a new leader has been duly elected by the party.

Marginal note:Replacement of leader

49.6 In the case of the death, incapacity or resignation of the leader of a party, an interim leader shall be elected as soon as possible and in accordance with subsection 49.5(4).

Marginal note:Bar against judicial review

49.7 Any determination of a matter relating to the internal operations of a party by the caucus, a committee of the caucus or the caucus chair is final and not subject to judicial review.

Marginal note:Vote
  • 49.8 (1) At its first meeting following a general election, the caucus of every party that has a recognized membership of 12 or more persons in the House of Commons shall conduct a separate vote among the caucus members in respect of each of the following questions:

    • (a) whether sections 49.2 and 49.3 are to apply in respect of the caucus;

    • (b) whether section 49.4 is to apply in respect of the caucus;

    • (c) whether subsections 49.5(1) to (3) are to apply in respect of the caucus; and

    • (d) whether subsection 49.5(4) and section 49.6 are to apply in respect of the caucus.

  • Marginal note:Senior caucus member

    (2) Each vote, and any debate relating to the vote that may precede it, are to be presided over by the caucus member with the longest period of unbroken service in the House of Commons as determined by reference to the Canada Gazette.

  • Marginal note:Recorded vote

    (3) The vote of each caucus member, in each vote, is to be recorded.

  • Marginal note:Majority required

    (4) The provisions referred to in each of paragraphs (1)(a) to (d) apply only if a majority of all caucus members vote in favour of their applicability.

  • Marginal note:Notice to Speaker

    (5) As soon as feasible after the conduct of the votes, the chair of the caucus shall inform the Speaker of the House of Commons of the outcome of each vote.

  • Marginal note:Effect of votes

    (6) The outcome of each vote is binding on the caucus until the next dissolution of Parliament.

COMING INTO FORCE

Marginal note:Coming into force

 This Act comes into force seven days after the day on which the next general election following the day on which this Act receives royal assent is held.

COORDINATING AMENDMENTS

Marginal note:Bill C-23
  •  (1) Subsections (2) and (3) apply if Bill C-23, introduced in the 2nd session of the 41st Parliament and entitled An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and other Acts and to make consequential amendments to certain Acts (in this section referred to as the “other Act”), receives royal assent.

  • (2) On the first day on which both section 2 of this Act and section 27 of the other Act are in force, paragraph 67(4)(c) of the Canada Elections Act is replaced by the following:

    • (c) if applicable, an instrument in writing, signed by the person or persons authorized by the political party to endorse prospective candidates that states that the prospective candidate is endorsed by the party.

  • (3) On the first day on which both section 3 of this Act and section 86 of the other Act are in force, subsection 406(2) of the Canada Elections Act is replaced by the following:

    • Marginal note:Endorsement of candidates

      (2) A registered party and an eligible party shall include with the statement or report referred to in subsection (1) a statement certified by its chief agent that sets out the names of the person or persons who are authorized by the party to endorse prospective candidates at a general election.

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