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Meeting Summary – Annual General Meeting of the Advisory Committee of Political Parties – June 21–22, 2010

Recommendations Report

Following a general election, Elections Canada produces a report recommending legislative changes to the Canada Elections Act. The intent of this report is to seek modifications to the Act that will improve the administration of the electoral process and keep pace with Canadians' evolving lives and needs.

The report, tabled in the House of Commons on June 9, 2010, is titled Responding to Changing Needs and refers to the evolving needs of both electors and political entities.

Chapter 1 looks at issues relating to the electoral process and changes that will make it more flexible and efficient while maintaining electors' trust and increasing accessibility. The second chapter deals with issues related to political financing, suggesting ways to improve the integrity and consistency of the current regime. Some of the proposals, if enacted, would reduce the administrative burden imposed on political entities governed by the Act. Chapter 3 addresses matters relating to the governance of the agency, and the final chapter contains a number of more technical or minor recommendations.

Chapter 1 – The Electoral Process

The central objective is to make the electoral process more accessible and efficient while maintaining the trust of electors. Highlights of the recommendations include:

Discussion with ACPP Members

Comments included the following:

Chapter 2 – Political Financing

The current federal political financing rules are anchored in the core values of transparency, integrity, fairness and accountability. Canadian legislators have long recognized the need to regulate the role of money in the democratic process. However, numerous reforms – most recently in 2003 and 2006 – have affected the coherence of the rules. Recommendations seek to improve the coherence and effectiveness of the regime by proposing additional control measures where they are currently lacking, while reducing the regulatory burden for political entities in areas where this can be achieved without compromising the integrity of the system.

Highlights of the recommendations include:

Discussion with ACPP Members

Comments included the following:

Chapter 3 – Governance

This chapter identified areas of governance related to the work of the agency and how it supports the implementation of the CEO's duties. The recommendations in this area cover three main themes: first, increasing the efficiency of the agency's activities through collaboration with other electoral bodies; second, modernizing the communications and exchanges provided for in the Act; and third, improving the management of human resources.

Highlights of the recommendations include:

Discussion with ACPP Members

Comments included the following: