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Amendments to the Canada Elections Act

An Act providing for conflict of interest rules, restrictions on election financing and measures respecting administrative transparency, oversight and accountability (Federal Accountability Act) received royal assent on December 12, 2006. The new legislation makes several changes to the Canada Elections Act, including in the areas of contributions, the prosecution of electoral offences and the appointment of returning officers.

The new legislation reduces the limits on annual contributions to political entities. It also transfers the power to appoint and dismiss returning officers from the Governor in Council to the Chief Electoral Officer. In addition, authority for prosecuting offences under the Canada Elections Act is transferred from the Commissioner of Canada Elections to the Director of Public Prosecutions. The Commissioner retains responsibility over investigations and compliance agreements.

Some amendments to the Canada Elections Act will come into effect on June 12, 2007.