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Meeting Summary – General Meeting – December 45, 2014

ACPP Forward Agenda and Open Forum

Belaineh Deguefé provided an overview of EC's plans for consultation with political parties through the ACPP and OGI committees. A forward agenda for engagement with the ACPP, and more specifically the OGI Steering Committee, was provided.

EC will prepare a list of primary representatives for OGIs and will circulate it to all official delegates for ACPP meetings. The next ACPP meeting will be in June 2015. Potential agenda items include providing updates on the OGI Steering Committee and a half-day meeting with the Broadcasting Arbitrator.

Summaries of both meetings, in October and December, will be shared and posted on the website with the ACPP terms of reference.

Open forum

A member commented that the Broadcasting Arbitrator meeting is not useful to small parties, and that time could be better spent discussing the challenges of operating within the new legislation, and what the ACPP could do.

Another member commented that a technical briefing on political financing is a good idea. It would help to have background on what was brought forward in the legislation –– what was the logic of the returns, when they were introduced, what serves the electors –– as a framework to have an informed discussion.

Members found the opportunity to have the CRTC and the Commissioner of Canada Elections present very useful, and there was a request to have the Privacy Commissioner present as well. Mr. Mayrand replied that this is something EC might consider, but that political parties are not subject to privacy laws.

Another proposed topic for further discussion is what tools can be considered that would benefit smaller parties.

Concern was expressed about the timelines for implementing the new electoral districts and polling divisions. Members were assured that EC's new polling divisions were 95 percent done, and that this work will be completed in winter 2015. EC does not have to provide lists of electors, but in spring 2015 it will provide the annual electoral list with the concordance table under the new electoral maps.

Mr. Mayrand thanked participants for coming prepared, participating actively and offering useful input. ACPP members were provided with a lot of material and will need time to get through it all. EC will prepare a summary of discussions and post it on the website, along with a brief summary of ACPP activities. There is a high level of interest in the activities of the Committee, particularly now that it is recognized in the legislation.