Meeting Summary – Annual General Meeting of June 13–14, 2013
ACPP Forward Agenda and Open Forum
Belaineh Deguefé (Deputy Chief Electoral Officer, Policy, Planning and Public Affairs) provided an overview of Elections Canada’s upcoming plans for engaging and consulting with political parties. A forward calendar for engagement with ACPP was provided.
Initiatives for which ACPP engagement is planned include the new voting services model, special voting rules expansion and voter identification policy in fall 2013. Others that are planned include feedback on discussion papers related to enforcement, bilateral meetings with parties to discuss how they update their lists with data provided by Elections Canada, review/redesign of forms used by political parties and electoral district associations for reporting, and election advertising on the Internet. There is also the possibility of consultations related to aspects of the Compliance Action Plan (forms and procedures) and, as mentioned by the CEO during his report to members, a workshop with the CRTC and Office of the Privacy Commissioner.
Several members commented that party and candidate promotional activities may begin before the writ as a result of the fixed election date. Elections Canada indicated that it is planning to hold discussions with parties on this subject in late 2014 or early 2015.
Issues surrounding the sharing of lists of electors with political parties by Elections Canada, and associated privacy considerations and concerns, were raised by members.
Members suggested that time should be set aside when new electoral legislation is announced, to consider impacts on political parties, and that interested parties should form a working group to study the new legislation.
Other suggestions by members included:
- Explore and hold meetings on online services, an open-source action plan and electoral reform.
- Remove the requirement that a candidate have a bank account because it presents an unfair burden on small parties.
- Hold further discussions about the regulatory burden on smaller parties.