2015–16 Departmental Performance Report
Judicial Proceedings (Concluded and Ongoing)
Klevering v. Attorney General of Canada et al.
The applicant alleged in 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 of the Federal Court 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 April 22, 2014, Justice Hughes of the Federal Court dismissed an appeal by the applicant. The applicant subsequently appealed to the Federal Court of Appeal. That appeal was dismissed on June 23, 2015. On December 17, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal.
East v. Elections Canada
Mr. East claimed that Elections Canada treated him in an adverse differential manner because he is blind. Mr. East alleged, 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 was referred to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal by the Canadian Human Rights Commission. The parties reached a settlement agreement on December 17, 2015.
Rae v. Elections Canada
Mr. Rae claimed that Elections Canada treated him in an adverse differential manner because he is blind, namely that Elections Canada failed to provide a process that allowed Mr. Rae to vote independently and in secrecy during the 2013 by-election in the Toronto Centre electoral district. The matter was referred to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal by the Canadian Human Rights Commission. The parties reached a settlement agreement on October 18, 2015.
Skoptik v. Walton & the Commissioner of Canada Elections et al.
Mr. Skoptik's application for nomination as a candidate in the 42nd general election was refused on the basis that necessary signatures were not provided. Mr. Skoptik filed an application challenging the rejection of his nomination application in the Supreme Court of British Columbia on October 16, 2015. The matter was struck by the Court on March 9, 2016.
Bryar v. Elections Canada
Prior to the 2015 general election, Mr. Bryar filed multiple applications in Federal Court, primarily requesting that advance polling days and polling day itself be delayed. The first two applications were rejected by the Federal Court on October 7 and 8, 2015, both on the basis of procedural deficiencies and on the merits. A third application was filed but was not served on Elections Canada in the manner required by the Federal Court Rules. The application was discontinued in January 2016.
Shebib v. The Queen and others
This action was filed in Federal Court on October 16, 2015. In his statement of claim, Mr. Shebib challenged certain requirements of the candidate nomination process. The matter was struck by the Federal Court on May 12, 2016.
Frank & Duong v. Attorney General of Canada
On May 18, 2012, the applicants challenged the constitutionality of the provisions of the Canada Elections Act which prohibit Canadian citizens residing outside Canada for five consecutive years or more from voting by special ballot in a federal election. On May 2, 2014, Justice Penny of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice found the provisions in question to be unconstitutional. On July 20, 2015, the Ontario Court of Appeal overturned the lower court ruling. The Chief Electoral Officer participated in the matter as an intervenor. The applicants sought and received leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. The hearing will take place on February 16, 2017.
The Council of Canadians, The Canadian Federation of Students, Jessica McCormick, Peggy Walsh Craig, and Sandra McEwing v. Attorney General of Canada
On October 9, 2014, the applicants challenged the constitutionality of An Act to Amend the Canada Elections Act and other Acts and to make consequential amendments to certain Acts (the Fair Elections Act) in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. They alleged that, in breach of section 3 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the Charter), certain provisions place unreasonable restrictions on identification requirements, restrict the authority of the Chief Electoral Officer to provide public education programs, and eliminate the Chief Electoral Officer's authority regarding enforcement and compliance activities. In addition, the applicants alleged that contrary to section 15 of the Charter, the Fair Elections Act denies electors an equal opportunity to vote. On March 16, 2015, the applicants filed for an injunction requesting a stay of the operation of certain provisions of the Fair Elections Act. The motion requesting the stay was denied on July 17, 2015, and the Divisional Court of the Ontario Superior Court refused on August 5, 2015, to grant leave to appeal the denial. The original application continues. Elections Canada is participating as an intervenor.
Sylvain Larocque c. Jody Wilson-Raybould et al.
This application was filed on November 24, 2015. The applicant contests the outcome of the election in the electoral district of Salaberry–Suroît under section 524 of the Canada Elections Act. Specifically, Mr. Larocque alleges that the redistribution of the boundaries of the electoral district of Salaberry–Suroît was unconstitutional. The matter is in preliminary stages. Elections Canada intends to file a motion to dismiss the application. No hearing date has been set yet.
Szuchewycz v. Attorney General
This application was filed in the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench on November 13, 2015. In his statement of claim, Mr. Szuchewycz, who failed to meet the requirements to run as a candidate in Calgary Heritage in the 42nd general election, challenges a number of provisions of the Canada Elections Act related to the candidate nomination process on the ground that they violate his rights guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Elections Canada is not named as a party. The application was scheduled to be heard October 13–14, 2016, but the hearing has been postponed at the request of the applicant and no new hearing date has been set.