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Meeting Summary – Annual General Meeting – June 20 and 21, 2016

Forward Calendar and Open Forum

Hughes St-Pierre, Acting Deputy Chief Electoral Officer, Integrated Services, Policy and Public Affairs, thanked members for their initial reflections and feedback on the proposed recommendations and reminded them to send their written comments and suggestions by July 6, 2016.

Mr. St-Pierre informed members that the annual list of electors will be completed in November 2016. Elections Canada will send out a reminder email and a request form to be filled out by parties. He also noted that the engagement on the VSM initiative began with the presentation from Jacques Mailloux, and that members should expect to be engaged again in the fall, once the agency has finalized its work plan. Mr. St-Pierre concluded by reminding members that Elections Canada is currently exploring options to develop and implement a candidate's portal for the next general election, and that members should expect to be engaged on the matter once the agency has a better sense of the project.

Proposed forward agenda items and open forum

ACPP members were invited to propose agenda items for the next meeting.

Elections Canada was asked if there would be a future opportunity for parties to discuss voter contact calling rules. Mr. St-Pierre assured members that this request was duly noted, and that maybe the issue should be addressed in a joint meeting with the CRTC. The CEO invited members to bring up their issues during the parliamentary hearing that usually follows the tabling of the recommendations report.

There were some questions on the Special Committee on Electoral Reform and whether Elections Canada plans to invite the Minister to meet with ACPP members. The CEO reiterated that the special committee is public and encouraged members to closely follow its work and debates by regularly visiting the special committee's website to stay up to date on the latest developments and on opportunities for engagement and consultation that may be offered.

Concerns were raised about Elections Canada's civic education mandate and its current restrictions, more specifically how it limits the agency to teach the general population on what considerations should be in their mind when looking at electoral platforms and proposals from different parties, and the electoral reform options, as new voters might need to be educated on more than voting procedures.

It was suggested that the current system under which the Broadcasting Arbitrator operates might be outdated and irrelevant in 2016.

Overall, members gave positive feedback on the sessions and panel discussion that occurred during this AGM, which helped them get a wide variety of perspectives on the last general election. They expressed their interest in having more panels and discussions at future meetings.