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Report of the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada following the May 12, 2003, and the June 16, 2003, by-elections

Special adaptations

The Chief Electoral Officer may adapt the Canada Elections Act under subsections 17(1) and 178(2). During the 2003 by-elections, he used these authorities to make the necessary provisions to allow incarcerated electors to vote by special ballot.


The Commissioner of Canada Elections received six complaints stemming from the by-election of May 12, 2003, and five stemming from the by-elections of June 16, 2003. Of these 11 complaints, 9 have been settled, including 4 through agreements between the Commissioner and the interested parties. While some offences occur during the by-election period, others can occur months afterwards, including any relating to candidates' financial returns.

Election financing

Candidates' election expenses

Under the Canada Elections Act, candidates are required to file an election expenses return within four months of election day. Elections Canada examines the returns for compliance purposes, and to determine the amount of reimbursement owed to qualified candidates. By the end of the year, we had finished reviewing financial returns from the five candidates who ran for office in the May 12, 2003, by-election and the 12 candidates who ran for office in the two June 16, 2003, by-elections. The returns of the candidates in the May 12, 2003, by-election were published on October 31, 2003, as submitted, on the Elections Canada Web site. Those of the candidates in the June 16, 2003, by-elections were published on January 16, 2004.