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2017–18 Departmental Results Report

Judicial Proceedings

Concluded Proceedings
Proceeding Description
Szuchewycz v. Attorney General of Canada This application, filed in the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench on November 13, 2015, challenged the constitutionality of the deposit, signature and witness filing prerequisites to running as a candidate in a federal election (specifically s. 66(1)(e), (f), and (g) and s. 67(1), (2), (3) and (4)(a) of the Canada Elections Act) on the ground that they violate s. 3 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Elections Canada was not named as a party. By judgement dated October 25, 2017, the Court declared the deposit requirement provision (s. 67(4)(a)) unconstitutional in that it breaches s. 3 of the Charter and is not saved by s. 1. It upheld the signature and witness requirement provisions, stating that they do not breach the right to meaningful participation in the electoral process guaranteed by s. 3 of the Charter. The Minister of Democratic Institutions has indicated that the Attorney General will not appeal the decision.
Larocque v. Attorney General of Canada, Elections Canada et al. This application was filed on November 24, 2015. The applicant contested the outcome of the election in the electoral district (ED) of Salaberry–Suroît under s. 524 of the Canada Elections Act. He alleged that the redistribution of the boundaries of the ED was unconstitutional. A motion to dismiss the application on the grounds that it is vexatious, frivolous and an abuse of process was filed on February 2, 2017, and heard on April 21, 2017. An oral judgement was issued on September 28, 2017, granting the motion (written reasons released on October 6, 2017). To date, the applicant has not commenced an appeal.
Turmel v. Canada This claim, filed in the Federal Court on April 10, 2015, challenged the constitutionality of the audit fee subsidy “cap of $250” set out in s. 477.75 of the Canada Elections Act. Elections Canada was not named as a party. A defence was filed on May 11, 2015. The hearing was held on May 10, 2016, and the matter was dismissed two days later. The plaintiff filed a Notice of Appeal before the Federal Court of Appeal on June 13, 2016. On May 1, 2017, the appeal was dismissed for delay. The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the application for leave to appeal on November 23, 2017.
Alex Bobby Megalos v. Elections Canada On June 7, 2017, the plaintiff filed a claim before the Supreme Court of B.C., seeking the right to run for direct election to the office of Independent Prime Minister of Canada, without political party affiliation. On August 14, 2017, the defendant (Elections Canada) filed an application to strike on the basis that the pleadings disclose no reasonable claim and are unnecessary, frivolous, vexatious and embarrassing. The application to strike was granted by way of an oral judgement rendered on October 10, 2017, with costs against the plaintiff fixed at $1,000.
Ongoing Proceedings
Proceeding Description
Frank & Duong v. Attorney General of Canada On May 18, 2012, the applicants challenged the constitutionality of the provisions of the Canada Elections Act which prohibit Canadian citizens residing outside Canada for five consecutive years or more from voting by special ballot in a federal election. On May 2, 2014, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice found the provisions in question to be unconstitutional. On July 20, 2015, the Ontario Court of Appeal overturned the lower court ruling. The Chief Electoral Officer participated in the matter as an intervenor. The applicants sought and received leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. The appeal was heard on March 21, 2018 and the judgment is under reserve.
Council of Canadians, Canadian Federation of Students, Jessica McCormick, Peggy Walsh Craig, and Sandra McEwing v. Attorney General of Canada On October 9, 2014, the applicants challenged the constitutionality of the Fair Elections Act (FEA) in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, alleging that, in breach of s. 3 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, certain provisions place unreasonable restrictions on identification, the authority of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) to provide public education programs, and eliminate the CEO’s authority regarding enforcement and compliance activities. The applicants also claim that the FEA denies electors an equal opportunity to vote contrary to s. 15 of the Charter. The CEO received leave to intervene. On March 16, 2015, the applicants filed for an injunction requesting a stay of the operation of certain provisions of the FEA. The stay was denied on July 17, 2015, and the Divisional Court of the Ontario Superior Court refused on August 5, 2015, to grant leave to appeal the denial. The original application continues, but the parties have been consenting to adjournments since the tabling of legislation (Bill C-33) that proposes reforms that address some of the contentious provisions. The hearing is currently set to be held from January 14 to 18, 2019.
David Rodriguez v. PCO and Attorney General of Canada On October 16, 2017, the plaintiff filed a claim in the Federal Court seeking a declaration that ss. 76, 284(1)(b) and (c) of the Canada Elections Act unjustifiably restrict his freedom of expression, contrary to s. 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. He argues that the absence of a “None of the Above” option on a ballot prevents electors from officially expressing dissatisfaction with all of the candidates available to them in a federal election. The Crown’s Statement of Defence was served and filed on November 15, 2017 and the plaintiff filed a reply on November 24, 2017. No hearing date has been set. Elections Canada is not named as a party.