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 January 10, 2020, the Commissioner of Canada Elections entered into a compliance agreement with Ms. Valerie Pankiw, pursuant to section 517 of the Canada Elections Act. The text of the compliance agreement is set out in full below.
February 28, 2020
Pursuant to section 517 of the Canada Elections Act (the Act), the Commissioner of Canada Elections (the Commissioner) and Ms. Valerie Pankiw (the Contracting Party) enter into this agreement aimed at ensuring compliance with the Act.
Pursuant to subsection 363(2) of the Act, the official agent of a candidate that receives a contribution from an ineligible contributor must, within 30 days of becoming aware of the ineligibility, return the amount of the contribution to the Receiver General for Canada (Receiver General).
Paragraph 497(1)(b) of the Act makes it an offence for an official agent to contravene subsection 363(2).
Statements by the Contracting Party
For the purpose of this compliance agreement, the Contracting Party acknowledges the following:
- On September 15, 2015, the Contracting Party was appointed as the official agent for Jim Pankiw, candidate of the Canada Party (the Party) in the electoral district of Saskatoon West for the purposes of the 42nd federal general election, held on October 19, 2015.
- Subsection 363(1) of the Act prohibits a person or an entity other than an individual who is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident from making a contribution to a candidate’s campaign.
- Subsection 363(2) of the Act requires that an official agent, within 30 days after becoming aware of the ineligibility of a contributor, pay the amount of an illegal contribution to the Receiver General, if the contribution was used by the campaign.
- On October 14, 2015, the Contracting Party accepted an illegal contribution of $1,500 from a corporation (Dr. Cameron Olsen Chiropractic Prof. Corp) through a cheque that was deposited into the campaign bank account on October 16, 2015.
- On April 10, 2017, the Contracting Party was informed by Elections Canada of the illegal contribution and of the requirement to return this amount to the Receiver General within 30 days from this date, since the contribution had been used by the campaign.
- As of the date of the signing of this compliance agreement, the Contracting Party has not paid the amount of the illegal contribution to the Receiver General.
- The Contracting Party acknowledges and accepts responsibility for failing to comply with these requirements of the Act.
- 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 her of her right to be represented by counsel and she 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 that:
- There was no attempt to hide the source of the contribution;
- The payment of amounts to the Receiver General as terms and conditions of a compliance agreement ensure a swift and efficient resolution of the matter.
Terms and conditions
The Contracting Party agrees, as a term and condition of the compliance agreement, to pay an amount equal to the $1,500 illegal contribution to the Receiver General, by sending a cheque to the OCCE by January 31, 2020.
The Contracting Party also agrees to pay an amount of $750 to the Receiver General within 30 days from the date she is informed that this compliance agreement has been signed by the Commissioner.
The Contracting Party consents to the publication of this agreement on the Commissioner’s website in accordance with section 521 of the Act.
The Commissioner agrees that the fulfillment by the Contracting Party of the terms and conditions outlined in this agreement will constitute compliance.
The Contracting Party agrees to comply with the relevant provisions of the Act in the future.
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, as provided for in subsection 517(8) of the Act.
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 Hamlet of Casa Rio, in the province of Saskatchewan, this 8th day of January 2020.
Ms. Valerie Pankiw
Signed by the Commissioner of Canada Elections, in the City of Gatineau, in the province of Quebec, this 10th day of January, 2020.
Yves Côté, QC
Commissioner of Canada Elections