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2017–18 Departmental Plan

New Legislation

Legislation Enacted Within the Past Year

The 42nd Parliament was convened on December 3, 2015. At the time of writing this report, no electoral legislation has been enacted in fiscal year 2016–17.

Legislation Before Parliament

At the time of writing this report, there is one government bill and there are seven private members' bills before Parliament that may have an impact on Elections Canada's affairs.

Bill Details and Impact

C-33—An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts

Bill C-33 would amend the Canada Elections Act to:

  • remove limitations on public education and information activities conducted by the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO)
  • establish a Register of Future Electors in which Canadian citizens 14 to 17 years of age may consent to be included
  • authorize the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to provide the CEO with information about permanent residents and foreign nationals for the purpose of updating the Register of Electors
  • remove the prohibition on the CEO authorizing the use of the "voter information card" as identification
  • replace, in the context of voter identification, the option of attestation for residence with an option of vouching for identity and residence
  • remove two limitations on voting by non-resident electors: the requirement that they have been residing outside Canada for less than five consecutive years, and the requirement that they intend to return to Canada to resume residence in the future
  • relocate the Commissioner of Canada Elections to within the Office of the CEO, and provide that the Commissioner is to be appointed by the CEO, after consultation with the Director of Public Prosecutions, for a non-renewable term of 10 years

Private members' bills

Six private members' bills currently before Parliament propose amendments to the Canada Elections Act: Bill C-213, lowering the voting age from 18 to 16 years of age; Bill C-279, specifying the maximum duration of an election period; Bill C-295, allowing all Canadian citizens to vote in a federal election, regardless of their place of residence; Bill C-297, changing the voting hours across Canada; Bill C-298, changing the voting hours in the Pacific time zone; and Bill C-327, amending the contribution limits and the computation of the fund paid to registered political parties.

A private member's bill (C-212) would amend the Parliament of Canada Act to trigger a by-election when an MP changes political parties (if elected as a member of another party) or joins a party (if elected as an independent).