Commissioner Of Canada Elections
Canada Elections Act
This notice is published by the Commissioner of Canada Elections, pursuant to section 521 of the Canada Elections Act, S.C. 2000, c. 9.
On April 23, 2019, the Commissioner of Canada Elections entered into a compliance agreement with Mr. Dominique Breau, pursuant to section 517 of the Canada Elections Act. The text of the compliance agreement is set out in full below.
May 9, 2019
Pursuant to section 517 of the Canada Elections Act (the Act), the Commissioner of Canada Elections (the Commissioner) and Dominique Breau (the Contracting Party) enter into this agreement aimed at ensuring compliance with the Act.
The relevant provisions of the Act are subsection 367(6), paragraph 368(1)(a) and 368(2)(a) and section 477.42 of the Act. Subsection 367(6) and paragraph 368(1)(a) prohibit a candidate from making contributions to his or her election campaign in excess of $5,000 and from circumventing or attempting to circumvent this prohibition. Paragraph 368(2)(a) prohibits concealing or attempting to conceal the identity of the source of a contribution governed by the Act. Paragraph 373(1)(b) prohibits a candidate from making contributions to his or her election campaign and from making loans to it, the total amount of which exceeds the $5,000 limit. Section 477.42 obliges the candidate to appoint another auditor without delay when his auditor resigns. The offences for non-compliance with these prohibitions are provided for in paragraphs: 497(2)(d), 497(1)(e) or 497(2)(e), 497(1)(f) or 497(2)(f) and 497.4(1)(c) of the Act.
Statements by the Contracting Party
For the purpose of this compliance agreement, the Contracting Party acknowledges the following:
- The Contracting Party was the Green Party of Canada candidate in the riding of Acadie–Bathurst (the candidate) for the purposes of the 42nd federal general election, which was held on October 19, 2015.
- The Contracting Party made contributions to his election campaign for a total amount of at least $8,200.
- Among other things, the Contracting Party personally contributed $5,000 to his campaign.
- Furthermore, the Contracting Party solicited contributions from three members of his family to his election campaign, offering to reimburse them from his own funds.
- The total amount received by the election campaign from the Contracting Party’s family members and reimbursed by the Contracting Party using his own funds is $3,200.
- The purpose was to hide the identity of the contributor and to circumvent the $5,000 limit on contributions that a candidate may make to his or her own campaign, contrary to the prohibitions in the Act in paragraphs 368(1)(a) and 368(2)(a).
- On April 3, 2017, the auditor for the Contracting Party sent him a letter informing him that she was resigning because she had not received the electoral campaign return and supporting documents. The campaign return, the statements of the candidate and the official agent on the return and the auditor's report were to be filed with the Chief Electoral Officer on or before April 19, 2016, according to the extension of the deadline authorized by the Chief Electoral Officer.
- As of the date of signing of this compliance agreement, the Contracting Party had not yet appointed another auditor for his 2015 election campaign, contrary to the requirement of section 477.42 of the Act.
- As a result, the official agent of the Contracting Party was unable to file the election campaign return with an auditor’s report and supporting documents with the Chief Electoral Officer, as required by the Act.
Attempt to conceal the identity of the contributor and to circumvent the contribution limit
Failure to appoint a replacement following the resignation of the auditor
- The Contracting Party acknowledges and accepts responsibility for these acts.
- The Contracting Party understands that acknowledgement of non-compliance does not constitute a guilty plea in the criminal sense and that no record of conviction is created as a result of admitting responsibility for acts that could constitute an offence.
- The Contracting Party acknowledges that the Commissioner has advised him of his right to be represented by counsel and he has had the opportunity to retain and instruct counsel.
Factors considered by the Commissioner
In entering into this compliance agreement, the Commissioner took into account the factors set out in paragraph 32 of the Compliance and Enforcement Policy of the Commissioner of Canada Elections, which is available on the Commissioner's website, including the fact that
- The Contracting Party cooperated fully with investigators and has no prior history of contravening the Act;
- The compliance agreement is the most effective way to achieve compliance with the Act in this case.
Undertaking and agreement
Within at most 15 days following the signature of this compliance agreement by the Commissioner, the Contracting Party undertakes to appoint a new auditor for his 2015 election campaign who is able to communicate in French with his official agent, and to provide, in writing, to the Commissioner and the Chief Electoral Officer, the name and contact information of the new auditor within five days of his or her nomination.
The Contracting Party undertakes to provide his official agent with all documents and information in his possession that are necessary for the preparation of his election campaign return, including information relating to any transfer of funds, goods or services received by his election campaign from the Green Party of Canada or the registered association of the Green Party of Canada in the electoral district of Acadie—Bathurst, information concerning the expenses of his election campaign and contributions received by the latter.
The Contracting Party undertakes to provide all necessary assistance to his official agent in order to help her finalize and file his audited election campaign return, together with the auditor's report and supporting documents to the Chief Electoral Officer, no later than June 30, 2019.
The Contracting Party undertakes to notify the Commissioner without delay of the filing of his election campaign return with the Chief Electoral Officer.
The Contracting Party will comply with the relevant provisions of the Act in the future.
The Contracting Party consents to the publication of this agreement on the Commissioner's website in accordance with section 521 of the Act.
Pursuant to subsection 517(8) of the Act, the Commissioner and the Contracting Party recognize that once this compliance agreement is entered into, the Commissioner will be prevented from laying charges against the Contracting Party for the same facts, unless there is non-compliance with the terms of the compliance agreement.
Signed by the Contracting Party, in the regional municipality of Grand-Tracadie-Sheila, in the Province of New Brunswick, this 17th day of April 2019.
Signed by the Commissioner of Canada Elections, in the City of Gatineau, in the Province of Québec, this 23rd day of April 2019.
Yves Côté, QC
Commissioner of Canada Elections