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Report of the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada on the 40th General Election of October 14, 2008


Appendix 3: By-elections

March 17, 2008 by-elections held in Desnethé–Missinippi–Churchill River, Toronto Centre, Vancouver Quadra and Willowdale

Four vacancies in the House of Commons precipitated the March 2008 by-elections.

Shortly before the issue of the writs, the Chief Electoral Officer held a teleconference call with members of the Advisory Committee of Political Parties to review material on Elections Canada's approach to particular issues or aspects of the Act, and discuss key initiatives and implications for the by-elections.

Writs were issued on December 21, 2007, directing the returning officers in Desnethé–Missinippi–Churchill River, Toronto Centre, Vancouver Quadra and Willowdale to conduct by-elections on March 17, 2008.

For more information on the numbers of ballots cast and overall voter turnout in these by-elections, see Table 3.1. For the distribution of the valid votes obtained, by candidate, see Table 3.2.

Table 3.1 – Numbers of ballots cast and overall voter turnout
Electoral District Desnethé–Missinippi–Churchill River Toronto Centre Vancouver Quadra Willowdale
Number of electors on final lists
42,375
85,962
83,602
93,027
Ordinary poll ballots
9,571*
91.4%
21,735*
90.7%
27,731*
84.0%
21,086*
92.3%
Advance poll ballots
847
8.1%
1,736
7.2%
3,437
12.2%
1,463
6.4%
Special Voting Rules ballots
57
0.5%
482
2.0%
1,075
3.8%
288
1.2%
Rejected ballots
37
0.4%
96
0.4%
77
0.3%
93
0.4%
Total valid votes
10,438
99.6%
23,857
99.6%
28,166
99.7%
22,744
99.6%
Total votes cast
10,475
23,953
28,243
22,837
Voter turnout
(March 2008 by-elections)
24.7%
27.9%
33.8%
24.5%
Voter turnout
(39th general election)
58.4%
66.5%
67.6%
62.8%

Note: Because the figures have been rounded, there may be some discrepancies in the totals.
* Includes electors who voted at mobile polls.

By-election results

Table 3.2 – Valid votes obtained, by candidate

Desnethé–Missinippi–Churchill River
Candidate Political Affiliation Place of Residence Occupation Valid Votes Obtained Percentage (%) of Valid Votes
Rob Clarke Conservative Party of Canada Warman Peace officer
4,992
47.83
Joan Beatty Liberal Party of Canada Deschambault Lake Journalist
3,296
31.58
Brian Morin New Democratic Party Buffalo Narrows Fire protection officer
1,830
17.53
Robin Orr Green Party of Canada La Ronge Computer technician
320
3.07
Total
10,438
100.00

 

Toronto Centre
Candidate Political Affiliation Place of Residence Occupation Valid Votes Obtained Percentage (%) of Valid Votes
Bob Rae Liberal Party of Canada Toronto Lawyer
14,187
59.47
El-Farouk Khaki New Democratic Party Toronto Lawyer
3,312
13.88
Chris Tindal Green Party of Canada Toronto Interactive media producer
3,199
13.41
Donald Meredith Conservative Party of Canada Richmond Hill Entrepreneur
2,939
12.32
Liz White Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada Toronto Animal and environmental protection
123
0.52
Doug Plumb Canadian Action Party Toronto Computer programmer
97
0.41
Total
23,587
100.00

 

Vancouver Quadra
Candidate Political Affiliation Place of Residence Occupation Valid Votes Obtained Percentage (%) of Valid Votes
Joyce Murray Liberal Party of Canada Vancouver Vancouver Quadra Reforester
10,155
36.05
Deborah Meredith Conservative Party of Canada Vancouver University lecturer
10,004
35.52
Rebecca Coad New Democratic Party Vancouver University student
4,064
14.43
Dan Grice Green Party of Canada Vancouver Businessman
3,792
13.46
John Turner neorhino.ca Courtenay Actor
111
0.39
Psamuel Frank Canadian Action Party Coquitlam Musician
40
0.14
Total
28,166
99.99

 

Willowdale
Candidate Political Affiliation Place of Residence Occupation Valid Votes Obtained Percentage (%) of Valid Votes
Martha Hall Findlay Liberal Party of Canada Toronto Lawyer
13,507
59.38
Maureen Harquail Conservative Party of Canada Toronto Lawyer
6,841
30.07
Lou Carcasole Green Party of Canada Toronto Teacher/contractor
1,314
5.77
Rini Ghosh New Democratic Party Toronto Administrative assistant and project coordinator
1,082
4.75
Total
22,744
99.67

The official voting results for the March 2008 by-elections, including poll-by-poll results, are now available on the Elections Canada Web site at www.elections.ca.

Enforcement of the Canada Elections Act

The Commissioner of Canada Elections has received five complaints stemming from the March 2008 by-elections. All but two have been resolved.

Candidates' election expenses

Candidates in the March 2008 by-elections had until July 17, 2008, to file their electoral campaign returns. There were 20 confirmed candidates in the by-elections; 10 filed within the original deadline, and 10 requested and were granted filing extensions and filed within the extended deadlines.

Of the 20 confirmed candidates, 13 were eligible for election expenses reimbursements. Initial reimbursements paid to the 13 candidates totalled $172,607.45. As of December 17, 2008, final reimbursements totalling $91,002.43 had been paid to three candidates, and audit subsidy payments totalling $4,500.00 had been paid to three candidate auditors. The remaining 10 candidate returns are being reviewed in accordance with our normal procedures.