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Chief Electoral Officer of Canada Appoints
New Commissioner of Canada Elections

OTTAWA, Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Chief Electoral Officer of Canada, Mr. Marc Mayrand, is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Yves Côté as Commissioner of Canada Elections. Mr. Côté's tenure begins on July 3, 2012.

Mr. Côté, who has been a member of the Barreau du Québec since 1977 and was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1992, has an extensive background in administrative and constitutional law in the federal public service. In 2003, Mr. Côté served as Counsel to the Clerk of the Privy Council, as well as Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet – Legislation and House Planning. From 2005 to 2008, he was Ombudsman for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces. In 2008, Mr. Côté became the Associate Deputy Minister of Justice with the Department of Justice Canada, a position from which he recently announced his retirement.

"It is with great pleasure that I welcome Mr. Côté as the new Commissioner of Canada Elections," said Mr. Mayrand. "Mr. Côté's extensive legal experience and great commitment to the public service will be invaluable to the Office of the Commissioner of Canada Elections. He will provide continued leadership in ensuring the integrity of the electoral process and in maintaining public confidence in our electoral system."

Mr. Côté will be replacing Mr. William Corbett who is retiring as Commissioner of Canada Elections following an exemplary legal career that has spanned more than 40 years, during which time he developed a broad expertise in all aspects of federal prosecution and criminal law matters. Since his appointment as Commissioner in 2006, Mr. Corbett has provided valued leadership in ensuring effective compliance and enforcement of the Canada Elections Act measures, and has greatly contributed to maintaining public confidence in the oversight of electoral administration.

"I would like to thank Mr. Corbett for his expertise and professionalism in exercising his duties as Commissioner," said Mr. Mayrand. "His dedication to democratic values and to due process ensured that Canadians were well-served during his tenure. His retirement is well-deserved following such a distinguished career."

Prior to his appointment to the Office of the Commissioner of Canada Elections, Mr. Corbett was a practicing lawyer and litigator for 35 years. He held the position of Senior General Counsel in charge of the criminal law section of the Federal Prosecution Service at the Department of Justice.

"Following my retirement from the Department of Justice, I welcomed the opportunity to continue to serve Canadians as Commissioner of Canada Elections," said Mr. Corbett. "I am proud of the role my office has played over the past six years in ensuring the provisions of the Canada Elections Act were complied with and enforced."

More information regarding the Office of the Commissioner of Canada Elections is available on the Elections Canada website.

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