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 12, 2017, the Commissioner of Canada Elections entered into a compliance agreement with the City of Longueuil, pursuant to section 517 of the Canada Elections Act. The text of the compliance agreement is set out in full below.
January 12, 2017
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 the City of Longueuil (the Contracting Party) entered into the present compliance agreement aimed at ensuring compliance with the Act.
The provisions of the Act that are applicable are subsection 132(1) and paragraph 489(1)(a), pursuant to which an employer that does not allow the necessary time to employees for voting, during their hours of work, such that they have three consecutive hours to cast their vote on polling day, is guilty of an offence.
Statements by the Contracting Party
For the purposes of this compliance agreement, the Contracting Party states the following:
- Mr. Mario Plante, Acting Director of the Service de Police de l'agglomération de Longueuil, is authorized to sign this compliance agreement on behalf of the Contracting Party.
- It recognizes that under section 132 of the Act, every employee who is an elector—except certain employees who work for transportation companies—must have three consecutive hours to cast his or her vote on polling day. If an employee does not have three consecutive hours on polling day, the employer must allow the time for voting that is necessary to provide those three consecutive hours. Section 133 states that no employer may make a deduction from the pay of an employee for the time that the employer shall allow for voting under section 132.
- On October 19, 2015, polling day for the 42nd federal general election, a senior officer with the Service de Police de l'agglomération de Longueuil refused to grant certain police officers on duty (Officers Involved) the necessary time to allow them with three consecutive hours to vote during voting hours.
- The Officers Involved had voluntarily agreed to work overtime on polling day. The additional work hours combined with their regular work hours did not allow them to have three consecutive hours to vote during voting hours, before or after work.
- The Contracting Party's senior officer refused to grant the Officers Involved the required time to vote, believing erroneously that the fact these police officers had agreed to work overtime on polling day meant they had voluntarily waived their right to the three consecutive hours to vote before the polling stations closed.
- Refusing to grant the Officers Involved the required time to vote constitutes an offence under section 132 of the Act.
- The Contracting Party acknowledges that the Commissioner has advised it of its right to be represented by counsel and has given it the opportunity to obtain 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 Act, which can be consulted on the Commissioner's website at www.cef-cce.ca. In particular, the Commissioner took the following factors into account:
- the Contracting Party and its senior officer cooperated fully and in good faith with the Commissioner's investigation;
- the Contracting Party sent its managers a memorandum advising them of the requirements of section 132 and asking them to grant employees who needed it the time required to vote during voting hours;
- the Contracting Party's senior officer that violated section 132 acted in good faith, believing erroneously that by agreeing to work overtime hours on polling day, the Officers Involved had voluntarily waived their right to be granted three consecutive hours to vote before polling stations closed;
- during the investigation, the Contracting Party's senior officer admitted her responsibility for the conduct in issue.
Undertaking and agreement
The Contracting Party undertakes to adopt a directive within 60 days of signing the compliance agreement that will:
- ensure that the rights of its employees under sections 132 and 133 of the Act are respected in the future;
- include a clause providing that the directive shall be communicated to all of the Contracting Party's managers and its employees who are eligible to vote, after an election is called but prior to Election Day.
The Contracting Party undertakes to advise the Commissioner in writing when the directive referred to in the preceding paragraph is adopted, no later than ten days after it is adopted.
The Contracting Party undertakes to prepare a communiqué regarding this compliance agreement, which shall be submitted to the Commissioner at the same time as the copy of the compliance agreement signed by the Contracting Party.
The Contracting Party undertakes to transmit the communiqué regarding the compliance agreement to all its managers and the Fraternité des policiers et policières de Longueuil within 30 days of signing the compliance agreement, and to provide the Commissioner with proof of this transmission within the same time period.
The Contracting Party undertakes to publish the communiqué regarding the compliance agreement on its website, to transmit a link to the relevant web page on its official Facebook and Twitter accounts, and to provide proof to the Commissioner in writing within 30 days of signing the compliance agreement. The publications must be displayed for at least 30 days beginning on the first working day of its choice, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
The Contracting Party undertakes to respect the relevant provisions of the Act in the future.
In accordance with section 521 of the Act, the Contracting Party agrees that this compliance agreement shall be published in the Canada Gazette and on the Commissioner's website.
The Commissioner agrees that the Contracting Party will have complied with this compliance agreement when it has satisfied the requirements contained therein.
In accordance with subsection 517(8) of the Act, the Commissioner and the Contracting Party acknowledge that when a compliance agreement is entered into, the Commissioner may not refer the matter to the Director of Public Prosecutions unless there is non-compliance with the compliance agreement and, in any event, the Director of Public Prosecutions may not institute such a prosecution unless it has been shown that the compliance agreement has not been fulfilled.
Signed on behalf of the Contracting Party in the City of Longueuil, in the province of Quebec, on this 15th day of December 2016.
Mario Plante, Acting Director of the Service de Police de l'agglomération de Longueuil
Signed by the Commissioner of Canada Elections in the City of Gatineau, in the province of Quebec, on this 12th day of January 2017.
Yves Côté, QC
Commissioner of Canada Elections