Amendments to the Canada Elections Act
An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and the Income Tax Act (formerly Bill C-3) took effect on May 15, 2004.
The amending Act was introduced in response to the 2003 ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada in Figueroa v. Canada (Attorney General). In that decision, the court struck down the provisions in the Canada Elections Act restricting registration to political parties that endorse at least 50 candidates in a general election. Under the new provisions, any party that has complied with various administrative requirements set out in the Act and that endorses at least one confirmed candidate in a general election or by-election is allowed to be registered under the Canada Elections Act. For the first time, the Act defines a political party: “an organization one of whose fundamental purposes is to participate in public affairs by endorsing one or more of its members as candidates and supporting their election.” It introduces new registration requirements for parties, accountability measures, and offences that could result in the deregistration of a party.