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Report of the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada Following the November 9, 2009, By-elections Held in Cumberland–Colchester–Musquodoboit Valley, Hochelaga, Montmagny–L'Islet–Kamouraska–Rivière-du-Loup and New Westminster–Coquitlam

3. Next Steps

Overall, the November 2009 by-elections ran smoothly. However, our post-electoral evaluations identified some issues that we intend to address in order to make the electoral process even more efficient and accessible.

Elections Canada has made many changes to its administrative processes over the past two decades to make voting more accessible to all electors, including those with physical disabilities. In fact, increasing the accessibility of the electoral process is a key objective of Elections Canada's five-year strategic plan and the organization remains committed to working with stakeholders, including organizations representing persons with physical disabilities, to make additional improvements that will continue to build on our progress in this area. This includes following up on the February 2010 decision of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, which found that a complaint that level access was not provided at a Toronto polling station during the March 2008 by-election and October 2008 general election was substantiated. Elections Canada has acknowledged that the elector's rights had been violated and will work with the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the complainant and other interested parties to improve its processes and implement the changes requested by the tribunal.

With regard to the administrative issues described in our reports on the 40th general election, we will continue to work diligently to implement the most efficient and effective solutions. Some initiatives, such as those described at the beginning of this report, have already produced encouraging results.

As for the legislative issues, Elections Canada will soon submit its recommendations report following the 40th general election. This will include a more detailed analysis of the key challenges that will have to be addressed to continue to meet the changing needs and expectations of all participants in the Canadian electoral process.