Meeting Summary – Annual General Meeting – June 19 and 20, 2017
Political Financing Training
Jeff Merrett, Director, Regulatory Instruments & Systems, provided an update on the status of political financing audits from the 2015 general election. He also presented EC's plans and initiatives for political financing training in 2017–2018.
Mr. Merrett indicated that a total of 33 sessions were conducted in 16 cities across Canada in 2017. Approximately 400 people participated and gave high ratings for the program. In 2018, EC will be implementing a new integrated training strategy that takes into account:
- size and location of audience
- previous engagement with political entities
- skills and experience level fluctuations
- needs of ongoing versus event-based political entities
- general content versus entity-specific content
- gaps in outreach plan and evaluation and stakeholder engagement
The second new initiative is WebEx sessions. Six sessions were delivered to 75 participants in March 2017 prior to the electoral district association filing deadline. Three sessions were delivered to 10 participants in May 2017 following the by-election. Participants had the option to join by phone and/or online, and gave positive feedback. The third new initiative is political entity online training. Online training modules are being developed. Each will be one to four minutes long, followed by a quiz. Currently, six modules are on the EC website, but additional modules are being created.
Mr. Merrett also informed members of the plan to modernize communications and to host live interactive training sessions for the Electronic Financial Return (EFR) software. There will also be regular web sessions on specific political financing subjects of interest to help political entities fulfill their roles. In addition, EC will be holding focus groups and consulting financial agents, official agents and auditors to obtain input on EFR modernization and the online tutorials offered by EC, evaluate usage and satisfaction, and determine new tools to be developed.