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2013–14 Estimates – Performance Report

Judicial Proceedings (Concluded and Ongoing)


Concluded Proceedings

McEwing et al. v. Attorney General of Canada et al.
Burkhart v. Attorney General of Canada et al.
Ferance et al. v. Attorney General of Canada et al.
Reid v. Attorney General of Canada et al.
Parlee v. Attorney General of Canada et al.
Kafka v. Attorney General of Canada et al.


The applicants applied to the Federal Court to have the election in their respective electoral districts in the 41st general election declared null and void, on grounds that the results were allegedly affected by deceptive calls designed to mislead electors about the location of their polling sites. The electoral districts involved were Nipissing–Timiskaming (Ontario), Winnipeg South Centre (Manitoba), Elmwood–Transcona (Manitoba), Saskatoon–Rosetown–Biggar (Saskatchewan), Vancouver Island North (British Columbia) and Yukon.

On May 23, 2013, Justice Mosley rejected the applications, finding that while electoral fraud had occurred, the fraud was not on a sufficient scale to undermine the integrity of the results in the electoral districts concerned. No appeal was filed with the Supreme Court of Canada.

Little v. Chief Electoral Officer

On April 25, 2013, Mr. Little, official agent for elected candidate Jeff Watson in the electoral district of Essex, filed an application in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. The application sought relief from the Chief Electoral Officer's request that he file a corrected campaign finance return to include as election expenses the value of previously used election signs and the value of an unpaid telephone bill. Mr. Little subsequently filed the corrected return and abandoned his application.

Application of Shelly Glover, MP, under s. 459 of the Canada Elections Act

On May 24, 2013, Ms. Glover, MP for the electoral district of Saint Boniface, filed an application in the Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench. The application sought relief from the Chief Electoral Officer's request that she correct her campaign return for the 41st general election to reflect the full costs of signs used during that election. Ms. Glover has since filed the corrected return and has withdrawn her application.

Application of James Bezan, MP, under s. 459 of the Canada Elections Act

On May 24, 2013, Mr. Bezan, MP for the electoral district of Selkirk–Interlake, filed an application in the Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench. The application sought relief from the Chief Electoral Officer's request under s. 457(2) that he correct his campaign returns to reflect the full costs of billboards used during the 39th, 40th and 41st general elections, and to account for an MP householder sent out during the 41st general election. Following discussions respecting the proper way to account for the signs and householder, the Chief Electoral Officer accepted Mr. Bezan's returns for the 39th and 40th general elections. Mr. Bezan filed a corrected return for the 41st general election and withdrew his application.

Mourani and Lagacé v. Commission de délimitation des circonscriptions électorales fédérales pour le Québec et al.

On September 16, 2013, in the Federal Court, the applicants filed for judicial review of the Quebec federal electoral boundaries commission's decisions regarding two electoral districts in the Montréal area. The applicants alleged that the commission, in redrawing the boundaries, erroneously took into account demographic factors such as future population growth. Elections Canada was named as a party. The application was discontinued on October 25, 2013.

Ongoing Proceedings

Henry v. Canada (Attorney General)

On January 30, 2008, an action was filed in the Supreme Court of British Columbia by individuals and groups challenging the constitutionality of the new voter identification requirements in the Canada Elections Act. The applicants claimed that the requirements would prevent electors from exercising their right to vote, as guaranteed by section 3 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

On May 3, 2010, the judge ruled that, while the provisions of the Act that require electors to prove their identity and residence infringe the right to vote guaranteed by section 3 of the Charter, such a restriction is demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society. The validity of the provision at issue was therefore upheld.

The applicants appealed the decision and the appeal was heard by the British Columbia Court of Appeal on February 4, 2013. The appeal was dismissed by the British Columbia Court of Appeal on January 28, 2014. An application to the Supreme Court of Canada for leave to appeal was filed on April 1, 2014.

Klevering v. Attorney General of Canada et al.

The applicant alleged in the Federal Court that the results of the 41st general election in the electoral district of Guelph were affected by deceptive calls designed to mislead electors about the location of their polling sites. On September 19, 2013, the prothonotary dismissed the application on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence that the misleading calls affected the integrity of the results and because the application was filed past the 30-day deadline.

On February 18, 2014, after unsuccessfully attempting to file an appeal of the prothonotary's decision with the Supreme Court of Canada, the applicant filed a motion in Federal Court requesting an extension of time to file an appeal of the prothonotary's decision and appealing that decision. On March 25, 2014, Justice Roger Hughes granted a 10-day extension of time for the filing of the appeal, and the applicant filed his appeal within the deadline. On April 22, 2014, Justice Hughes dismissed the appeal on the grounds that the motion was either i) filed well out of time with no reasonable excuse for delay made out, or ii) an attempt to re-litigate the matter finally determined by the prothonotary and therefore improper.

On May 1, 2014, the applicant served a notice of appeal of Justice Hughes' decision to the Federal Court of Appeal.

Wozenilek v. Elections Canada

Mr. Wozenilek claims before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal that Elections Canada treated him in an adverse differential manner because of his disability, which requires him to use a wheelchair. Specifically, Mr. Wozenilek alleges that the absence of an automatic door opening device at the returning office in his electoral district and at his polling site impaired his ability to vote. Mr. Wozenilek claims damages in the amount of $40,000 and requests that all returning offices and polling sites feature automatic door openers. The hearing will be held from August 24 to 29, 2014.

East v. Elections Canada

Mr. East claims that Elections Canada treated him in an adverse differential manner because he is blind. Mr. East alleges, among other things, that Elections Canada failed during the 2011 general election to provide a process that allowed him to vote independently and in secrecy. The matter has been referred to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal by the Canadian Human Rights Commission. No hearing date has been set.

In a few other cases, Elections Canada is the defendant or respondent in proceedings arising from incidents that occurred during previous elections. These cases are following their normal course through the courts.