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 February 10, 2023, the Commissioner of Canada Elections entered into a compliance agreement with Marc Desgagné, pursuant to section 517 of the Canada Elections Act. The text of the compliance agreement is set out in full below.
March 23, 2023
Pursuant to section 517 of the Canada Elections Act (the Act), the Commissioner of Canada Elections (the Commissioner) has entered into this compliance agreement with Marc Desgagné (the Contracting Party), aimed at ensuring compliance with the Act.
The relevant provisions of the Act applicable are subsection 23(2) and paragraph 484(3)(b).
Subsection 23(2) prohibits an election officer from using personal information that is obtained in the course of exercising their powers or performing their duties under the Act for any purpose other than a purpose related to the exercise of those powers or the performance of those duties. Paragraph 484(3)(b) makes it an offence to knowingly contravene subsection 23(2).
Statements by the Contracting Party
For the purpose of this compliance agreement, the Contracting Party acknowledges the following:
- The Contracting Party was hired as a temporary election officer during the 44th federal general election. His duties included reviewing electors’ identification and ensuring they were eligible to vote in that polling station, as well as issuing ballots.
- On September 20, 2021, polling day for the 44th federal general election, individual J.T. attended the polling place at which the Contracting Party was employed, in order to register to vote at that location. J.T. completed a Registration Certificate, including her current name and address. The certificate was provided to the Contracting Party, who provided J.T. with a ballot.
- The Contracting Party, unknowingly to J.T., made note of her name and address from the Registration form onto his personal phone. Approximately two and a half weeks later, the Contracting Party appeared at her home address in order to have a personal conversation with her.
- The Contracting Party acknowledges and accepts responsibility for these acts. The Contracting Party also recognizes that the improper use of personal information obtained as an election officer not only constitutes an invasion of privacy and could be perceived as threatening or intimidating to the individual, but may also contribute to a loss of public confidence in the integrity and security of the electoral process.
- 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 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 described in section 32 of the Compliance and Enforcement Policy of the Commissioner of Canada Elections. In particular, the Commissioner considered the following factors:
- the Contracting Party has no past history of non-compliance with the Act;
- the Contracting Party cooperated with the investigation and admitted his wrongful actions; and
- the payment of an amount to the Receiver General for Canada (Receiver General) as a term and condition of a compliance agreement ensures a swift and efficient resolution of the matter.
Terms and conditions
In accordance with subsection 517(2) of the Act, the Contracting Party undertakes to pay, to the Receiver General, a total amount of $100 within 90 days from the date of being informed that this compliance agreement has been signed by the Commissioner.
Furthermore, the Contracting Party acknowledges the prohibition denoted at subsection 23(2) of the Act and accepts to abide by this provision. For more clarity, the Contracting Party agrees that he will not use information obtained in his role as an election officer for any personal reason, and more specifically, that he will not use the information to communicate directly or indirectly with J.T.
The Commissioner agrees that the fulfillment by the Contracting Party of the terms and conditions described in this compliance agreement will constitute compliance with the agreement.
The Contracting Party consents to the publication of this compliance agreement on the Commissioner's website in accordance with section 521 of the Act.
The Commissioner and the Contracting Party recognize that once this compliance agreement is entered into and a Notice of Compliance has been issued by the Commissioner, the Commissioner will be prevented from laying charges against the Contracting Party for the same facts.
In accordance with section 508.1 of the Act, a Contracting Party who fails to comply with a provision of a compliance agreement commits a violation, and may be subject to an administrative monetary penalty.
Signed by the Contracting Party in the city of Edmonton, in the province of Alberta, on this 2nd day of February, 2023.
Signed by the Commissioner of Canada Elections in the City of Gatineau, in the Province of Quebec, on this 10th day of February, 2023.
Caroline J. Simard
Commissioner of Canada Elections