Meeting Summary – Annual General Meeting – October 11–12, 2012
9) ACPP Forward Agenda, Engagement Calendar and Open Forum
In light of the number of new meeting participants, the ACPP Terms of Reference were distributed and Belaineh Deguefé (Deputy Chief Electoral Officer, Policy, Planning and Public Affairs) explained how Elections Canada communicates with ACPP:
- E-mail advisories for ongoing developments of interest;
- Teleconferences when a general election or by-election is called (If there is not much to report for a by-election, an e-mail may be sent instead. Members should, however, expect a brief teleconference for upcoming by-elections); and
- Meetings and workshops to discuss issues or seek advice.
Mr. Deguefé also referred to the engagement calendar distributed to members, which summarizes the draft timelines for ACPP engagement and consultation. Attention was drawn to the tight time frames of some of the activities, in part driven by parliamentary commitments. Initiatives where ACPP engagement is planned include the Compliance Review Technical Expert Group, the Issues Arising from Improper Telecommunications with Electors discussion paper and the Candidates' Handbook. Engagement around initiatives for 2015 may also take place; however, the timing and nature are to be determined, as many initiatives are still in the exploratory stages. The list of follow-up items from the meeting was reviewed with participants.
Several members commented and enquired about a case involving allegations of improper contributions. As this is the subject of an ongoing investigation, Elections Canada could not comment.
The removal of the quarterly subsidies to parties was seen by one member as a mistake, as voters should be able to directly influence the disbursement of public funds as a form of public participation, to show their support. It was felt that more funding should be provided in this manner.
ACPP members were invited to provide input on the ACPP's forward agenda. The following topics were suggested:
- Opportunity to include candidates' pictures on ballots as a means to assist electors.
- The foundation for the bingo card system and allowing parties to know who has voted; this is seen by some members as a violation of privacy.