open Secondary menu

Elections Canada at 100

Five people sit side by side at a long rectangular podium equipped with microphones. A TV monitor to their left shows the Elections Canada logo
Representatives from Elections Canada hold a news conference ahead of the 2019 federal election.

A lot has changed over 100 years. Elections Canada has an expanded role with new tasks and responsibilities. The agency can now combine decades of experience with ideas that look to the future.

Canadians may be less familiar with some of this work, much of which happens behind-the-scenes and between elections. At any given time, a network of dedicated experts is working to ensure Elections Canada can provide Canadians with trusted, democratic elections in the 21st century.

An Expanded Role

A man leans over a large map of Canada and points at small section of text
Elections Canada geographers use data to produce detailed maps and help determine where polling stations are located.

Elections Canada's work doesn't end after the votes are counted. The agency has responsibilities today that require attention year-round. These include:

  • administering Canada's political financing rules
  • overseeing the registration of new political parties
  • researching new ways to run elections
  • developing civic education programs to help young Canadians learn about the electoral process

To meet these responsibilities, Elections Canada's workforce includes election administrators, statisticians, lawyers, geographers, civic education advisors and other specialized experts. Elections Canada draws on this expertise when it reports to Parliament after each election and when Parliament is studying possible changes to how Canadian elections are administered.

Modern Challenges

Even with 100 years of experience, Elections Canada is always adapting. Running an election in 2020 requires staff to tackle challenges that weren't foreseeable 100 years ago, including cyber threats and the spread of false election information online. Today, Elections Canada works with national security agencies on an ongoing basis to plan and share information about cybersecurity.

Working with Others

Six men and women in business clothes gather at a round table in a conference room looking at documents and speaking with each other. A presentation is displayed on two large screens in the background
Elections Canada invited provincial, territorial and international electoral agencies to Ottawa during the 2019 federal election to learn more about Elections Canada's practices.

In researching the best solutions to new problems, Elections Canada works with election agencies here in Canada and around the world. For example, the agency is part of an international network of election agencies that share technical knowledge and best practices. This work helps Elections Canada stay on top of emerging trends and technologies that may help serve Canadians.

Elections Canada also collaborates with a number of advisory groups. It consults with disability groups, educators and registered political parties to share information.

Looking to the Future

Two teenage girls in jeans walk along a paved with each other. Other young people wearing backpacks follow behind them

What will Canadians need to exercise their democratic rights over the next 100 years? Elections Canada is already thinking about this. The agency reports to Parliament after each election to help identify Canadians' evolving needs and ways to make future elections more accessible.

One of the newest projects to make future elections more inclusive is the Register of Future Electors. Parliament recently directed Elections Canada to create the Register. It allows young Canadian citizens aged 14 to 17 to pre-register so they can be ready to vote when they turn 18. This new database will help remove barriers facing the next generation of Canadian voters.