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Judicial Recount handbook

7. Costs and Expenses

7.1 Costs

7.1.1 Security for Costs; Recount on Application of Elector

The Act does not set out any cost provisions for automatic recounts.

Where an elector has applied for a recount, the applicant must pay into court the sum of $250 as security for the costs of the candidate who obtained the largest number of votes. [301(3)]

The money deposited as security for costs must, as far as is necessary, be paid out to the candidate in whose favour costs are awarded. If the deposit is not sufficient to cover the costs awarded, the party who was awarded costs has their action for the balance.

If a recount requested by an elector does not alter the result so as to affect the return, the judge shall:

7.2 Returning Officer and Electoral Personnel Expenses

The returning officer, field liaison officer, handler, recorder and clerical assistants who assist at the recount are paid pursuant to the Federal Elections Fees Tariff an amount per hour for attendance and service at a recount, as certified by the judge who conducts the recount. [542(1), Item 52 of the Tariff]

The returning officer should complete a time sheet, ensure that each person who requested to assist with the recount has completed a time sheet and ensure that the judge has certified all of the time sheets. The Time Sheet (Recount) form should be used for this purpose. This form is reproduced in Appendix E (Form 6) of this handbook.

If it appears to the Chief Electoral Officer that the fees, costs, allowances and expenses provided for by the tariff are not sufficient remuneration for the services required to be performed in an election or that a claim for any necessary service performed or for materials supplied for or in an election is not covered by the tariff, the Chief Electoral Officer may authorize the payment of any sum or additional sum for the services or materials that he or she considers just and reasonable. [542(4)]

7.3 Reimbursement of Candidates' Costs

7.3.1 Application

Regardless of the outcome of the recount, a candidate may make an application to the Chief Electoral Officer for a reimbursement of his or her costs in respect of the recount. [310(1)]

The application must set out the amount and nature of the costs and whether they were actually and reasonably incurred. [310(1)] The Application for Reimbursement of Costs at a Judicial Recount should be used for this purpose. This form is set out in Appendix E (Form 7) in this handbook.

In addition, evidence of having incurred the expense in question (such as receipts) should be provided.

The types of cost that could be the subject of such an application include, for example, preparation for the recount, travel, meals and legal fees.

The Act does not require that amounts reimbursed by the Chief Electoral Officer under section 310 of the Act be deducted from costs awarded pursuant to section 309 of the Act as both provisions operate independently. The Chief Electoral Officer leaves it to the discretion of the court to consider or not the costs reimbursed to a candidate by the Chief Electoral Officer under section 310 of the Act in calculating costs under section 309.

7.3.2 Amount of Reimbursement

Upon receipt of such an application, the Chief Electoral Officer must determine the costs and make a request for reimbursement to the Receiver General for Canada for that amount, up to a maximum of $500 per day or part of a day during which the judge conducted the recount. [310(2)]

A "day" in this provision refers to a calendar day of 24 hours beginning at midnight. The hours and duration of the recount are set out in the Act, subject to the discretion of the judge. [305] The conduct of a recount does not follow the hours for court sitting days. Therefore, if a recount on a given day continues into the evening, it is still the same day, but if it continues past midnight, it has begun the next day.

7.3.3 Electoral Campaign Expense

The amount of any costs incurred for a judicial recount that has not been reimbursed by the Receiver General is an electoral campaign expense of a candidate. [375(c)]