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Completing the Cycle of Electoral Reforms – Recommendations from the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada on the 38th General Election

Chapter 5 – Technical Amendments

5.1 Condition for Party Names to Appear on Ballots

Paragraph 117(2)(c) should be amended so that a party must have registered status within 48 hours after the close of nominations, if that party's name is to appear on the ballot under the names of candidates endorsed by that party.

Currently, paragraph 117(2)(c) provides that a party must be registered "at the close of nominations" if its name is to appear on the ballot below the name of a candidate it has endorsed. The expression "close of nominations" is defined in section 2 of the Act as the deadline for the receipt of nominations set out in section 70(2), that is, at 2:00 p.m. on closing day for nominations. However, returning officers are given 48 hours after receiving the nomination paper of a prospective candidate to confirm the candidate's nomination (see s. 71(1)). An eligible party, which needs one candidate whose nomination has been confirmed to become a registered party, could be deprived of the benefits of this status if the returning officer has not yet confirmed the nomination "at the close of nominations."

The proposed 48-hour extension supports the Chief Electoral Officer's obligation to give notice to an eligible party that it meets the requirements for registration, as soon as practicable after the 48-hour period following the close of nomination (s. 370(3)). This legislative change would also better accord with past practice.

5.2 Word and Number Changes

The word "contributions" in paragraphs 497(1)(z.1) and 497(3)(x) should be replaced by "funds" in English and "fonds" in French.

The offence refers to section 476, which contains a prohibition to transfer funds to a candidate after polling day, except to pay claims related to the candidate's electoral campaign.

The word "expense" in paragraph 497(3)(s) should be replaced by "return" in the English version.

This change would reflect the wording of the provisions to which it refers (s. 451(1)(e) and 451(5)).

In section 2, the reference to paragraph 57(1)(c) in the definition of "polling day" should be changed to 57(1.2)(c) in both the French and English versions of the Act.

This change ensures that the reference is to the correct provision of the Act.