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

Act current to 2017-11-20 and last amended on 2016-01-01. Previous Versions

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.

Compliance Agreements

Marginal note:Compliance agreements
  •  (1) Subject to subsection (7), if the Commissioner believes on reasonable grounds that a person has committed, is about to commit or is likely to commit an act or omission that could constitute an offence under this Act, the Commissioner may enter into a compliance agreement, aimed at ensuring compliance with this Act, with that person (in this section and sections 518 to 521 called the “contracting party”).

  • Marginal note:Terms and conditions

    (2) A compliance agreement may contain any terms and conditions that the Commissioner considers necessary to ensure compliance with this Act.

  • Marginal note:Obligations of Commissioner

    (3) Before entering into a compliance agreement, the Commissioner shall

    • (a) advise the prospective contracting party of the right to be represented by counsel and give him or her an opportunity to obtain counsel; and

    • (b) obtain the consent of the prospective contracting party to the publication of the agreement under section 521.

  • Marginal note:Admission of responsibility

    (4) A compliance agreement may include a statement by the contracting party in which he or she admits responsibility for the act or omission that constitutes the offence.

  • Marginal note:Inadmissible in evidence

    (5) The fact that a compliance agreement was entered into, and any statement referred to in subsection (4), is not admissible in evidence against the contracting party in any civil or criminal proceedings.

  • Marginal note:Effect of compliance agreement — no referral

    (6) If a matter has not yet been referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions when a compliance agreement is entered into, no such referral may be made for an act or omission that led to the agreement unless there is non-compliance with it.

  • Marginal note:Matter that has been referred

    (7) If a matter has already been referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions, whether or not a prosecution has been initiated, the Director may — if, after consultation with the Commissioner, the Director considers that a compliance agreement would better serve the public interest — remit the matter back to the Commissioner so that it may be so dealt with.

  • Marginal note:Effect of compliance agreement

    (8) When a compliance agreement is entered into, any prosecution of the contracting party for an act or omission that led to it is suspended and, unless there is non-compliance with it, the Director of Public Prosecutions may not institute such a prosecution.

  • Marginal note:Renegotiation

    (9) The Commissioner and the contracting party may renegotiate the terms of the compliance agreement at the request of the Commissioner or contracting party at any time before it is fully executed.

  • Marginal note:Copy to be provided

    (10) The Commissioner shall provide the contracting party with a copy of a compliance agreement, without delay after it is entered into or renegotiated under subsection (9). If the matter has been referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Commissioner shall also provide a copy of the compliance agreement to the Director.

  • 2000, c. 9, s. 517;
  • 2001, c. 21, s. 25(E);
  • 2006, c. 9, s. 133.
Marginal note:If agreement complied with
  •  (1) If the Commissioner is of the opinion that the compliance agreement has been complied with, the Commissioner shall cause a notice to that effect to be served on the contracting party. If the matter has been referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Commissioner shall also provide a copy of the notice to the Director.

  • Marginal note:Effect of notice

    (2) Service of the notice terminates any prosecution of the contracting party that is based on the act or omission in question and prevents the Commissioner from referring the matter to the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Director from instituting such a prosecution.

  • 2000, c. 9, s. 518;
  • 2006, c. 9, s. 134.
Marginal note:If agreement not complied with

 If the Commissioner is of the opinion that a contracting party has not complied with a compliance agreement, the Commissioner shall cause a notice of default to be served on the contracting party, informing him or her that, as the case may be, the Commissioner may refer the matter to the Director of Public Prosecutions for any action the Director considers appropriate or, if a prosecution was suspended by virtue of subsection 517(8), it may be resumed. If the matter has been referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Commissioner shall also provide a copy of the notice to the Director.

  • 2000, c. 9, s. 519;
  • 2006, c. 9, s. 134.
Marginal note:Dismissal of proceedings

 The court shall dismiss proceedings against a contracting party if it is satisfied on a balance of probabilities that he or she has totally complied with the compliance agreement or, in the case of partial compliance and taking into account the contracting party’s performance with respect to the agreement, is of the opinion that the proceedings would be unfair.

Marginal note:Publication

 The Commissioner shall publish, in the manner and form that he or she considers appropriate, a notice that sets out the contracting party’s name, the act or omission in question and the text — other than the parties’ signatures — of the compliance agreement.

  • 2000, c. 9, s. 521;
  • 2014, c. 12, s. 110.

Deregistration

Marginal note:Notice to party
  •  (1) If the Commissioner has reasonable grounds to suspect that a registered party does not have as one of its fundamental purposes participating in public affairs by endorsing one or more of its members as candidates and supporting their election, the Commissioner shall, in writing, notify the party that it is required to show that that is one of its fundamental purposes.

  • Marginal note:Court application

    (2) If, after giving the party a reasonable opportunity to show what its fundamental purposes are, the Commissioner still has reasonable grounds to suspect that the party does not have as one of its fundamental purposes the purpose described in subsection (1), the Commissioner may apply to a court described in subsection 525(1) for an order described in subsection (3).

  • Marginal note:Order

    (3) If the court is satisfied that the party does not have as one of its fundamental purposes the purpose described in subsection (1), the court shall, by order, direct the Chief Electoral Officer to deregister the party and it may

    • (a) direct the chief agent — or another person specified by the court — to liquidate the party’s assets; and

    • (b) if it directs liquidation under paragraph (a), direct the financial agent of each registered association — or another person specified by the court — to liquidate the registered association’s assets.

  • Marginal note:Onus on party

    (4) The onus of satisfying the court that one of its fundamental purposes is the purpose described in subsection (1) is on the party.

  • Marginal note:Factors

    (5) In making its decision, the court shall consider all of the factors relevant to determining the party’s purposes, including, as applicable, the following:

    • (a) the party’s constitution, articles of incorporation, letters patent or by-laws or any other information that may indicate those purposes;

    • (b) the party’s political program, annual report to members, fundraising plan, advertising material and policy statements;

    • (c) the nature and extent of the activities of the party and its registered associations and candidates, including the nature and extent of their involvement in electoral campaigns and any of their public statements in support of another political party or a candidate of another political party;

    • (d) the funds received by the party and its registered associations and candidates, their sources and how they are used by the party, including as election expenses;

    • (e) interactions of the party with other entities that are not recognized political parties under the laws of any province that may indicate that it is under the control, direct or indirect, of another entity or that the party is using its status as a registered party primarily for the purpose of providing financial assistance to another entity; and

    • (f) whether the party is a non-profit entity.

  • Marginal note:Exemption

    (6) If, in the court’s opinion, the public interest and the need to ensure fairness of the electoral process warrant it, the court may, on application, exempt the party and its registered associations from the application of subsection 127(3.3) of the Income Tax Act. If an exemption is granted, the court may impose any conditions on the activities of the party, registered association or candidate that it considers appropriate.

  • Marginal note:Liquidation

    (7) If a chief agent, a financial agent or a person specified by the court is, under subsection (3), directed to liquidate, they shall carry out the liquidation in accordance with subsections 501(4) to (7).

  • 2004, c. 24, s. 23.
 
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