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Report of the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada on the 39th General Election of January 23, 2006


Appendix II – Civil Suits Related to the 38th General Election, 2004


Case Description

Stevens v. Conservative Party of Canada and the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada

On December 7, 2003, the Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance and the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada filed an application with the Chief Electoral Officer to register their merger pursuant to section 400 of the Canada Elections Act. The Chief Electoral Officer reviewed this application that day and replaced the names of the two former parties with that of the Conservative Party of Canada in the Registry of Political Parties.

Mr. Sinclair Stevens sought judicial review of the Chief Electoral Officer's decision. On November 19, 2004, the Federal Court dismissed the application for judicial review and held that the Chief Electoral Officer had exercised his discretion properly in finding that the merger application complied with the statutory requirements as to form. It stated, however, that the Chief Electoral Officer should have waited 30 days before approving the merger, pursuant to sections 400 and 401 of the Canada Elections Act, but that this error had had no material effect in this case because no writ for an election had been issued during this time.

Mr. Stevens appealed to the Federal Court of Appeal, which dismissed his appeal in a decision rendered on November 17, 2005. Mr. Stevens sought leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, which refused to hear the appeal on April 27, 2006.

Goddard v. Burley, Kramp, Conservative Party of Canada, Quinte Living Centre and Elections Canada

An elector fell out of her wheelchair in the electoral district of Prince Edward–Hastings on polling day, June 28, 2004, and required medical assistance as a result of the fall.

A claim was filed against Elections Canada, the volunteer who assisted the elector, the Conservative candidate who supplied the assistance of the volunteer to the elector and the Conservative Party. The owner of the building where the incident took place was eventually added.

Counsel representing the Conservative Party, the Conservative candidate and the volunteer settled the claim, with the liability to be apportioned between all defendants at a later date.

Jobateh v. Ontario (Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services), Her Majesty The Queen in Right of Ontario, the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada and Elections Canada

An incarcerated elector in Ontario has brought a class-action lawsuit against the Chief Electoral Officer and the Government of Ontario for $31.5 million on behalf of himself and other incarcerated electors who claim that they were denied their right to vote in the 38th general election.

The plaintiff claims that he gave several written requests to vote to prison guards at the Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay, Ontario. Allegedly, these requests were not passed on by the guards to the prison liaison officer, or alternatively were not acted upon by the liaison officer. The plaintiff alleges that, as a result, he lost his right to vote. The plaintiff also claims that two other inmates at the Central East Correctional Centre, and one inmate at the Owen Sound Jail in Owen Sound, Ontario, were also denied their right to vote in a similar fashion.

The court action is set to commence in the summer of 2006.

Others

Four other minor claims were made against Elections Canada. Three were resolved and one abandoned.