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 29, 2016, the Commissioner of Canada Elections entered into a compliance agreement with Climate Action Now – Barrie, pursuant to section 517 of the Canada Elections Act. The text of the compliance agreement is set out in full below.
February 2, 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 Climate Action Now – Barrie, also known as CANOW (the Contracting Party) enter into this agreement aimed at ensuring compliance with the Act.
The relevant provisions of the Act are section 352 and paragraph 496(1)(b), which make it an offence for a third party to fail to identify itself in its election advertising, as well as subsection 353(1) and paragraphs 496(1)(c) and 496(3)(b), which provide for offences for a third party that has incurred $500 in election advertising expenses to fail to immediately register with the Chief Electoral Officer.
Statements of the Contracting Party
For the purpose of this Compliance Agreement, the Contracting Party acknowledges the following:
- Mr. Adam Ballah, a member of Climate Action Now – Barrie during the 42nd federal general election, is entering into this compliance agreement on behalf of the Contracting Party, a group of individuals who acted in concert to place election advertising during the election period.
- Section 352 of the Act requires that a third party identify itself in the election advertising it places during an election period, and that it indicate that it authorized the advertising.
- Further, subsection 353(1) requires that a third party register with the Chief Electoral Officer immediately upon having incurred $500 in election advertising expenses.
- During the 42nd federal general election, the Contracting Party had election advertising signs printed that opposed the Conservative Party of Canada, a federal registered party. The total cost for producing these signs was more than $500, and the signs were placed in two electoral districts in Ontario: Barrie–Springwater–Oro-Medonte; and Simcoe–Grey.
- The election advertising signs placed by the Contracting Party did not identify the third party, nor did they indicate that the third party had authorized the advertising. This was in contravention of section 352.
- Moreover, the Contracting Party failed to register with the Chief Electoral Officer immediately after having incurred $500 in election advertising expenses, as required by subsection 353(1).
- The signing of this Compliance Agreement does not constitute a guilty plea in the criminal sense, and no record of conviction will be created as a result of an admission of responsibility for acts that could constitute offences under the Act.
- The Commissioner advised the Contracting Party of its right to be represented by counsel and the Contracting Party had the opportunity to obtain counsel.
Factors considered by the Commissioner
In entering into this Compliance Agreement, the Commissioner took into account the fact that the Contracting Party has co-operated fully and in good faith with the Commissioner's investigation.
Undertaking and agreement
The Contracting Party undertakes to submit to the Chief Electoral Officer, within 30 days of the signing of this Compliance Agreement, a duly completed third party registration application with respect to the 42nd federal general election.
The Contracting Party undertakes to submit to the Chief Electoral Officer, within four months after polling day, an election advertising report as required by section 359 of the Act.
The Contracting Party undertakes to comply with the relevant provisions of the Act in the future.
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 agrees that the fulfillment by the Contracting Party of its undertaking in this Compliance Agreement will constitute compliance with the agreement.
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 unless there is non-compliance with the terms of the Compliance Agreement, 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 Barrie this 18th day of January, 2016.
Signed by the Commissioner of Canada Elections, in the City of Gatineau, this 29th day of January 2016.
Yves Côté, QC
Commissioner of Canada Elections