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Report of the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada Following the March 19, 2012, By-election Held in Toronto–Danforth and the November 26, 2012, By-elections Held in Calgary Centre, Durham and Victoria

2. Conclusion

The 2012 by-elections held on March 19, 2012, in Toronto–Danforth and on November 26, 2012, in Calgary Centre, Durham and Victoria ran smoothly.

Building on the success of the 41st general election, Elections Canada carried over the same administrative improvements for the 2012 by-elections, which were aimed at making the electoral process more efficient and accessible. We also carried out an initiative during the by-elections on November 26, 2012, that aimed to improve compliance with polling day procedures. The Chief Electoral Officer will report to Parliament in April 2013 on the results of this initiative as part of the independent compliance review and the resulting Compliance Action Plan.

The Chief Electoral Officer will also submit a separate report to Parliament by the end of March 2013 on the administrative and legal issues concerning privacy and communications with electors in the context of evolving technologies. This report will include a number of recommendations to strengthen the electoral framework.

Other plans and priorities will focus on our ongoing support of the federal electoral boundaries readjustment process. We will also continue to carry out our plans to make administrative improvements to the services we provide to electors. These improvements aim to provide more convenient services to electors; reduce barriers to registration, identification and accessibility; and foster the engagement of young Canadians.

However, administrative actions alone will not be enough to properly address a number of issues. Recent events and our own post-election evaluations have reinforced the need to take immediate steps to modernize the electoral framework. This is something that the Chief Electoral Officer has supported beginning with his June 2010 report, Responding to Changing Needs – Recommendations from the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada Following the 40th General Election, which proposed a series of necessary changes to the Canada Elections Act.

The reports that the Chief Electoral Officer will submit to Parliament in spring 2013 will present further recommendations for legislative change. These aim to enhance Canadians' trust in their electoral system, improve the services they receive during an election and strengthen the electoral framework set out in the Canada Elections Act. Elections Canada looks forward to working with Parliament to review these recommendations.