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Strategic Plan 2020-28

Message from the Chief Electoral Officer

It is with great pride that I am sharing Elections Canada's Strategic Plan 2020-28.

The release of this plan coincides with the celebration of Elections Canada's 100 year anniversary as the independent, non-partisan agency responsible for administering federal elections in Canada.

Over the last century, the agency has evolved to meet the changing needs of Canadians. Most recently, the agency rose to the challenge and developed flexible approaches to ensure the safety of our employees and to protect Canada's electoral democracy during a period of great uncertainty. This plan articulates the new vision and commitments for the agency that will help us navigate the changes ahead.

Since my appointment as Chief Electoral Officer, I have heard from experts, stakeholders, and employees on how Elections Canada can continue to deliver trusted elections in an increasingly complex electoral environment. The plan's focus is on listening, sharing, collaborating, and sustainable management which speaks loudly to our philosophy and culture. Although these concepts are not new to us, the time has come to take our work to new heights.

I firmly believe that our greatest opportunities are ahead of us, as we modernize the electoral process, strengthen integrity, and ensure the accessibility of federal elections. I am committed to leading Elections Canada and its dedicated staff, both at headquarters and in the field, as we work together to deliver an electoral democracy that serves all Canadians and that Canadians trust.

Stéphane Perrault

Chief Electoral Officer of Canada

Stéphane Perrault signing the writs for the 43<sup>rd</sup> General Election, September 20, 2019

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About the Strategic Plan

For 100 years, Elections Canada has delivered free and fair federal elections, providing opportunities for Canadians to take part in their democracy.

This strategic plan builds on our past successes, addresses contemporary perspectives, and provides a vision of the future that ensures a vibrant electoral democracy for all Canadians.

Elections Canada's vision is to uphold an electoral democracy that serves all Canadians and that Canadians trust.

To achieve this vision, Elections Canada's programs and services will focus on maximizing the impact of our efforts as we continue to modernize our services. We are committed to listening to and engaging with Canadians, broadly sharing information, collaborating to expand our capacity, and effectively managing our resources.

This approach will take Elections Canada into the next 100 years as a strong, non-partisan institution that Canadians can continue to trust.

This plan is the foundation of our commitment to improve how we deliver on our mandate and supports what we do, how we do it, and why we do it.

Electoral democracy is the promise that all citizens, whatever their circumstances or condition, will have the same right and opportunity to select their representative. The quality of our electoral process has to be measured to a large extent by its inclusiveness.

Stéphane Perrault at the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs (May 22, 2018)

Elections Canada is one of the longest-standing independent electoral management bodies in the world.

Our 100 years of expertise in electoral management have ensured the highest standards of integrity, transparency, and service.

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Our Vision:

An electoral democracy that serves all Canadians and that Canadians trust

Our Commitments:

  • Proactively listen to and engage with Canadians and political entities to continually improve programs and services
  • Use and share information to enable a better understanding of the electoral process
  • Work collaboratively and leverage expertise to enable a strong electoral democracy
  • Invest in sound management to build a sustainable organization

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Listen.

Electoral democracy is based on the premise that all citizens, whatever their needs or life circumstances, have an equal opportunity to have their voices heard.

By considering the views and interests of Canadians and political entities, Elections Canada can better understand who we serve and ensure that our programs and services address their needs, wants, and abilities. Putting people first allows Elections Canada to gather input and include feedback directly from Canadians.

Through its ongoing engagement, Elections Canada will gain the necessary insights to modernize our programs and services and ensure Canadians can vote and participate in their democracy.

Our commitment:

Proactively listen to and engage with Canadians and political entities to continually improve programs and services

Elections Canada will:

  • Implement practices to hear the views and interests of the public and political entities before, during, and after developing policies, programs, and services to bring user perspectives into our work.
  • Adopt user-centric design methods to develop programs and services that are easy to use.
  • Consult on whether programs and services meet the specific needs and interests of groups that face barriers to electoral participation.
  • Use innovative methods and technologies to reduce the barriers that electors face and to ensure the electoral process is inclusive.

The outcome:

Canadians receive electoral information and services that meet their needs and that provide an equal opportunity to participate in the electoral process

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Share.

Elections Canada has a wealth of authoritative information that is of great value and benefit to Canadian society. Encouraging the use, reuse, and release of information and datasets feeds innovation and lets Canadians participate more fully in their electoral democracy.

By using a wide range of data, Elections Canada can improve decisions, facilitate meaningful engagements, strengthen policy-making, and support continual improvement to its programs and services.

Canadians trust the electoral process when authoritative, accurate, and timely information is readily available. Widely sharing information supports transparency, helps address misinformation about the electoral process, and promotes fairness by enabling Canadians to hold Elections Canada and political entities to account.

Our commitment:

Use and share information to enable a better understanding of the electoral process

Elections Canada will:

  • Adopt open government practices to allow others to find and use our information and data.
  • Use data to support evidence-based policy making.
  • Safeguard information according to established best practices to ensure the privacy and security of personal information.
  • Provide a range of tools and resources to facilitate participation in the electoral process and compliance with electoral legislation.
  • Establish Elections Canada as the source of authoritative information to enable Canadians to understand the electoral process.

The outcome:

Canadians understand the electoral process and have confidence in the integrity of elections

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Collaborate.

The environment in which elections take place is becoming more complex. Factors such as the influence of digital platforms, foreign interference, cybersecurity incidents, and even the frequency of weather events can have impacts on the integrity of the democratic process. Leveraging the knowledge of experts ensures that programs and services will support a strong electoral democracy.

Although working with others is not new for Elections Canada, a greater emphasis on collaboration will enable the agency to generate fresh ideas, innovate faster, find better solutions to problems, and achieve better outcomes.

Through collaboration, we will strengthen our partnerships and networks, provide opportunities to participate in democracy, and better serve Canadians.

Our commitment:

Work collaboratively and leverage expertise to enable a strong electoral democracy

Elections Canada will:

  • Leverage subject-matter experts to optimize our programs and services.
  • Partner with other electoral management bodies to design and co-deliver programs and services.
  • Build a consultative relationship with political entities to implement a clear and predictable regulatory framework that enables a level playing field.
  • Cooperate with electoral agencies in other countries and international organizations to strengthen democratic practices.
  • Engage stakeholders to explore, test, and compare the effects and impacts of emerging technologies, policies, and practices.

The outcome:

Elections Canada delivers a robust, secure, and reliable electoral process in an increasingly complex environment

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Manage.

Canadians have entrusted Elections Canada with the stewardship of elections and expect it to soundly manage resources. Fostering a culture of respect, empathy, financial prudence, and environmental responsibility is fundamental to achieving success.

By carefully managing human, financial, and material resources in a disciplined way, Elections Canada will efficiently and effectively deliver on its commitments. By creating a safe and respectful work environment, providing the necessary training and information, and ensuring we are clear and meaningful in our direction, Elections Canada can meet the needs of its workforce. To ensure long-term success, employees must be active participants as we work to continually improve our programs and services, and the culture in which we work.

Our commitment:

Invest in sound management to build a sustainable organization

Elections Canada will:

  • Mature management practices and monitor progress and compliance to ensure we are a high performing organization.
  • Implement flexible and adaptable work policies to support the health and safety of our employees.
  • Update training, recruitment, and capacity planning to create an adaptable workforce.
  • Seek organizational efficiencies through asset renewal and process automation to ensure resources are optimally allocated.
  • Consider the environment when developing programs and services to minimize our impact.

The outcome:

Elections Canada is a resilient organization that responsibly delivers on its commitments

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Using the plan

This strategic plan is the foundation for the agency's larger planning environment. Together with other corporate plans, the strategic plan guides our work. It is a tool to help make decisions, plan activities and projects, align our work with our commitments to Canadians and Parliament, evaluate performance, and remain accountable through sound management practices.

Decision-making tool

  • Employees are expected to take steps to integrate strategic thinking into actions, policies, processes, and systems.
  • Executives and managers will use the plan and commitments to prioritize activities, guide decision-making, and focus resources. It will encourage them to innovate and be proactive in keeping up with ever-changing trends.

Communications tool

  • Canadians and Parliamentarians can use the strategic plan and commitments to understand where Elections Canada is focusing its efforts in order to hold the organization to account.
  • Priorities, expected results of programs, and resource requirements will be communicated in the Departmental Plan. Progress against these commitments will be published in the Departmental Results Report.

Planning and evaluation tool

  • Managers will use the plan as a guide when planning and implementing projects.
  • When evaluating programs, services, and projects, the plan will be a point of reference to assess improvements and ensure accountability.

Monitoring progress

As an independent agent of Parliament, Elections Canada accounts for its activities by reporting directly to Parliament. Elections Canada will regularly discuss the implementation of the various elements of this plan, monitor progress, and adjust course as needed. The strategic plan will be reviewed in 2025.

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Delivering results for Canadians

The success of this strategic plan will rely on Elections Canada's ability to continually learn and adapt. Integrating this plan into our day-to-day activities will yield concrete results for Canadians, as we work to make our vision a reality.

What we do

Mandate
Under the Canada Elections Act, Elections Canada is the independent, non-partisan agency mandated to administer all aspects of federal elections and referendums.
Core responsibility
Electoral Administration and Oversight

How we do it

Commitments
  • Proactively listen to and engage with Canadians and political entities to continually improve programs and services
  • Use and share information to enable a better understanding of the electoral process
  • Work collaboratively and leverage expertise to enable a strong electoral democracy
  • Invest in sound management to build a sustainable organization
Programs
  • Voting Services Delivery and Field Management
  • National Register of Electors and Electoral Geography
  • Public Education and Information
  • Electoral Integrity and Regulatory Oversight

Why we do it

Vision
An electoral democracy that serves all Canadians and that Canadians trust
Departmental Results
  • Canadians can exercise their democratic rights to vote and be a candidate
  • Canadians receive electoral information and services that meet their needs
  • Canada maintains a fair, secure, and transparent electoral process free of undue influence

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Elections Canada at a glance

Delivering a federal election is one of the country's largest civic exercises.

As an Agent of Parliament, Elections Canada is independent of the executive arm of the government and political parties. It is prepared at all times to administer an election or referendum.

Workforce

  • 1 Chief Electoral Officer
    • 500 Employees
    • 338 Returning Officers
      • 300 000 Temporary Workers
    • 31 Field Liaison Officers

43rd Canadian Federal Election

  • 18 million Voters
  • 27.5 million Citizens Eligible to Vote
  • 338 Electoral Districts
  • 20 000 Polling Places
  • 21 Political Parties
  • 2 146 Candidates