Canada Elections Act

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Canada Elections Act
Parliament-Ottawa.jpg
An Act respecting the election of members to the House of Commons, repealing other Acts relating to elections and making consequential amendments to other Acts
Citation Canada Elections Act
Enacted by Parliament of Canada
Date assented to May 31, 2000
Legislative history
First reading House: October 14, 1999 / Senate: February 29, 2000
Second reading House: February 22, 2000 / Senate: March 28, 2000
Third reading House: February 28, 2000 / Senate: May 31, 2000
Committee report House: February 22, 2000 / Senate: April 13, 2000

Canada Elections Act (2000, c. 9) is an Act of the Parliament of Canada respecting the election of members of parliament to the Canadian House of Commons, repealing other Acts relating to elections and making consequential amendments to other Acts.

The Canada Election Act limits spending on election advertising by interest groups, which was upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada in Harper v. Canada (Attorney General) (2004). It also sets out various provisions regarding the publication or broadcast of election advertising and election results.

In 1989, the government of Canada appointed the Royal Commission on Electoral Reform and Party Financing regarding restrictions in the Elections Act inconsistent with Section Three of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.[1]

In 1996, the act was amended to establish a Register of Electors.[2]

In 2003, the act was extended to cover the nomination contests of registered parties.[3] In 2007, it was amended to mandate fixed election dates.

Notable provisions[edit]

  • Section 329 of the Canada Elections Act outlaws publishing election results from other ridings in constituencies where polls are still open. This section was upheld by the Supreme Court in R. v. Bryan (2007).
  • Section 335 requires that all broadcasters make 6.5 hours of advertising available for purchase by political parties over the course of a general election during "prime time" (the evening hours for TV stations and specialty channels, and morning and afternoon drive for radio stations).[4] Even broadcasters that do not ordinarily accept advertising, such as the CBC's radio services, are required to accept these political ads during a federal election.[5]
  • Section 345 requires that all CRTC-licensed over-the-air radio and television networks, which reach the majority of Canadians in the language of broadcast, allocate free time for election broadcasts (in addition to the paid availabilities described above). However, there are no restrictions on when these free-time broadcasts must air, and most of these networks now confine them to late night.[4]
    • As of 2011, the networks subject to this provision are CBC Television, Télévision de Radio-Canada, CBC Radio One, Première Chaîne, TVA, and V. The amount of free time per election varies by network, from roughly 3.5 hours (for the CBC's TV networks) to 62 minutes (for TVA and V).[4]
    • Historically, CTV and the Radiomédia / Corus Québec radio network were also subject to free-time allocations; the Corus Québec network has since ceased operation, while CTV has not operated under a CRTC-issued national network licence since 2001 (and other "networks" such as Global have never operated under such licences). Note that there is currently no free-time allocation required for individual private radio or television stations, or cable specialty channels.
  • section 482(b), which finds anyone who "induces a person to vote or refrain from voting or to vote or refrain from voting for a particular candidate at an election" guilty of intimidation of the electoral process. Anyone convicted under s. 482(b) faces, on a summary conviction, a maximum $2,000 fine, or a maximum of one year in prison, or both. On an indictment, individuals found guilty face a maximum of five years in prison, a maximum $5,000 fine, or both

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Charter: A watershed". Chronicle: A spotlight on 1920-1927. Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  2. ^ "PART 4: REGISTER OF ELECTORS — Maintenance and Communication of Register". Canada Elections Act (S.C. 2000, c. 9). Department of Justice (Canada). Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  3. ^ Ian Stewart, Just One Vote: Jim Walding's nomination to constitutional defeat, (Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press), 2009, p. 4.
  4. ^ a b c Peter S. Grant (2011-03-28). "Broadcasting Guidelines for the 41st Federal General Election". Retrieved 2011-04-26. 
  5. ^ Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (2005-05-05). "Policy 1.3.10: Political Advertising". Retrieved 2011-04-26. 

External links[edit]