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Canada Elections Act (S.C. 2000, c. 9)

Full Document:  

Act current to 2022-05-02 and last amended on 2021-06-29. Previous Versions

PART 3Election Officers (continued)

General (continued)

Marginal note:Unsolicited calls

 An election officer shall not communicate with the public by the use of calls, as defined in section 348.01, that are unsolicited.

  • 2014, c. 12, s. 13

Field Liaison Officers

Marginal note:Appointment of field liaison officers

  •  (1) The Chief Electoral Officer may appoint a field liaison officer in respect of a given geographical area in accordance with the process established under subsection (2) and may remove him or her only in accordance with the procedure established under that subsection.

  • Marginal note:Qualifications

    (2) The Chief Electoral Officer shall prescribe the qualifications for the appointment of persons as field liaison officers and shall establish for field liaison officers an external appointment process as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Public Service Employment Act on the basis of merit and a fair procedure for their removal on the grounds set out in subsection (9).

  • Marginal note:Meaning of merit

    (3) The appointment of a person as a field liaison officer is made on the basis of merit if the Chief Electoral Officer is satisfied that the person meets the essential qualifications for the work to be performed and has regard to

    • (a) any additional qualifications that the Chief Electoral Officer considers to be an asset for the work to be performed; and

    • (b) any current or future operational requirements.

  • Marginal note:Period of appointment

    (4) A field liaison officer shall be appointed for the period determined by the Chief Electoral Officer.

  • Marginal note:Re-appointment

    (5) The Chief Electoral Officer may re-appoint any field liaison officer who has performed the functions of a field liaison officer in a satisfactory manner, regardless of whether or not other persons are considered for the appointment.

  • Marginal note:Continuation in office

    (6) A field liaison officer may, with the Chief Electoral Officer’s approval, continue in office after the expiry of the period referred to in subsection (4) until the field liaison officer is re-appointed or another person is appointed to the office.

  • Marginal note:Responsibilities

    (7) A field liaison officer is responsible, under the Chief Electoral Officer’s general direction, in respect of the geographical area to which they are assigned, for

    • (a) providing support to returning officers;

    • (b) acting as an intermediary between the returning officers and the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer; and

    • (c) on the Chief Electoral Officer’s request, providing support in relation to the appointment of returning officers.

  • Marginal note:No partisan conduct

    (8) No field liaison officer shall knowingly engage in politically partisan conduct and in particular shall not make a contribution to a nomination contestant, a candidate or a leadership contestant or belong to or make a contribution to, be an employee of or hold a position in, a registered party, an eligible party or an electoral district association.

  • Marginal note:Removal from office

    (9) The Chief Electoral Officer may remove from office any field liaison officer who

    • (a) is incapable, by reason of illness, disability or otherwise, of satisfactorily exercising their powers or performing their duties under this Act;

    • (b) fails to competently exercise a field liaison officer’s powers or competently perform a field liaison officer’s duties under this Act or to comply with an instruction of the Chief Electoral Officer issued under paragraph 16(c); or

    • (c) contravenes subsection (8), whether or not the contravention occurs in the exercise of their powers or the performance of their duties under this Act.

Returning Officers and Assistant Returning Officers

Marginal note:Appointment of returning officers

  •  (1) The Chief Electoral Officer shall appoint a returning officer for each electoral district in accordance with the process established under subsection (1.1) and may only remove him or her in accordance with the procedure established under that subsection.

  • Marginal note:Qualifications

    (1.1) The Chief Electoral Officer shall prescribe the qualifications for the appointment of persons as returning officers, and shall establish for returning officers an external appointment process within the meaning of subsection 2(1) of the Public Service Employment Act on the basis of merit and a fair procedure for their removal on the grounds set out in subsection (7).

  • Marginal note:Meaning of merit

    (1.2) The appointment of a person as a returning officer is made on the basis of merit if the Chief Electoral Officer is satisfied that the person meets the essential qualifications for the work to be performed and has regard to

    • (a) any additional qualifications that the Chief Electoral Officer considers to be an asset for the work to be performed; and

    • (b) any current or future operational requirements.

  • Marginal note:Term of office

    (1.3) A returning officer shall be appointed for a term of ten years.

  • Marginal note:New term

    (1.4) The Chief Electoral Officer may, after consultation with the leader of every recognized political party in the House of Commons, appoint for a new term any returning officer who has performed the functions of a returning officer in a satisfactory manner, whether or not other persons are considered for the appointment, if the office of returning officer is vacant by reason of

    • (a) the expiry of the returning officer’s term of office; or

    • (b) the revision of the boundaries of the electoral district as a result of a representation order made under section 25 of the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act.

  • Marginal note:Continuation in office

    (1.5) A returning officer may, with the approval of the Chief Electoral Officer, continue in office after his or her term expires until he or she is reappointed or until another person is appointed to the office.

  • Marginal note:Responsibility of returning officer

    (2) A returning officer is responsible, under the general direction of the Chief Electoral Officer, for the preparation for and conduct of an election in his or her electoral district.

  • Marginal note:Obligation to act to enable elections to be held

    (3) Every returning officer to whom a writ is directed shall, on its receipt, or on notification by the Chief Electoral Officer of its issue, cause to be promptly taken any of the proceedings directed by this Act that are necessary in order that the election may be regularly held.

  • Marginal note:Vacancy

    (4) The office of returning officer does not become vacant unless the returning officer dies, resigns, is removed from office, reaches the end of his or her term of office or ceases to reside in the electoral district, or unless the boundaries of the electoral district are revised as a result of a representation order made under section 25 of the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act.

  • Marginal note:Resignation

    (5) A returning officer who intends to resign shall give written notice to that effect to the Chief Electoral Officer and the resignation is effective only when it is accepted by the Chief Electoral Officer.

  • Marginal note:No partisan conduct

    (6) No returning officer shall, while in office, knowingly engage in politically partisan conduct and in particular shall not make a contribution to a nomination contestant, a candidate or a leadership contestant or belong to or make a contribution to, be an employee of or hold a position in, a registered party, an eligible party or an electoral district association.

  • Marginal note:Removal from office

    (7) The Chief Electoral Officer may remove from office any returning officer who

    • (a) is incapable, by reason of illness, disability or otherwise, of satisfactorily exercising his or her powers or performing his or her duties under this Act;

    • (b) fails to competently exercise a returning officer’s power or competently perform a returning officer’s duty under this Act or to comply with an instruction of the Chief Electoral Officer described in paragraph 16(c);

    • (c) fails to complete the revision of the boundaries of the polling divisions in their electoral district as instructed by the Chief Electoral Officer under subsection 538(3); or

    • (d) contravenes subsection (6), whether or not the contravention occurs in the exercise of his or her powers or the performance of his or her duties under this Act.

  • Marginal note:Temporary suspension

    (8) The Chief Electoral Officer may temporarily suspend from office a returning officer for any grounds set out in subsection (7).

  • Marginal note:Duration of suspension

    (9) The period of suspension expires at the end of the period that the Chief Electoral Officer considers appropriate. However, if a procedure is commenced — either before or during the period of suspension — that could lead to the returning officer’s removal, the period of suspension expires on the day on which the Chief Electoral Officer makes his or her final decision in that regard.

  • 2000, c. 9, s. 24
  • 2003, c. 19, s. 2
  • 2006, c. 9, s. 174
  • 2011, c. 26, s. 13
  • 2014, c. 12, s. 14
  • 2018, c. 31, s. 23

Marginal note:List in Canada Gazette

 Between the 1st and 20th days of January in each year, the Chief Electoral Officer shall publish a list in the Canada Gazette of the name, address and occupation of the returning officer for each electoral district in Canada.

  • 2000, c. 9, s. 25
  • 2006, c. 9, s. 175

Marginal note:Assistant returning officer

  •  (1) Without delay after being appointed, a returning officer shall, with the Chief Electoral Officer’s prior approval of the individual proposed to be appointed, appoint an assistant returning officer, who shall hold office at pleasure.

  • Marginal note:Restriction on appointment

    (2) A returning officer shall not appoint his or her spouse, common-law partner, child, mother, father, brother, sister, the child of his or her spouse or common-law partner, or a person who lives with him or her as an assistant returning officer.

Marginal note:Delegation

  •  (1) The returning officer for an electoral district may, with the Chief Electoral Officer’s prior approval, authorize any person acting under his or her direction to exercise any of the powers or perform any of the duties of a returning officer under this Act, except those described in subsection 24(3), sections 62 and 63, subsection 71(1), sections 71.1, 74, 77, 130, 293 to 298 and 300, subsection 301(6) and sections 313 to 316.

  • Marginal note:Authorization in writing

    (2) An authorization under subsection (1) shall be signed and dated by the returning officer.

Marginal note:Notification if returning officer incapacitated

  •  (1) It is the duty of a returning officer or an assistant returning officer to notify the Chief Electoral Officer without delay if the returning officer at any time becomes unable to act.

  • (2) [Repealed, 2006, c. 9, s. 176]

  • Marginal note:Assistant returning officer to act

    (3) Subject to subsection 24(1.5), if a returning officer is absent or unable to act or if a returning officer’s office is vacant, the assistant returning officer shall act in place of the returning officer.

  • Marginal note:Designated person to act — suspension of returning officer

    (3.01) If a returning officer is under suspension during the six months before the day set in accordance with subsection 56.1(2) for the holding of a general election or during any election period that falls in whole or in part outside that six-month period, the Chief Electoral Officer may designate a person to act in the returning officer’s place, and that person may, during and after that period, exercise the powers and perform the duties of a returning officer in relation to that election.

  • Marginal note:Designated person to act — absence of returning and assistant returning officers

    (3.1) If, during the six months before the day set in accordance with subsection 56.1(2) for the holding of a general election or during any election period that falls in whole or in part outside that six-month period, a returning officer is absent or unable to act or a returning officer’s office is vacant and, at the same time, the assistant returning officer is absent or unable to act or the assistant returning officer’s office is vacant, the Chief Electoral Officer shall designate a person to act in place of the returning officer, and that person may, during and after that period, exercise the powers and perform the duties of a returning officer in relation to that election.

  • Marginal note:Appointment within limited period

    (4) When the office of a returning officer becomes vacant, the Chief Electoral Officer shall appoint a new returning officer without delay.

  • Marginal note:Appointment of assistant returning officer

    (5) Every assistant returning officer who is required to act as a returning officer under subsection (3) shall appoint an assistant returning officer without delay.

Marginal note:Duties of returning officer

  •  (1) A returning officer shall

    • (a) without delay after removing an assistant returning officer from office, notify the assistant returning officer in writing of the removal and send a copy of the notice to the Chief Electoral Officer; and

    • (b) without delay after the death or resignation of an assistant returning officer, notify the Chief Electoral Officer in writing of the death or resignation.

  • Marginal note:Appointment of substitute

    (2) If an assistant returning officer dies, resigns, becomes disqualified or incapable of acting or refuses to act, or is removed from office for any other reason, the returning officer shall without delay appoint a substitute with the Chief Electoral Officer’s prior approval.

  • Marginal note:Tenure of office of assistant returning officer

    (3) When a returning officer ceases to hold office, the assistant returning officer appointed by him or her remains in office until the returning officer’s successor appoints a new assistant returning officer.

  • Marginal note:Resignation by assistant returning officer

    (4) An assistant returning officer who intends to resign shall give written notice to the returning officer or, if the office of returning officer is vacant, to the Chief Electoral Officer.

Marginal note:Additional assistant returning officer

  •  (1) On request by a returning officer, the Chief Electoral Officer may designate areas in the returning officer’s electoral district and authorize, in writing, the appointment of an assistant returning officer, in addition to the assistant returning officer appointed under subsection 26(1), for each of those areas.

  • Marginal note:Appointment

    (2) A returning officer shall appoint an additional assistant returning officer and establish an office in each area designated by the Chief Electoral Officer.

  • Marginal note:Delegation limited

    (3) An assistant returning officer appointed under subsection (2) may perform the functions of an assistant returning officer only in respect of the area for which they are appointed.

  • Marginal note:Further limitation

    (4) An assistant returning officer appointed under subsection (2) is not an assistant returning officer for the purposes of subsections 28(1), 60(2), 70(1) and 293(1).

 
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