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 14th, 2016, the Commissioner of Canada Elections entered into a compliance agreement with Mr. John Leonn, pursuant to section 517 of the Canada Elections Act. The text of the compliance agreement is set out in full below.
April 22, 2016
Yves Côté, QC
Commissioner of Canada Elections
Pursuant to section 517 of the Canada Elections Act (the Act), the Commissioner of Canada Elections (the Commissioner) and Mr. John Leonn enter into this agreement aimed at ensuring compliance with the Act.
The relevant provisions of the Act are subsection 325(1) and section 352. Subsection 325(1) provides that "no person shall prevent or impair the transmission to the public of an election advertising message without the consent of a person with authority to authorize its transmission." Section 352 provides that "a third party shall identify itself in any election advertising placed by it and indicate that it has authorized the advertising."
Statements of the Contracting Party
I, John Leonn (the Contracting Party), of the City of Leamington in the Province of Ontario, acknowledge the following:
- During the 42nd federal general election, I volunteered for the campaign of the Conservative candidate for the electoral district of Chatham-Kent—Leamington (the candidate).
- In a personal effort aimed at supporting the candidate, and without any authorization or involvement of the candidate or of his official agent, I ordered and paid for 20 signs containing one of these two messages: "Spare change?" and "Protect our economy."
- The total cost I incurred and paid for the signs was $218.09.
- As a third party who caused advertising to be transmitted during the election period, I failed to identity myself as such on the aforementioned signs and omitted the statement indicating that I had authorized them, as is required by section 352 of the Act.
- My acts created confusion and led some to believe that the signs I posted belonged to the candidate. A complaint was made to the Commissioner's Office by an opposing candidate alleging that the candidate and his official had failed to include the required tag line on election signs.
- Pursuant to paragraph 496(1)(b) of the Act, it is an offence for a person to contravene section 352 of the Act.
- In addition, by affixing some of my signs to the candidate's signs, I impaired the transmission to the public of the candidate's election advertising messages, in contravention of subsection 325(1) of the Act.
- Pursuant to paragraph 495(2)(b) of the Act, it is an offence for a person to contravene section 325 of the Act.
- I acknowledge the seriousness of these offences.
- I am responsible for the acts mentioned above and am now aware of the relevant provisions of the Act, which are designed to ensure transparency and enhance the integrity of the electoral process.
- I understand that my 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 under the Act.
- I acknowledge that the Commissioner has advised me of my right to be represented by counsel and that I had the opportunity to obtain 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 Commissioner's Compliance and Enforcement Policy, which is available on the Commissioner's Web site at www.cef-cce.ca.
Undertaking and agreement
The Contracting Party undertakes to comply with the relevant provisions of the Act in the future.
Pursuant to paragraph 517(3)(b) of the Act, the Contracting Party consents to the publication of this compliance agreement in the Canada Gazette and on the Commissioner's Web site, in accordance with section 521 of the Act.
The Commissioner acknowledges that the Contracting Party fully cooperated with the Commissioner's investigation into this matter.
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 referring this matter for prosecution to the Director of Public Prosecutions, and in any event, the Director of Public Prosecutions cannot institute such a prosecution, unless non-compliance is established.
Signed by the Contracting Party, in the City of Leamington, Ontario, this 7th day of April, 2016.
Signed by the Commissioner of Canada Elections, in the City of Gatineau, Quebec, this 14th day of April, 2016.
Yves Côté, QC
Commissioner of Canada Elections