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Meeting Summary – Annual General Meeting – October 11–12, 2012

1) Electoral Boundary Readjustment Process

François Faucher (Senior Director, Electoral Redistribution) gave an update on the electoral boundary readjustment process. A copy of the presentation was provided.

Discussion

Several questions were raised regarding the timing and process for the registration of electoral district associations (EDAs) under the new boundaries:

Stéphane Perrault (Deputy Chief Electoral Officer, Legal Services) indicated that new EDAs should register now under the existing riding name, and Elections Canada can provide assistance in the re-registration process later. He indicated that the CEA does not address the issue of multiple EDAs within the same riding. Elections Canada will need to discuss the issue of re-registering individual versus multiple EDAs.

Questions were raised regarding how parties are advised when each commission's report has been tabled in Parliament (which triggers the 30-day period for objections to be filed by members of Parliament) and what oversight mechanism exists to ensure the 30-day period is respected. Mr. Faucher noted that Elections Canada is not involved in that process. He further noted that as each report is received, digital maps of the proposed new boundaries will be made available to political parties; however, this is not an indication that the report has been tabled. Elections Canada committed to advising parties as each report is tabled in Parliament.

In response to several questions and comments, it was clarified that the number of representations made to commissions (2,087) includes those made by people who requested to appear and does not include written submissions. Written submissions made in lieu of appearing are read aloud by the commissioner during the hearing. Often, there are written transcripts for hearings, and these can be made available upon request. Concern was expressed regarding the timing of the commission's hearings in Quebec, which took place during the provincial election, potentially limiting representations. A request made to the Quebec Commission to delay them was not accepted. The CEO indicated that the commissions are dealing with strict statutory deadlines and may not have been able to honour requests. He added that post-mortems will be held with the commissions after the redistribution exercise, to discuss any issues.

In response to comments regarding the allocation of new seats, the CEO indicated that neither Elections Canada nor the commissioners have jurisdiction regarding the number of seats or provincial allocation; their role solely pertains to distribution within provinces.

Follow-up items