Transfer of the Commissioner of Canada Elections to the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer
Gatineau, Monday, April 1, 2019 – Today, the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) published in the Canada Gazette a second notice allowing several provisions of Bill C-76, which amended the Canada Elections Act (the Act), to come into force. Thus, the administrative reintegration of the Commissioner of Canada Elections (CCE) within the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer (OCEO) has formally taken place.
The CEO is responsible for the administration of elections, referendums and other important aspects of our electoral system. The CCE ensures that the Act as well as the Referendum Act are complied with and enforced.
The transfer of the CCE within the OCEO will facilitate collaboration between the two organizations. Improved contact between Elections Canada (EC) staff—who are responsible for the direction and supervision of the federal electoral process—and CCE staff—who are responsible for compliance and enforcement—will foster greater sharing of knowledge and expertise. The CCE will also have easier access to relevant information held by EC.
Care and measures have been taken to ensure the continued independence of EC and the CCE in the pursuit of their respective mandates. Specifically, the Act requires that the CCE, with respect to the enforcement of the Act, make decisions or take action independently of the CEO.
"This renewed working relationship will enhance our existing collaboration while maintaining the independence of each office. Sharing of knowledge and expertise will be easier and faster, as each office continues to protect the integrity in the federal electoral process that Canadians expect."
Stéphane Perrault, Chief Electoral Officer of Canada
"I am very pleased with the move to the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer. Our organizations work well together. I am convinced that we—and by extension Canadians—will benefit from being part of the same institution."
Yves Côté, Commissioner of Canada Elections
- The Commissioner of Canada Elections (CCE) was administratively integrated within the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer (OCEO) until September 30, 2014. On October 1, 2014, the CCE was transferred to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada as a result of the coming into force of some provisions of Chapter 12 of the Statutes of Canada (2014).
- Bill C-76 received Royal Assent on December 13, 2018. It amends the Canada Elections Act (the Act) to authorize the CEO to bring one or more provisions into force during the first six months following Royal Assent, if the agency is ready to implement those provisions.
- The amended Act maintains the Commissioner's status as a deputy head for the purposes of hiring his staff and human resources management as well as his ability to draw from the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
- Under the Financial Administration Act, the CEO remains accountable to Parliament for the expenditures of both the CCE and EC.
- The current Commissioner, Mr. Yves Côté, remains in his position and is expected to complete a 10-year term. Future incumbents of the CCE position will be appointed by the CEO in consultation with the Director of Public Prosecutions for a 10-year term.
- On January 19, 2019, the CEO published in the Canada Gazette a first notice allowing several provisions of the statute to come into force on that date (phase 1).
- On April 1, 2019, the CEO published in the Canada Gazette a second notice allowing several provisions of the statute—including those allowing the administrative reintegration of the CCE within the OCEO—to come into force on that date (phase 2).
- The provisions of C-76 that have not come into force prior to June 13, 2019, will come into force on that day.
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Commissioner of Canada Elections
The Commissioner of Canada Elections is responsible for ensuring compliance with, and enforcement of, the Canada Elections Act.
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