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Political Communications in Federal Elections

Elections Canada has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak and its impacts. As part of its ongoing election readiness planning, the agency is working on a new operational approach to deliver an election in the context of a pandemic and post-pandemic.

Elections Canada has also prioritized other key items, such as statutory reports to parliament, including the Recommendations Report of the Chief Electoral Officer, expected to be submitted later this fall. The latter proposes amendments that, in the opinion of the Chief Electoral Officer, are desirable for the better administration of the Canada Elections Act.

The Chief Electoral Officer of Canada is examining the issue of the overall regulatory regime that governs political communications in federal elections.

While we recognize that the current situation with regards to COVID-19 poses certain challenges, and that the resumption of Parliament will be gradual, Elections Canada remains committed to provide advice to parliamentarians in the most effective manner. In order to assist the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada in making informed recommendations to Parliament, Elections Canada is publishing three papers to generate discussion and feedback from various experts and stakeholders, and raise awareness about emerging issues facing our electoral democracy.

Discussion Paper 1: The Regulation of Political Communications under the Canada Elections Act

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The first paper, The Regulation of Political Communications under the Canada Elections Act, aims to foster discussion about whether existing provisions in the Act meet the challenges that have arisen in recent years, largely due to new communications technology.

Discussion Paper 2: The Impact of Social Media Platforms in Elections

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The second paper, The Impact of Social Media Platforms in Elections, looks more closely at social media and digital advertising platforms and aims to promote discussion on the impacts that these platforms may have on elections and democracy.

Discussion Paper 3: The Protection of Electors' Personal Information in the Federal Electoral Context

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The third paper, The Protection of Electors' Personal Information in the Federal Electoral Context, aims to encourage discussion on how fair information principles could be applied to political parties, taking into account their unique role in Canada's democracy.

If you have any questions, comments or feedback related to these three discussion papers, contact Elections Canada at consultations@elections.ca.

Please send your written submission to consultations@elections.ca.