open Secondary menu

Chapter 5 – Political Parties and Candidates (9/2019)

For more information on political parties and candidates, consult:
Volume I, Chapter 9 – Consultations with Political Parties.

5.1 Political Parties

The Canada Elections Act (CEA) defines a political party as "an organization one of whose fundamental purposes is to participate in public affairs by endorsing one or more of its members as candidates and supporting their election."
s. 2 "political party"

If a party applies and meets the requirements of registration, it is referred to as an eligible party. An eligible party becomes a registered party once it has nominated one of its members as a candidate at an election.

Parties may be deregistered by the Chief Electoral Officer for various reasons, including failing to endorse any candidates at a general election.

Only registered parties may have the party name listed on the ballot under the name of their candidates.

5.2 Candidates

5.2.1 Definitions

A prospective candidate is a person who intends to run for office, but whose nomination has not yet been confirmed by the RO.

The person becomes a confirmed candidate when the following items have been filed with the RO, and the RO has provided a notice of confirmation: s. 67

  • Nomination Paper (EC 20010) or the online nomination form, validated by the RO
  • Candidate identification, and, if applicable, the deadline for providing the required proof of the candidate’s desired name to appear on the ballot
  • Required number of valid signatures of electors consenting to the candidacy
  • If the candidate is endorsed by a political party, the List of Endorsed Candidates for that party includes the prospective candidate’s name. This is found on the ED Profile in STAT (for reference, view Quick Steps > Accessing the List of Endorsed Candidates)

5.2.2 Eligibility

To be eligible to run as a candidate, a person must be a Canadian citizen and at least 18 years of age on polling day.

Candidates do not need to reside in the electoral district for which they are seeking election, or be registered on the list of electors. However, a candidate may only seek election in one electoral district at a time.

5.2.3 Ineligibility

The following persons are not eligible to be a candidate:

  1. a person who is not qualified as an elector on the date on which their Nomination Paper is filed;
  2. a person who is disentitled under paragraph 502(3)(a) [guilty of having committed an offense that is an illegal practice or corrupt practice under this Act during the five or seven years after the date of their being so convicted] while they are so disentitled;
  3. a member of the legislative assembly of a province or territory;
  4. the Chief Electoral Officer;
  5. a judge appointed by the Governor in Council, other than a citizenship judge appointed under the Citizenship Act;
  6. a person who is imprisoned in a correctional institution;
  7. an election officer [as defined by section 22 of the CEA];
  8. a person who was a candidate in a previous election and for whom a return, report, document or declaration has not been provided under subsection 477.59(1), if the time and any extensions for providing it have expired.
    s. 4; s. 65

During an election, you will be provided with the list of candidates who are ineligible as per subsection 65(i) of the CEA.

Table 6 Political Entities – RO’s Responsibilities Before, During and After the Event
POLITICAL PARTIES
Before the event

Direct any political financing questions to the Political Entities Support Network (How to Reach Us).

During the event
  • Request names of individuals to fill election officer positions from the candidates, electoral district associations of registered parties or registered parties that endorsed candidates in the last election. •
  • Promote the Political Entities Service Centre (PESC) as an optional service channel for submitting nominations and receiving electoral documents. •
  • Discuss registration and voting under Special Voting Rules (SVR).
After the event Receive suggestions for future events.
PROSPECTIVE CANDIDATES
Before the event Direct any political financing questions to the Political Entities Support Network (How to Reach Us).
During the event
  • Distribute documents to prospective candidates.
  • Inform prospective candidates of EC’s new secure online portal (PESC) now available for political entities to access services and digital documents, including the submission of online candidate nomination forms, Electronic Financial Return (EFR) software application and Multimedia Kits.
  • Receive Nomination Papers (EC 20010) by 2:00 p.m. on Day 21.
  • Confirm or reject prospective candidates’ nominations within 48 hours of filing.
After the event N/A
CONFIRMED CANDIDATES
Before the event N/A
During the event
  • Be available to act as the central point of contact for all inquiries and to meet with candidates or official agents on request.
  • Promote the PESC as an optional service channel for receiving electoral documents.
  • Direct any questions regarding the CEA or the completion of any financial documents to the Political Entities Support Network (How to Reach Us).
  • Advise candidates and official agents that they can self-create a portal account through the PESC and directly download the EFR software application. Once a candidate has been confirmed, they will receive an email invitation to create a PESC account. The candidate and the official agent’s portal accounts (and campaign delegates’ if applicable) will be linked and given full access.
  • Remind candidates that Official Contribution Receipts can be produced by using the Electronic Financial Return (EFR) software application.
  • Inform candidates that, if required, hard-copy Official Contribution Receipts can be obtained by sending an email request to: ROFP-ORPF@elections.ca. Ensure the candidates are aware that a Record of Official Receipts form must be returned with any unused, cancelled or voided hard-copy receipts within a month of polling day.
  • Inform candidates that Multimedia Kits, which includes a USB key containing EFR, can be obtained by sending an email request to: FPTM-PFMK@elections.ca.
  • Ensure the security of official documents related to candidate expenses while in the RO’s possession.
  • Hold joint meeting with candidates and political parties to discuss: polling division boundaries; registration and voting under the SVR; conduct of polling day; results on polling night; validation of the results; and the PESC.
  • Request the presence of candidates’ representatives for the verification of outer envelopes and for the count of special ballots at the RO office.
  • Request the presence of candidates’ representatives for the validation of the results.
  • Distribute products that confirmed candidates are entitled to receive.
After the event
  • Distribute post-event materials such as sequence number sheets.
  • Advise confirmed candidates or their official agents that:
    • - The candidate’s completed election expense return (EFR) must be submitted directly to EC by the reporting deadline date of February 21, 2020.
    • - If hard-copy official contribution receipts (EC 20060) were requested, the Record of Official Receipts (EC 20070), plus any unused or voided receipts, must be returned to EC within a month after polling day.
  • Make note of suggestions for future events.

5.3 Candidate Nominations

5.3.1 Materials and Information for Prospective Candidates

Prospective candidates are encouraged to contact the returning officer where they intend to file their Nomination Paper and supporting documents well in advance of the close of the nomination period.

During any initial meeting or contact with prospective candidates, you are encouraged to provide a brief overview of the nomination process, and promote the use of the Political Entities Service Centre.

This may include going over nomination requirements, preliminary and detailed verification, as well as the confirmation or refusal process. Direct the prospective candidate's attention to the instructions provided in the Nomination Paper, or refer them to How to become a candidate on the Elections Canada website.

It is important to advise prospective candidates they may file their nomination, electronically through the Political Entities Service Centre, or by filling in person at the returning office. Advise prospective candidates to file their nomination early, thereby allowing sufficient time to correct any errors or omissions.

  • The PDF form of the Nomination Paper (EC 20010) and all instructions are posted on the Field Personnel Intranet. The RO can download it and print it on demand.
  • Candidates can also access and print the Nomination Paper via the Elections Canada website under Political Participants > Tools for Candidates > Registration Form for Candidates.
  • The Political Entities Service Centre also enables candidates to submit their nomination electronically and is available via the Elections Canada website under Political Participants > Tools for Candidates.

5.3.2 Nomination Process

The nomination process consists of three steps which must be completed before a candidate can be confirmed or refused. All nominations, regardless of submission method, must be received by close of nominations on Day 21 at 2 p.m. (local time). s. 70(2)

A completed nomination package includes the following components:

  • Completed Nomination Paper (EC 20010) or the online nomination form, which includes the required number of signatures from electors residing in the ED consenting to the candidacy;
  • Proof of the candidate’s identity, and if required, proof that the candidate is commonly known by another name that they wish to have appear on the ballot.

Step 1: A Nomination is submitted to the Returning Officer

A candidate can choose between two methods of submitting their nomination package to the returning officer:

OPTION A – The nomination is filed in person with the RO

A prospective candidate or a person authorized by the candidate may file their physical Nomination Paper and supporting documentation with the RO.
s. 67

Once this occurs, proceed to Step 2, and conduct the preliminary verification as outlined in section 5.4.

If you receive a Nomination Paper by email or fax, you must follow the same steps as a nomination filed in person by proceeding with the preliminary verification process.

OPTION B – The nomination is submitted through PESC

The nomination may alternatively be submitted through the PESC. This submission will be received directly within the EC Connex – Nomination module, and will include all the components of the paper submission.
s. 73(1)

Once this occurs, proceed to Step 3, and conduct the detailed verification as outlined in section 5.6 Detailed Verification.

A candidate who wishes to file through the PESC will require a Nomination Submission Key. For more information, consult section 5.3.4.

Step 2: Preliminary verification of paper nominations

If the candidate or their delegate submits a paper nomination, the RO must complete the preliminary verification process (section 5.4) to ensure that the Nomination Paper is properly completed, including verifying that the candidate has met the required number of elector signatures and all the related documents are provided.

Step 3: Detailed verification

The RO conducts a detailed verification of the Nomination Paper within 48 hours of the filing to confirm or reject the candidate’s nomination. This process occurs within the EC Connex – Nomination module, and can only be completed by the RO.
ss. 71(1) and (2)

Step 4: Render a decision

Once the RO has completed the detailed verification, a decision is rendered to confirm or refuse the nomination. If the nomination is confirmed, the RO must also inform the candidate how their name will appear on the ballot, by providing the Notice of Confirmation of Nomination and Name to Appear on the Ballot. For more information, consult section 5.7.
ss. 71(1) and 71.1(5)

5.3.3 Proof of the Candidate’s Identity

This new legislative requirement compels all candidates to provide proof of their identity and, if they wish to have a name other than the name on their identification appear on the ballot, proof of that alternative name.

As part of a nomination submission, prospective candidates are now compelled to provide the returning officer with proof of their identity. These documents must be received and approved, before the prospective candidate’s nomination can be confirmed.
s. 67

Who can submit the proof of identity

A prospective candidate or their chosen campaign delegate may submit identity documents to the RO.
ss. 67(2), 67(8)

If the delegate is submitting on behalf of the prospective candidate, or if the documents are submitted electronically, copies signed by that candidate must be provided.
ss. 67(8), 73(1.1)

What documents can be used as proof of identity

Prospective candidates have two options when providing documents to the RO.

Option 1 :

Provide one piece of identification issued by a Canadian government or agency that contains a photo and the name of the prospective candidate.

Option 2 :

Provide two pieces of identification, of a type authorized by the CEO bearing the prospective candidate’s name. For a list of authorized documents, you can refer to the Candidate List of Authorized ID (EC 20014).

Alternative name to appear on the ballot

Prospective candidates may request for an alternative name to appear on the ballot, so long as they file documents with the RO demonstrating they are commonly known by that name. This is required when prospective candidates wish to use a different given name (even if it is a ‘normal abbreviation’ of the name), or a different last name than what appears on their proof of identity documents.
s. 67(4)

The RO must determine that the documents provided are sufficient proof that the prospective candidate is commonly known by that name. If the returning officer is not satisfied that sufficient proof has been provided, then the prospective candidate’s nomination can still be confirmed, and their full name as it appears in Section A – Candidate name of the Nomination Paper, shall appear on the ballot.
ss. 71.1

In order to determine if a candidate is commonly known by the alternative name as listed in Section A – Name on Ballot of the Nomination Paper, the prospective candidate or their chosen delegate must provide documentation which meets the following qualifications:

  • Two documents from various sources as authorized on EC 20014 - Candidate List of Authorized ID – Proof of Alternative Name;
  • Documents must date from before the issue of the writ; and
  • One document must originate from a third party (i.e. it may not originate from the prospective candidate).

If you are unable to determine if sufficient proof has been provided contact the FSN for assistance.

5.3.4 Receiving Completed Nominations

A Nomination Paper (or online nomination form) can only be filed by the candidate or their authorized delegate, and must be received by the RO between the issue of the Notice of Election (EC 10020) and the close of nominations (Monday, Day 21 at 2:00 p.m.). The submission must be filed either in person at a place designated by the returning officer, or electronically through the PESC.
ss. 67(1), 67(7), 70(2), 70(3), 73(1)

No nomination may be accepted from any person who enters the RO office after 2:00 p.m. on the closing day for nominations.

The RO may delegate the authority to receive the Nomination Paper and supporting documents. If this is required, complete the Delegation of Authority form (EC 10090) and contact ECHQ.
ss. 70(3)

Receiving Electronic Nominations

All nomination forms submitted through the PESC will be accessible through the EC Connex – Nomination Module, and must undergo the detailed verification process within 48 hours of submission.

Candidates or their authorized delegate are now able to submit nominations through the Political Entities Service Centre. The PESC online nomination form is designed to walk prospective candidates through the nomination process. In order to submit electronically, a prospective candidate or their delegate must receive the Nomination Submission Key from the RO. Upon submission, you will receive an email notification; however, we suggest monitoring the daily Nomination portion of your EC Connex Dashboard.
s. 73(1)

Political Affiliation

Candidates are no longer required to supply a letter of endorsement with their Nomination Paper or online nomination form. Political parties will now be submitting the names of their endorsed candidate’s directly to ECHQ, which will then be distributed to returning officers using STAT.

Candidates who state a political affiliation on their Nomination Paper or online nomination form are responsible for ensuring their party has supplied their name to ECHQ. To confirm a candidate has been properly endorsed, review the List of Endorsed Candidates on your ED Profile in STAT (for reference, view the Quick Steps > Accessing the List of Endorsed Candidates).

If a candidate does not appear on your List of Endorsed Candidates, inform the candidate that they should immediately contact their political party to ensure the information has been submitted to ECHQ.

If at the end of the 48-hour verification deadline, the candidates name has not been added to the List of Endorsed Candidates contact the Field Support Network.

Nomination Submission Key

The Nomination Submission Key must be obtained by candidates prior to the submission of an online nomination form through the PESC.

Candidates who wish to submit their nomination through the PESC are required to obtain a Nomination Submission Key before they can complete the online nomination process. The Nomination Submission Key is a 4-digit code unique to each electronic submission. The code can only be obtained from the RO or ARO who are given access to the code through the EC Connex – Nomination Submission Key.

The following steps must be followed to access the Nomination Submission Key:

  1. Navigate to the Nomination Submission Key page in EC Connex under PESC in the Services tab.
  2. Request the Nomination ID (beginning with EN) from the caller to locate their record.
  3. Provide the associated Nomination Submission Key.

For additional reference materials, review the EC Connex – Quick Step: Nomination Submission Key.

Close of nominations

The RO and the ARO must be available at the RO office from noon until 2:00 p.m. on the closing day for nominations (Day 21). A prospective candidate or their campaign delegate who arrives before 2:00 p.m. and is not served until after 2:00 p.m. may still file their Nomination Paper. If the nomination documents are not complete, they are not to be accepted and the potential candidate cannot return after the deadline. The deadline for accepting nominations may not be extended. Electronic submissions through the PESC will not be available after 2:00 p.m.
ss. 70(1) and (2)

Corrections to the Nomination paper

If the candidate wishes to make any changes or corrections to the name, address or occupation stated in a filed Nomination Paper, he must do so in writing before 5:00 p.m. on Day 21.
s. 75

5.3.5 Media and the Nomination Process

If the RO is made aware that a prospective candidate intends to invite the media to the filing of their nomination, he should contact the candidate or their representative in advance to ensure that they are aware of the full scope of requirements to avoid embarrassing situations caused by incomplete documents.

Journalists are allowed to photograph or film the RO during verification of the nomination documents. However, the RO must be careful to maintain political impartiality and neutrality and avoid, for example, posing with a candidate for a photograph.

All staff must be particularly attentive to journalists to ensure that their access is limited to public areas of the office. The privacy of information must be preserved, particularly in the service centre and other areas containing sensitive information.

5.4 Preliminary Verification

When receiving a nomination in person, the RO must conduct the preliminary verification using C8 Nomination of Candidates: Preliminary Verification. Make a copy of this checklist for each candidate who submits a Nomination Paper in person and keep a copy of it with the nomination documents.

The Preliminary Verification process is only required for nominations submitted in person; nominations submitted electronically will be verified through the Detailed Verification process (consult section 5.6)
Prospective candidates are no longer required to disclose their gender, as this is now an optional field in the nomination process.

If the preliminary verification process is successful, complete a Receipt for Nomination Paper (EC 20011). Once this is completed, the RO has 48 hours from the date and time of receipt to perform the detailed verification and either confirm or refuse the nomination.

After accepting the Nomination Paper, enter the information into EC Connex (consult section 5.5) and scan and upload a copy of the submitted Nomination Paper.

C8 Nomination of Candidates: Preliminary Verification

Complete one checklist for each candidate filing a Nomination Paper (EC 20010) in person at the returning office.

Name of candidate:

Candidate’s political affiliation:

Read the instructions carefully on pages 3 and 4 of the Nomination Paper itself prior to the arrival of the candidate, who ideally will have made an appointment with you for filing their nomination.

Candidate Eligibility
The person’s name is not on the list of ineligible persons sent to you by Elections Canada, as described in section 5.2.3 Ineligibility.
If the name of the candidate appears on the list provided by EC, follow the instructions given in the memorandum attached to the list of ineligible persons.
Nomination submission
The following have been submitted with the completed Nomination Paper:
  • Proof of the candidate’s identity
    • If the candidate filed the nomination, they provided:
      • one piece of photo identification issued by a Canadian government or agency, or
      • 2 pieces of non-photo identification as authorized by the CEO.
      • The name on the documents, match the name provided in the Nomination Paper: Section A – Candidate name
    • If a delegate filed on behalf of the candidate, they provided:
      • a copy signed by the prospective candidate of one piece of photo identification issued by a Canadian government or agency, or
      • a copy signed by the prospective candidate of 2 pieces of non-photo identification as authorized by the CEO.
      • The name on the documents, match the name provided in the Nomination Paper: Section A – Candidate name
  • If the candidate selected to use an alternative name to appear on the ballot (Section A – Name on Ballot), the candidate or their delegate provided proof that they are commonly known by that name, as outlined in section 5.3.3
  • If the candidate appointed an auditor, Section D – Auditor of the Nomination Paper was completed.
Section A – Candidate Information and Declaration
The Candidate’s name was spelled consistently through the nomination, and matches the documents provided as proof of identity.
If the candidate has selected to use an alternative name to use on the ballot, they have provided documentation that they are commonly known by that name.
No mandatory fields were left blank. Ask the person filing the Nomination Paper to correct any missing information from the candidate and immediately mark any other optional fields that were left blank as “n/a”.

If the candidate lists a political affiliation on page 4:

  1. the party appears on Elections Canada’s list of registered or eligible political parties; and
  2. the candidate’s name and political affiliation appears on the List of Endorsed Candidates, accessible on the ED Profile in STAT (for reference, view the Quick Steps > Accessing the List of Endorsed Candidates). If the candidate has indicated a political affiliation but their name does not appear on the List of Endorsed Candidates within 48 hours of their nomination being submitted, their nomination must be processed according to their wishes indicated in the candidate’s declaration. If this occurs, contact the FSN (How to Reach Us).
The prospective candidate indicated whether they consent to sharing the information contained in the Nomination Paper with the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner as well as the House of Commons (mandatory) including the Library of Parliament.
The Candidate’s declaration and privacy notice have been signed and dated (page 7)
Section B – Campaign Delegate Information and Declaration (if applicable)  
If the candidate has appointed a campaign delegate, all of the mandatory fields in the Campaign Delegate Information page have been filled out, and the Campaign Delegate Privacy Notice and Declaration has been signed.
Section C – Official Agent Information and Declaration  
All of the mandatory fields in the Official Agent Information page have been filled, and the Official Agent Privacy Notice and Declaration has been signed.
ss. 66(1)(d)
Section D – Auditor Information and Declaration (if applicable)  
If the candidate appointed an auditor, all of the mandatory fields in the Auditor Information page have been filled, and the Auditor Privacy Notice and Declaration has been signed.
ss. 67 (6), ss. 477.1 (2)
Section E – Campaign Contact Information (optional)  
If the candidate chose to provide campaign office details, they have included all relevant contact information for their campaign. If the candidate is confirmed, this information will be published on www.elections.ca.
Section F – Electors consenting to candidacy  
The required number of signatures of electors consenting to the candidacy respects one of the following:
  • 100 signatures of electors residing in the ED; or
  • 50 signatures of electors residing in the ED if that district is listed in Schedule 3 of the CEA.
If some of the names and addresses are not legible, ask the witness to provide legible information concerning these electors.
If the name, full address or signature fields are not completed, the RO must not count those names as contributing to meeting the minimum required signatures.
The witness to the signatures has completed the bottom of each page of signatures, and has inserted his initials beside the name of each elector.
Receipt for Nomination Paper  
If the nomination is received in person, complete the Receipt of Nomination (EC 20011), photocopy the receipt and provide the copy to the person who filed the nomination.
Advise the person filing the Nomination Paper that you will conduct a detailed verification of the nomination and associated documents within the next 48 hours and will provide notice of confirmation or refusal once the verification is complete.
If, after consultation with EC, you refuse the nomination, the prospective candidate may submit a new Nomination Paper no later than 2:00 p.m. at the close of nomination (Day 21). You will then conduct a second verification and will again issue notice of confirmation or refusal. As long as the deadline has not passed, the prospective candidate can keep modifying the Nomination Paper or replace it with another Nomination Paper until all of the requirements are met.

After accepting the Nomination Paper, enter the information into the EC Connex – Nomination Module (consult section 5), then scan and upload a copy the Nomination Paper, and Receipt of Nomination.

If the candidate files an electronic nomination through the PESC, the preliminary verification is not required. The nomination will be reviewed through the detailed verification process.

5.5 Sending Nominations to Elections Canada

EC Connex is a new digital platform for processing candidate nominations and centralizing the delivery of political entity products.

All nominations, regardless of submission method, must be processed through the EC Connex – Nomination module. This platform will allow you to manage all candidate nominations, guide you through the detailed verification process, and enable ECHQ to generate ballots and publish the information on the EC website.

Nomination records are managed through the Nomination Page, accessible under the Service tab. If a nomination is submitted electronically though the Political Entities Service Centre, it will also be accessible through this page.

It is the responsibility of the RO to ensure that all physical copies of candidate nomination papers and supporting documentation are kept, and stored securely.

5.5.1 EC Connex – Nomination Dashboard

The Nomination Dashboard allows you to manage candidate nominations within your ED (for reference, view the EC Connex Quick Steps > Nomination Page). Each nomination is assigned one of the following statuses:

  1. In Progress – The nomination record has been created, but the data entry is not yet complete.
  2. Submitted – The nomination contains all mandatory fields and has been submitted for verification. Nominations submitted electronically through the Political Entities Service Centre will receive this status when submitted by the candidate.
  3. Confirmed – The detailed verification process is complete, and the candidate nomination has formally been confirmed (consult 5.7 Confirming or Refusing a Nomination).
  4. Refused – The detailed verification process is complete, and the candidate nomination has formally been refused (consult 5.7 Confirming or Refusing a Nomination).
  5. Withdrawn – An exceptional status whereby a confirmed candidate withdraws their nomination before 5:00 p.m. on Day 21 (consult 5.8.4 Withdrawal of a Candidate).
  6. Modification Required – If during the detailed verification process, information is missing or needs to be edited, a nomination’s status change to ‘modification required’. If this occurs, you must immediately contact the candidate to arrange the required amendment.

5.5.2 EC Connex – Entering a Paper Nomination

If a nomination is submitted in person with the returning officer, a nomination record must be created using the EC Connex – Nomination module. This record is to be completed following the successful completion of the preliminary verification process (see 5.4). The information provided in the Nomination Paper must be data captured in the file. In addition, a scanned copy of the Nomination Paper must be attached to the record for quality control purposes.

For step-by-step instruction on how to enter this information, review the EC Connex Quick Steps > How to Create a Candidate Nomination, and EC Connex Quick Steps > How to Upload Nomination Documents.

5.5.3 EC Connex – Creating and Managing Contact Information

When creating a nomination record, the candidate, official agent, campaign delegate and auditor need to be entered as contacts. This can be done from the Contacts tab or through the nomination record using Quick Create. For additional instructions, consult EC Connex Quick Steps > How to Create a Contact in a Nomination Form.

5.6 Detailed Verification

After a nomination record has been submitted in EC Connex, the Detailed Verification form will become available. This process must be completed to confirm or refuse a candidate’s nomination.

You must thoroughly verify each nomination, regardless of submission method, within 48 hours of the time it was filed. To access the Detailed Verification page, navigate to the Nomination Record on EC Connex, and proceed to the Complete Detailed Verification stage in the upper form. Review each of the sections using the instructions provided and determine if the information or documents provided meet the required criteria. For additional reference, consult EC Connex Quick Steps > Detailed Verification.

For information on verifying electors supporting a candidacy, consult section 5.6.1 below. Begin the verification process as soon as possible after the nomination is filed and continue until 100 electors (50 electors in EDs in Schedule 3 of the CEA) are confirmed as supporting the nomination.

Keep candidates apprised immediately of any significant issues that arise during the verification process. Prospective candidates must have sufficient opportunity to correct their nomination submission before the 48-hour deadline.

The detailed verification process is an important RO task. As such, you must ensure that it is done carefully, quickly and accurately.

5.6.1 Verifying Elector Signatures

Verify Section F by following the steps below, confirming that the electors who signed their consent to the candidacy reside within the ED. For nominations submitted electronically, print out all pages bearing signatures in Section F.

Step 1

Using the Alphabetical List of Electors or REVISE, search for each elector to confirm residence in the ED and check the Source 1 box on Verification Source List (EC 20009).

If the number of valid signatures is below the required minimum in that ED, proceed to Step 2.

Step 2

If an elector is not on the list, use REVISE to perform an address search or the Poll Key to check that the address provided by the elector is within your ED. If the address is within the ED, accept the name and check the Source 2 box on Verification Source List (EC 20009).

If the number of valid signatures is still below the required minimum in that ED, proceed to Step 3.

Step 3

If the address is not found in the Poll Key, check if the address is in a new development where the street does not appear in the Poll Key. If you can certify through other sources that the address is in the ED, accept the name. Use the ED maps provided.

If fewer than 100 qualified electors have been identified (or 50 in EDs listed in Schedule 3 of the CEA), proceed to Step 4.

Step 4

At this stage, if you still cannot confirm 100 electors (or 50 in EDs listed in Schedule 3 of the CEA), immediately advise the prospective candidate or his official agent. You must then contact the Electoral Coordination Help Desk to inform them of the situation.

5.7 Confirming or Refusing a Nomination

After a nomination is formally accepted, it must be reviewed through the detailed verification process so that a decision can be rendered within the EC Connex – Nomination Module.

If you confirm the nomination

Generate the Notice of Confirmation of Nomination and Name to Appear on the Ballot (EC 20012) within the EC Connex – Nomination Module (consult EC Connex Quick Steps > Generating Nomination Notices). Sign, date and upload the completed notice to the candidate’s nomination record in EC Connex. Advise the candidate or the official agent immediately by telephone. The notice should then be emailed to the candidate, or picked up in person at your office. Keep a copy of the notice, along with the rest of the candidate’s nomination documents, for your files.

If you refuse the nomination

Call the Electoral Administration and Procedures Help Desk before proceeding with the refusal in EC Connex. If the decision is to refuse the candidate’s nomination after the consultation, proceed as follows:

  1. Refuse the candidate within EC Connex, and include the reason for the nomination refusal.
  2. Generate the Notice of Refusal of Nomination (EC 20013) within EC Connex – Nomination Module (consult EC Connex Quick Steps > Generating Nomination Notices).
  3. Sign, date and upload the completed notice to the candidate’s nomination record in EC Connex.
  4. Call the prospective candidate or the official agent and provide the results of your verification. Arrange to meet with the candidate, the official agent or a representative of the candidate to return any nomination documents. Explain that a corrected or new nomination may be submitted at any time before the close of nominations (2:00 p.m. on Day 21).
  5. Keep a copy of the Nomination Paper for your files.

5.8 Confirmed Candidates

5.8.1 Confirming the Final List of Candidates

Shortly after 2:00 p.m. on Day 19, EC sends ROs the List of Candidates Verification Report (EC 10043) for their ED. You must verify or correct the information and immediately send a scanned copy of the signed report by responding to the email as per the instructions provided.

The verification steps must be repeated until you complete a List of Candidates Verification Report that does not require any corrections.

5.8.2 Changes to the Nomination Paper

Once a nomination has been confirmed, changes to the candidate’s name, address or occupation may still be made until 5:00 p.m. on the closing day for nominations (the 21st day before polling day). Any changes the candidate wishes to make to his or her Nomination Paper must be provided to the RO in writing. These changes must be made within the nomination record, in the EC Connex – Nomination module.

5.8.3 Return by Acclamation

If, at 2:00 p.m. on Day 19, there is only one confirmed candidate, you shall endorse the back of the writ in the prescribed form and return it to the CEO, along with a report of the proceedings describing any rejected nominations for non-compliance with the CEA.

In addition, within 48 hours after the return of the writ, you must send a certified copy to the elected candidate.
s. 63

5.8.4 Withdrawal of a Candidate

Candidates have until 5:00 p.m. on Day 21 to withdraw. To withdraw, a candidate must meet with the RO to file a written and signed declaration which has been endorsed by two qualified electors from the ED. Withdrawn candidates must still comply with all provisions related to campaign expenses and submit the reports and declarations required by the CEA.
ss. 74(1)

A withdrawn candidate’s name must not appear on the ballot. Any votes cast for a withdrawn candidate are void.
ss. 74(2)

If after a withdrawal, only one candidate remains, the result is a Return by Acclamation.

If a withdrawal is received, notify the Electoral Coordination Help Desk by telephone immediately. Instruction will be provided on how to proceed, and update the nomination record in the EC Connex – Nomination module.

5.8.5 Death of a Candidate

If a candidate endorsed by a registered party dies after 2:00 p.m. on Day 26 and before the closing of the polls on polling day, the election for that ED is postponed.
ss. 68(2); s. 77

Should this occur, contact the Electoral Coordination Help Desk.

C9 Approving the List of Candidates Verification Report

Requirement 1: EC produces the List of Candidates Verification Report, listing all confirmed candidates exactly as they will appear on the ballot, and sends it to the RO (Day 19).
You will receive the List of Candidates Verification Report by email.
Verify that the ED name and number are correct. If there is a mistake, proceed to Requirement 3. Otherwise, proceed to Requirement 2.
Print a copy of the report.
Requirement 2: The RO verifies each candidate's name and party affiliation.
The name to appear on the ballot is spelled exactly as submitted by the candidate in their Nomination Paper or online form, including accents and spaces (e.g. Toméso, David).
There are no subscript or superscript characters.
The surname is in uppercase letters and the given name is in mixed case letters.
The party affiliation of the candidate is correct and in both official languages, if applicable.
The name and status of the political party have been verified against the Final List of Political Parties.
Candidates' surnames are in strict alphabetical order.
If corrections to the report are required, proceed to Requirement 3. Otherwise, proceed to Requirement 4.
Requirement 3: The RO requests corrections if required.
If corrections are required, hand-write the changes on the printed report and follow the instructions in the email.
Wait for EC to email the revised report, and then repeat the above steps until the report is error-free.
Requirement 4: The RO approves the report.
If there are no errors, initial beside each candidate's name, fill in the total number of candidates, and sign and date the bottom of the form.
On Day 18, EC will then email the ballot files to your identified printer and to your RO email account.

5.9 Changing an Official Agent, Campaign Delegate, or Auditor

If, for whatever reason, a new official agent or auditor must be appointed, the candidate must appoint one in a timely manner. The candidate should submit a written notification of the new appointment to the RO and a signed declaration from the new official agent, campaign delegate or auditor indicating the acceptance of the appointment.
s. 477.42

5.9.1 New Official Agent

  1. Request a written notification from the candidate.
  2. Have the new official agent fill out Section C – Official Agent of the Nomination Paper, including the Official Agent Declaration;
  3. Attach these new pages to the candidate's Nomination Paper if you received a physical copy;
  4. Update the nomination record in EC Connex – Nomination Module;
  5. Upload a scanned copy of Section C to the candidate’s nomination record in EC Connex.

5.9.2 New Campaign Delegate

  1. Request a written notification from the candidate;
  2. Ask the candidate to fill out Section B – Campaign Delegate, of the Nomination Paper;
  3. Attach these new pages to the candidate's Nomination Paper if you received a physical copy;
  4. Update the nomination record in the EC Connex – Nomination Module;
  5. Upload a scanned copy of Section B to the candidate’s nomination record in EC Connex.

5.9.3 New Auditor

  1. Request a written notification from the candidate.
  2. Ask the candidate to fill out Section D – Auditor of the Nomination Paper, including the Privacy Notice and Declaration.
  3. Attach these new pages to the candidate's Nomination Paper if you received a physical copy.
  4. Update the nomination record in the EC Connex – Nomination Module.
  5. Upload a scanned copy of Section D to the candidate’s nomination record in EC Connex.

5.10 Changing an Official Agent or Auditor

The Political Entities Service Centre (PESC) is EC’s new secure online portal for political entities to access a variety of services and digital documents. This portal will provide political entities an additional channel for interacting with EC.

5.10.1 Official Agent

The Political Entities Service Centre is available to all prospective candidates through the EC website. Candidates who chose to submit physical copies of the nomination paper will still be able to access the PESC. An email invitation will be automatically sent to those candidates upon the confirmation of their nomination, asking them to create a PESC account.

5.10.2 Accessing PESC Products

The PESC contains a central repository of products for authorized political entities to access and download. The products will be maintained and supported by the PESC Product Administrator at ECHQ. To access the product repository, the user must first log-in to the PESC and navigate to the Tools, Documents and Forms tab.

5.10.3 Materials for Confirmed Candidates

Confirmed candidates are entitled to receive various materials, as legislated by the CEA. Materials can be accessed digitally through the PESC, or picked up by the candidate or an authorized delegate at the returning office. For a complete list of materials to distribute, consult C10 Materials for Confirmed Candidates.

You are required to inform confirmed candidates that the EFR software can be obtained through the PESC. Should the candidate, or official agent, not have access to the internet, or is unable to download onto their computer, a Multimedia Kit for Federal Political Entities (K.00003-C), which includes a USB key containing EFR, can be obtained by calling 1-800-486-6563 toll-free , or by sending an email request to FPTM-PFMK@elections.ca.

5.10.4 Distributing the National List of Polling Locations to Candidates

On Day 24, you will receive an email from the Polling Location Management Services (PLMS) team at ECHQ indicating that the National List of Polling Locations Report (in Excel format) was distributed to all political entities.

  1. Follow the instructions contained in the email and review the data in the attached List of Polling Locations Report for your ED.
  2. Starting on Day 24, send an email without delay to each confirmed candidate in your ED and attach the electronic version of the National List of Polling Locations Report.
  3. Print copies of the report to keep on hand at the RO office. A copy of the report will also be available for confirmed candidates on the Political Entities Service Centre.

From Day 23 to Day 0, you must monitor and report back to ECHQ any changes that have been made to the addresses of polling stations and polling locations in your ED.
If a change in address has occurred, PLMS will generate a new List of all Polling Locations Report for distribution.

Candidates and political parties will receive a new digital map whenever there are changes to the addresses of polling stations. This map will be available for download in the Political Entities Service Centre.

C10 Materials for Confirmed Candidates

Materials will also be distributed through the Political Entities Service Centre.

1 A copy of the Canada Elections Act, in both official languages. An electronic version is available on the Department of Justice website.
2 Multimedia Kits for Federal Political Entities (K.00003-C) can now be obtained through PESC or by sending an email to FPTM-PFMK@elections.ca.
3

Official contribution receipts can be produced electronically through the Electronic Financial Return (EFR) software application. Hardcopy receipts (EC 20060), available in packages of 50, can be obtained by sending an email request to EC to ROFP-ORPF@elections.ca.

4 Preliminary election expenses limit letters.
5 Direct candidates to access the following materials on the EC website:
  • Authorization of a Candidate's Representative (EC 20020) for appointing representatives at voting locations throughout the ED
  • Guidelines for Candidates' Representatives (EC 20045), detailing the rights and responsibilities of representatives
  • SVR Guidelines for Candidates and their Representatives (EC 78058), detailing rights and responsibilities of representatives concerning the special ballot registration process and during the counting of the special ballots in the RO office
6 If requested, a copy of the Notice of Election.
7 A copy of the following, when available:
  • Notice of Grant of a Poll
    ss. 64(2)
  • Notice of Mobile Poll
    ss. 125(3)
  • Notice of Advance Poll
    ss. 172(b)
8 From Day 24 to Day 0, an electronic copy of the List of Polling Locations
ss. 125.1(1)
9 If requested, a copy of the job descriptions of DROs, poll clerks and registration officers.
10 No earlier than Day 31, up to 10 copies of the Poll Key (from REVISE).
ss. 64(4)
11

A set of polling division maps (one paper copy, with additional copies on request); electronic maps are accessible to each candidate via the Political Entities Service Portal.

12 Up to 5 copies (of each size) of the Returning Officer's Aide-Mémoire.
13 One copy (paper and USB key) of the following, when available:
  • Preliminary List of Electors (and up to four additional paper copies, on request)
    s.94
  • Day 19 Lists of Electors (on USB key only, on request)
  • Revised List of Electors, without elector year of birth (on request, with up to four additional paper copies)
    ss. 107(3)
  • Official List of Electors, without elector date of birth (on request, with up to four additional paper copies)
    ss. 107(3)
  • Statement of Changes
  • Statement of Quality of the List of Electors
  • list of election officers for polling day and counting of votes at RO office
    s. 112, 273
  • make available a list of service agents on completion of the list
    ss. 33(5)
14 On request, after polling day, one copy of the Statement of the Vote and the sequence number sheets (EC 50109) and EC 50111)
s. 291
15 A copy of the return of the writ
ss. 315(1)

5.11 Liaison with Political Parties and Candidates

5.11.1 The Rights of Political Entities

All political parties, candidates and their representatives have the right to:

  • be treated equally and fairly, regardless of political affiliation or prospect of winning
  • expect prompt, authoritative information from the RO
  • expect sensitivity and reasonable accommodation to their special needs

Table 6 outlines the RO’s tasks and responsibilities regarding political parties and candidates.

5.11.2 Joint Meeting with Political Entities

A meeting must be held with local political parties, confirmed candidates and their representatives on either Day 18 or Day 17 to discuss key information relevant to the electoral process.

You can find a list of topics to be covered in the joint meeting below.

Send email invitations to the participants and be sure to attach a detailed agenda for the meeting. Use the Joint Meeting Invitation (EC 22003) and the Joint Meeting Agenda (EC 22001) MSWord templates.

Assign a staff member, preferably the ARO, to attend the meeting and take minutes.

Draft the meeting summary immediately after the meeting using the Joint Meeting Summary (EC 22004). Once completed, sign and send a scanned copy to each participant as well as EC using the online form in the public folders (Quality Control – Uploads, 09 – Meeting Summary).

All communications with candidates and political parties related to this meeting must be recorded using the Joint Meeting Follow-up Report (EC 22002).

5.11.3 Items to Discuss at the Joint Meeting

  1. Polling places
    • a report for each participant, listing all polling places to be used
    • maps to help locate polling divisions
  2. Rules governing special ballot voting
    • who can vote by special ballot
    • roles of the service agents and service point supervisor
    • voting under Special Voting Rules may not be suitable for electors who would otherwise benefit from an onsite voting process, such as a mobile poll
    • residency rules
    • deadlines for registration
    • deadlines for voting
    • special ballot voting process (envelope system and secrecy of vote)
    • special ballot voting kits must not be provided to third parties
    • candidates must give advance notice if they expect to accompany large groups of electors to register to vote in the RO office
    • the count of the votes of local electors
    • the count of the votes of national electors
    • SVR guidelines for candidate representatives observing special ballot registration
    • hospital initiative (where applicable)
  3. Revision process
    • duration of the revision period
    • information on the quality of Preliminary Lists of Electors
    • appointment of service agents
    • duties of service agents
    • voter information cards
    • link to EC advertising campaign
    • revision process (general)
    • distribution of lists of electors to candidates (when, how, how many, and requesting extra copies)
    • Targeted revision
      • locations identified
      • process
      • calendar
      • result
  4. Candidates’ representatives at voting locations and RO office
    • Guidelines for Candidates' Representatives (EC 20045)
    • Authorization of a Candidate's Representative (EC 20020)
    • number of representatives allowed at advance, ordinary and mobile polls, as well as registration desks and at the SVR desk in the RO office
    • layout of polling places
    • format of the lists of electors for candidates' representatives
    • Sequence number sheet – Advance Polls (EC 50109)
    • Sequence Number Sheet (EC 50111)
    • candidates visiting polling places
    • how questions or complaints are handled
  5. Documentation for candidates
    • the Political Entities Service Centre
    • the lists of electors
    • the notices (Notice of Election, Notice of Grant of a Poll, Notice of Advance Poll, and Notice of Mobile Poll)
    • list of poll officials (DROs and poll clerks)
    • letter about a candidate’s access to public places
  6. Registration process at the polls
    • advance polls
    • mobile
    • ordinary polls
  7. Procedure to follow on advance poll days and on polling day
    • the voting process
    • the role of central poll supervisors and information officers
    • the role of the designated election officer responsible for the accessibility verification and reporting process at the polling place
    • any security questions
    • the name of a resource person for polling day, for each candidate, who can resolve any problems that might arise at polling places
    • format of lists of electors for DROs
    • format of lists of electors for candidate representatives
    • sequence number sheets (bingo sheets)
  8. Posting or displaying partisan materials
    • partisan materials are prohibited in or near polling places
    • use of any emblem, flag, banner, or other partisan item in a polling place is prohibited
    • leases used for renting space for polling places contain a clause that allows the RO or their staff to remove partisan materials on the leased premises
    • exception: a candidate’s representative in a voting location may, in the manner authorized by the CEO, wear a badge identifying his function and the name of the political party listed on the ballot under the name of the candidate
    • Blackout period
  9. Results on polling night
    • procedure for publishing results on polling night
  10. Validation of results
    • date and time (as indicated in Notice of Election)
    • presence of candidates' representatives at the validation
  11. Miscellaneous
    • Answer possible questions concerning
      • your office (e.g. office hours, roles, contact person)
      • identification of a contact person for each party
      • your availability during the election period
      • availability of EC's Candidate and Political Entities Support Network during the election period
      • any other relevant topic of discussion

5.12 Campaign Information

5.12.1 Campaign Signage

On private property

The CEA does not restrict the right of private property owners to control who enters or makes use of their property. If a sign is placed on private property without permission, the CEA does not prevent the owner from removing it. It is suggested that the property owner contact the candidate or registered party responsible for the sign to ask that the sign be removed.

Apartments and condominiums

Property owners do not have the right to prevent tenants from putting up election signs on the premises they lease in an apartment building.

Condominium corporations do not have the right to prevent condo owners from putting up election signs on the units they own. However, property owners and condominium corporations do have the right to set reasonable conditions on the size or type of election advertising that may be displayed on the premises and may prohibit signs in common areas.
ss. 322

Public property

No one may interfere with the transmission of election advertising, such as an election sign.
s. 325

However:

  • Government agencies, usually municipalities, may remove signs that do not respect provincial or municipal laws, after informing the person who authorized the posting that they plan on removing it.
    par. 325(2)(a)
  • If the sign is a safety hazard, government agencies, including municipalities, may remove it without informing the person who authorized the posting.
    par. 325(2)(b)

Polling places

Paragraph 166(1)(a) of the CEA aims to create a neutral area around the polls to promote the impartial administration of elections and maintain trust in the electoral process. This important objective must be balanced against freedom of expression guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Given the diversity of polling locations across Canada, how the prohibition on partisan material must be applied to meet the objective of a neutral area around the polls cannot be set out in a definitive rule.

The following principles guide where partisan material is allowed, and will be applied by ROs and other election officers in deciding whether or not to remove material:

  • Partisan material cannot be posted or displayed in the room where voting takes place.
  • In most cases, partisan material cannot be posted or displayed anywhere in the building where voting takes place.
  • In most cases, the prohibition on partisan material extends to the entire property on which the building is located, including the parking lot.
  • In some cases, it may be reasonable in balancing neutrality and freedom of expression to permit partisan material in areas of the building or property that are far removed from the room where voting takes place, or in private areas of the building or property.
  • Where it is not reasonable to remove partisan material from the entire building or property, priority will be given to removing material from the main pathways used by voters to enter the polling location.

5.12.2 Destruction or Theft of Signs

The RO is to instruct candidates or their representatives to do the following when reporting that their signs have been vandalized or stolen:

  1. Notify local police; destruction of private property is a criminal offense; and
  2. Send a complaint in writing to the Commissioner of Canada Elections.

5.12.3 Blackout Period

Under the CEA (s. 323, 324), the blackout period applies to candidates, political parties and third parties. No one may knowingly conduct election advertising as defined under section 319 of the CEA during the blackout period on polling day. There are exceptions for some online communications, signs, posters and banners. Personal or automated telephone calls are not considered election advertising and therefore are not subject to the blackout.

The blackout period starts at midnight before the opening of the polls on polling day and continues until the close of the polls for that ED.

5.13 Public Consultation of the Nomination Paper

The submitted candidate nominations are made public only during the election period. Once the election is over, the Nomination Paper becomes a protected document and is not available for public consultation.
s. 2 "election documents"; s. 540

The original document must not leave the office during public consultation.

If someone requests to consult the nomination of a candidate which was submitted through PESC, you may print the associated Nomination Summary. This document is generated the same way as Nomination Notices. For more information, consult Generating Nomination Notices > Quickstep.

Note: the general public is not entitled to view the candidate’s ID or proof of commonly known name in the course of consulting the nomination paper.

5.14 Candidates' Representatives

5.14.1 Role During Voting Hours

The candidate or the DRO may provide the representative with the Guidelines for Candidates’ Representatives (EC 20045). The candidate or the SPS may provide the representative the SVR Guide for Candidates and their representatives (EC 78058). In addition, these documents are available on the EC website, and the PESC. Candidates’ representatives must adhere to the guidelines set out in these documents.

Polling places

If candidates and their representatives have made the required declaration at the first voting location, they may visit any voting location in the ED by presenting their Candidate's Representative Identification Badges (EC 20901).

Candidates and their representatives at polling places may:

  • ask to have the ballots counted and inspect the ballots, ballot box and any other material related to the vote if they are present at least 15 minutes before the polls open
  • sign any seals placed on the envelopes and ballot boxes containing the ballots and other election materials
  • take note of the serial numbers on seals for the secure bag or ballot box and verify against the control sheet
  • examine, but not handle, elector ID when the DRO is verifying proof of identity and address
  • examine the lists of electors from time to time, as long as it does not delay an elector from voting
  • challenge the qualification of an elector (citizenship and/or age) and in limited circumstances, their residence, and request that electors make a declaration
  • request through the DRO that an elector repeat his name and address
  • receive one copy of the Sequence Number Sheet when they are made available

If a candidate representative's actions interfere with the voting process at a polling station, DROs are instructed to report the interference to the CPS at the polling place. The CPS is responsible for contacting the RO if there is repeated interference or other urgent issues.

If the RO receives a complaint about a candidate representative’s conduct, he may contact the appropriate campaign. If the situation persists, the RO may instruct the CPS to ask the representative to leave or to have the representative removed from the polling place.

Where possible, chairs should be made available for candidates' representatives. Each DRO and registration officer should ensure that chairs for candidates' representatives are placed away from their table and off to the side to allow for sufficient movement space for individuals with reduced mobility.

Special ballot voting

Candidates and candidates' representatives present in the service centre may:

  • observe registration activities
  • challenge the qualification of an elector (citizenship and/or age) and in limited circumstances, their residence, and request electors to make a declaration
  • observe the sealing and unsealing of ballot boxes (before the office opens and throughout the election, if applicable) and take note of the serial numbers on the seals
  • examine, but not handle, elector ID when the SPS or SA is verifying proof of identity and address
  • examine the Record of Outer Envelopes Issued to Local SVR Electors (EC 78720)

If a candidate representative's actions interfere with the voting process, the SPS is instructed to assess the situation and, if required, contact the RO in case of urgency. If the RO receives a complaint about a candidate's representative’s conduct, he must contact the appropriate official agent. If the situation cannot be resolved, he may ask the representative to leave or be removed from the service centre.

Never seat candidates' representatives at the same table as the DRO, poll clerk, registration officer, or service agent.

5.14.2 Number of Representatives Permitted

Advance, mobile and ordinary polls

Each confirmed candidate may appoint as many representatives per polling station as they wish; however, only two representatives for each candidate may be present at any time at each polling station during the opening of the poll, the voting hours and the counting of the votes.
par. 135(1)(d), ss. 136(1)

Bed to bed

When a mobile poll is closed down so that the ballot box can be taken from bed to bed, only one representative for each candidate may be present.
ss. 157(2)

Registration desks

Only one representative for each candidate may be present at each registration desk on polling day.
ss. 161(3)

Service centre in the RO office/AARO office

Each confirmed candidate may appoint as many representatives as they wish, but only one representative of each candidate may be present at any one time at the service centre during office hours.
ss. 237.1(2)

Candidates are entitled to be present at any polling station, registration desk or service centre, but shall not sit at the same table as election officers; the same rules apply to their representatives.

A candidate’s representative may note the names of electors who are currently voting and who have voted in person at the RO/AARO office, provided that:

  1. The secrecy of the vote is not put at risk;
  2. The voting process is not interfered with; and
  3. There is no influence or attempt to influence the vote.

5.14.3 Authorization Forms

Candidate representatives may now provide a physical copy of the Authorization of a Candidate’s Representative (EC 20020), originals are no longer required so long as the form is complete.

For candidates' representatives at the polls

Each representative at polling places must provide an Authorization of a Candidate's Representative (EC 20020) form signed by the candidate or official agent. This form may be presented as an original or a physical copy.

At the voting location, the Authorization of a Candidate's Representative (EC 20020) must be presented to the delegated election officer, who will witness the candidate’s representative completing the declaration. The election officer will then complete the form, and provide the representative with Candidate's Representative Identification Badges (EC 20901) in the Clear Plastic Hanging Badge Holder (EC 20909)

The badges and badge holders are included in the election officer’s kits and are given to candidates' representatives when they complete their declaration. For more information on these badges, including how to print them with the PDF templates sent from ECHQ, consult the Candidate's Representative Identification Badges (EC 20901) sheet.

Candidates' representatives are not eligible to receive a Transfer Certificate (EC 50052). Representatives may vote at advance polls or by special ballot.

For candidates' representatives in the service centre and during counting of SVR local votes at the RO office

A candidate or their representative may be present for the verification of the outer envelopes and counting the ballots received at the RO office.
s. 274

Each candidate representative observing special ballot registration procedures in the service centre and/or present for the verification of outer envelopes and the count of special ballots must present an Authorization of a Candidate's Representative (EC 20020) form signed by the candidate or official agent. This form may be presented as an original or a physical copy.

Candidates’ representatives must present the authorization form to the RO, AARO or SPS and make the required declaration. If the candidates’ representatives are present for the verification of outer envelopes and the counting of the local special ballots, they must show a copy of their authorization form to the DRO. The election officer will then complete the form and provide the representative with a Candidate's Representative Identification Badges (EC 20901) in the Clear Plastic Hanging Badge Holder (EC 20909).

5.14.4 Political Materials

No campaign literature or materials that could be taken as an indication of support for or opposition to a political party or candidate can be displayed at a polling place.

Any document, folder, clothing or other visible element within a polling place that bears a party or candidate's name, logo, design, colour or other designation, contravenes the CEA. This does not prevent a person from wearing a flag or banner of Canada or a province, for example, as long as it does not manifest political support or opposition for a registered party or candidate.
par. 166(1)(a) and (b)

At the polling station, candidates' representatives may display a Candidate's Representative Identification Badge that discloses their political affiliation, name, voting place where they received their badge, and the election officer’s information. Only the official EC badges are authorized at a polling place. No additional information should be displayed on the badge.

Candidates' representatives should use standard white or manila folders that bear no indication of the candidate or party. The decisions of the DRO or the CPS are final in this matter.

In accordance with subsection 479(7), appointed ROs and other election officers are empowered to remove from voting places any material if there is reason to believe it contravenes paragraph 166(1)(a) or (b) of the CEA. If campaign material is posted in support of or against a particular candidate, the candidate in question must be notified.

Candidates and their representatives in the service centre should follow the same rules. Final decisions belong to the SPS, RO or AARO.

5.14.5 Mobile Devices

Candidates' representatives are not permitted to take audio or video recordings at polling stations. Any use of a communication device should be done discreetly and not impede any elector from exercising their right to vote, nor violate the secrecy of the vote.
ss. 136(4)

The only exception to this policy is that the CEO allows candidates’ representatives to photograph the Sequence number sheet – Advance Polls (EC 50109) when the advance polls have closed.

Candidates, their representatives and electors are not restricted by legislation on the usage of mobile devices. However Elections Canada discourages their use in polling places. If the use of a mobile device results in the disruption of the voting process, the CPS or DRO should simply ask the person involved to leave the polling place.

It is illegal for anyone, including an elector, to take a picture, make a video recording or copy in any manner a marked ballot. However, this prohibition does not apply to persons with a visual impairment who take a photograph or make a video recording of a ballot they have marked for the purpose of verifying the accuracy of the marking.
ss. 281.8(1) and (2)

5.14.6 Sequence Number Sheet

Advance polls

After closing the advance poll, the poll clerk provides the names of electors who voted each day, using the Sequence number sheet – Advance Polls (EC 50109) (bingo sheet). This sheet does not include electors who registered on that day.

If the CPS has access to a photocopier inside the building where the polling station is located, a photocopy of the Sequence number sheet will be available to candidates' representatives at the close of polls and when all electors have left the polling station. Alternatively, the CEO allows representatives to take photographs using mobile devices. Additionally, copies of the Sequence number sheet are to be made available each day after the close of the advance polling station.
par. 162(i.2)

For more information, consult the section on Sequence Number Sheet – Advance Polls.

Ordinary and mobile polls

Similarly to advanced polls, for ordinary and mobile polls, the poll clerk tracks the names of electors who voted on polling day using the Sequence Number Sheet (EC 50111) (bingo sheet). This Statement does not include electors who registered on polling day.

Copies of this Sequence number sheet are made available to candidates' representatives, on request, once an hour throughout the day. The information officer at the polling place (or poll clerk if there is no information officer present) will collect the sheets from the poll clerk and sort them in order to distribute them to candidates or their representatives on request.
par. 162(i.1)

The original sequence number sheets are returned to the RO after the close of polls on polling night. Copies of the sheets are to be available for all polling stations the next day at the office and provided to candidates on request.
s. 291

For more information, consult the section on 11.2.8 - Handling Sequence Number Sheets.

5.15 Candidate Election Expense Return

Official agents must document and report on candidate transactions related to their campaign. To assist official agents, the materials outlined in table 7 below are accessible online to download or are available through an email request to EC.
Direct questions concerning political financing to Political Financing (How to Reach Us).

5.15.1 Returning Officer's Responsibilities

ROs are responsible for:

  • providing information and election expense materials to confirmed candidates and their official agents and reminding them of return deadlines
  • directing any questions regarding the CEA or filling any electoral financial documents to the Political Entities Service Network (How to Reach Us)
  • submitting documentation to the Political Financing Sector and to the CEO, as appropriate

Table 6 outlines the RO’s tasks and responsibilities regarding political parties and candidates.

5.15.2 Election Expenses Materials

The election expense materials and tools outlined in the table below are available to confirmed candidates and their official agents.

The Electronic Financial Return (EFR) software application is for use and reference by the official agent when fulfilling reporting requirements under the political financing provisions of the Canada Elections Act. EFR can be requested by sending an email to: EFR-RFE@elections.ca. If required, a Multimedia Kit, which includes a USB key containing the EFR application, can be obtained directly by the candidate or official agent, by sending an email to: FPTM-PFMK@elections.ca.

Official Contribution Receipts can be produced by using the EFR software application. If required, hard-copy Official Contribution Receipts can be obtained directly by the candidate or official agent, by sending an email request to: ROFP-ORPF@elections.ca. A Record of Official Receipts form must be returned with any unused, cancelled or voided hardcopy receipts within a month of polling day.

Table 7 Election Expense Materials
Materials provided to Candidates and their Representatives
  • Electronic Financial Return (EFR) – application software downloaded from PESC
  • Multimedia Kit (K.00003-C) – downloaded from PESC:
    • Envelope for Multimedia Kit (EC 20276)
    • Read Me First! Instruction Sheet (EC 20152)
    • Multimedia Key (EC 20151)
    • There are limits to what you can give pamphlet (EC 90117)
    • Important Reminders for Candidates and Their Official Agents pamphlet (EC 20059)
  • Official Contribution Receipts kit (K.2) – available by request to EC:
    • Receipt for a Contribution to a Candidate at an Election (EC 20060)
    • Record of Official Receipts (EC 20070)
    • Return Envelope (EC 80300-V)

ROs are responsible for ensuring the safekeeping of candidate multimedia kits and reference materials in their possession.

5.15.3 Tax Materials for Confirmed Candidates/Official Agents

  1. Electronic Financial Return (EFR)

The EFR application, downloadable through the PESC, should be used by official agents to complete their filing requirements. The EFR enables printing of official income tax receipts. The EFR application contains the Candidate’s Electoral Campaign Return (EC 20120) form which must be completed even if the candidate does not receive contributions or incur any election expenses.

  1. Candidate Multimedia Kit for Federal Political Entities

    Should Internet access or downloading onto a computer be an issue, the Multimedia Kit is available and includes a USB key containing the EFR application. The Kit, which contains documentation pertaining to candidates and their official agents, can be obtained by sending an email request to FPTM-PFMK@elections.ca or by calling 1-800-486-6563 (toll-free).

  2. Official Income Tax Receipt Forms for Contributions

    Official income tax receipt forms can be produced electronically using the EFR application. This is the recommended process due to the application's ease of use and convenience.

    If required, the Receipt for a Contribution to a Candidate at an Election (EC 20060) hard-copy forms are available in packages of 50, and can be provided to confirmed candidates or their official agents upon request to EC, until one month after polling day, by sending an email to ROFP-ORPF@elections.ca.

    The Income Tax Act allows the official agent to issue an official income tax receipt for any monetary contribution received within the period that starts the day on which the RO confirms the candidate's nomination and ends on the day that marks one month after polling day, so long as any contributions received after polling day were in transit on polling day.

    You must remind candidates and their official agents that all issued (pink RO copies) of tax receipt forms, plus unused, cancelled or voided hard-copy EC 20060 forms, must be returned to EC within one month after polling day.

    Candidates using the EFR application are not required to return official receipts at this time because they are submitted with the Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return (EC 20120). However, candidates using hard-copy official receipts must include the yellow (CEO) copy when submitting their Campaign Return.

Inquiries regarding candidates' election expenses

ROs may receive inquiries from candidates, official agents, auditors, the public and the media regarding election expenses.

All inquiries must be referred to the Political Entities Support Network (How to Reach Us). Do not attempt to answer questions or provide any information, interpretation or explanations on the CEA’s financial reporting requirements nor attempt to answer questions on filling election expenses documents.

Memoranda to official agents

The Political Financing Sector forwards two important memoranda to official agents:

  1. The first memorandum is sent a few days after polling day to remind official agents of the requirements of the CEA, the Income Tax Act, the return of hard copies of the Receipt for a Contribution to a Candidate at an Election (EC 20060) forms, the submission of the Candidate's Statement of Personal Expenses (EC 20220), and all information pertaining to the reporting requirements.
  2. The second memorandum, sent two months after polling day, reminds all the candidates and official agents of the requirements of the CEA regarding the deadlines for the submission of the Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return (EC 20120) and other related documents.

5.15.4 Official Income Tax Receipts

The candidates or their official agents must return the issued (pink RO copy) and unused, cancelled or voided hard copy official tax receipts directly to EC no later than one month after polling day to:

Elections Canada
Political Financing Sector
c/o Distribution Centre
100 – 440 Coventry Road
Ottawa, Ontario
K1K 2Y5

The yellow (CEO) copy of EC 20060 and the electronic receipts are to be sent directly to the Political Financing Sector by the official agent with the candidate electoral return.

Emphasize to candidates and official agents that Receipt for a Contribution to a Candidate (EC 20060) hard-copy forms must be returned to EC within one month after polling day. Affidavits or explanations cannot be accepted for lost receipts.