Canada Elections Act (S.C. 2000, c. 9)
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Act current to 2023-05-17 and last amended on 2023-04-27. Previous Versions
PART 19Enforcement (continued)
509.3 (1) The employees necessary for the Commissioner to exercise or perform his or her powers, duties and functions under this Act are to be appointed in accordance with the Public Service Employment Act.
Marginal note:Casual employees, etc.
(2) Any additional employees that the Commissioner considers necessary for the exercise or performance of his or her powers, duties and functions under this Act may be appointed for a specified term or on a casual basis in accordance with the Public Service Employment Act.
- 2014, c. 12, s. 108
Marginal note:Technical assistance
509.4 The Commissioner may engage on a temporary basis investigators or persons having technical or specialized knowledge to advise and assist him or her in the exercise or performance of his or her powers, duties and functions under this Act.
- 2014, c. 12, s. 108
Marginal note:Authorization to assist
509.5 The Commissioner may authorize a person employed in the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer to assist the Commissioner in the exercise or performance of any of his or her powers, duties and functions arising from subsections 509.1(2) and (3) and in the exercise of his or her power under section 509.4, subject to the terms and conditions that the Commissioner sets.
- 2014, c. 12, s. 108
- 2018, c. 31, s. 353
Payments out of Consolidated Revenue Fund
Marginal note:Amounts to be paid out of C.R.F.
509.6 The following shall be paid out of unappropriated moneys forming part of the Consolidated Revenue Fund on the certificate of the Chief Electoral Officer:
(a) the remuneration paid to the Commissioner or to a person employed under subsection 509.3(2) and any additional remuneration paid to employees referred to in subsection 509.3(1) for overtime work to enable the Commissioner to exercise or perform his or her powers, duties and functions under this Act; and
(b) any expenses incurred by, on behalf of or in relation to the Commissioner under any other provision of this Part.
- 2014, c. 12, s. 108
- 2018, c. 31, s. 354
Marginal note:Investigation by Commissioner
510 (1) The Commissioner, on his or her own initiative or in response to a complaint, may conduct an investigation.
(2) As soon as feasible after beginning an investigation, the Commissioner shall give written notice of the investigation to the person whose conduct is being investigated. The notice is not to be given if, in the Commissioner’s opinion, to do so might compromise or hinder the investigation or any other investigation.
Marginal note:Public officer — Criminal Code
(3) For the purposes of Part XV of the Criminal Code, any person who is charged by the Commissioner with duties relating to the administration or enforcement of this Act is deemed to be a public officer.
- 2000, c. 9, s. 510
- 2014, c. 12, s. 108
- 2018, c. 31, s. 356
Marginal note:Election expenses return — supporting documents
510.001 In the course of conducting an investigation under section 510 in response to a complaint, the Commissioner may require the chief agent of a registered party to provide by a specified date documents evidencing any expense set out in the party’s election expenses return, including bank statements, deposit slips and cancelled cheques.
Marginal note:Order requiring testimony or written return
510.01 (1) If, on application of the Commissioner or his or her authorized representative, a judge is satisfied by information on oath that there are reasonable grounds to believe that this Act has been contravened or is about to be contravened and that an individual has or is likely to have information that will provide evidence of the contravention, the judge may order the individual to
(a) attend as specified in the order and be examined on oath by the Commissioner or the authorized representative on any matter that is relevant to the contravention before an individual, in sections 510.02 to 510.04 referred to as a “presiding officer”, designated in the order; or
(b) make and deliver to the Commissioner or the authorized representative, within the time specified in the order, a written return under oath showing in detail the information that is required by the order.
Marginal note:Date for hearing and notice
(2) On receipt of the application, the judge shall fix a date for the hearing of the application and direct that notice of the hearing be given, in the manner that the judge may specify, to the individual against whom the order is sought.
(3) No order may be made under subsection (1) against an individual who is alleged to have committed, or who is about to commit, the contravention to which the application relates.
Marginal note:When hearing may proceed ex parte
(4) A judge may proceed ex parte to hear and determine the application in the absence of the individual against whom the order is sought if
(a) the Commissioner or the authorized representative establishes to the satisfaction of the judge that the disclosure of any information set out in the application would
(i) compromise the identity of a confidential informant,
(ii) compromise the nature and extent of an ongoing investigation,
(iii) endanger an individual engaged in particular intelligence-gathering techniques and thereby prejudice future investigations in which similar techniques would be used, or
(iv) prejudice the interests of an innocent individual; or
(b) the judge is satisfied for any reason that the ends of justice would be subverted by the disclosure of the information set out in the application.
Marginal note:Sealing packet of documents
(5) If an order made under subsection (1) is issued ex parte, all documents relating to the application shall, subject to any terms and conditions that the judge considers desirable in the circumstances, including any term or condition concerning the duration of the prohibition, partial disclosure of a document, deletion of any information or the occurrence of a condition, be placed in a packet and sealed by the judge immediately on determination of the application, and that packet shall be kept in the custody of the court in a place to which the public has no access or in any other place that the judge may authorize and shall not be dealt with except in accordance with the terms and conditions specified in the order or as varied under subsection (7).
Marginal note:Order prohibiting disclosure
(6) If the order made under subsection (1) is issued ex parte, the judge shall make an order prohibiting a person or entity from disclosing, during the period set out in the order,
(a) the existence of the application;
(b) the existence of the order made under subsection (1); and
(c) the content of any testimony given or of any written return made under the order made under subsection (1).
Marginal note:Application for variance of order
(7) An application to terminate an order made under subsection (6) or to vary any of its terms and conditions may be made to the judge who made the order or a judge of the same court.
Marginal note:Effect of order
(8) An order made under this section has effect anywhere in Canada.
Marginal note:Witness competent and compellable
510.02 (1) An individual who is the subject of an order under paragraph 510.01(1)(a) is competent and may be compelled to give evidence.
Marginal note:No individual excused from complying with order
(2) No individual shall be excused from complying with an order that is made under subsection 510.01(1) on the ground that the testimony or written return required of the individual may tend to incriminate the individual or subject them to any proceeding or penalty.
Marginal note:Attendance of individual whose conduct is being investigated
(3) An individual whose conduct is being investigated during an examination conducted under an order under paragraph 510.01(1)(a), and their counsel, may attend the examination unless the Commissioner or the authorized representative, or the individual being examined, establishes to the satisfaction of the presiding officer that the presence of the individual whose conduct is being investigated would be prejudicial to the effective conduct of the examination or the investigation.
(4) Subsection (3) does not apply in respect of an examination conducted under an order that was issued ex parte.
Marginal note:Testimony, evidence and return not receivable
(5) Subject to subsection (6), no testimony given by an individual under an order made under paragraph 510.01(1)(a), or written return made by an individual under an order made under paragraph 510.01(1)(b), and no evidence derived from the testimony or written return, shall be used or received against that individual in any civil or criminal proceedings instituted against them, other than a prosecution for an offence under section 482.1 of this Act or section 132 or 136 of the Criminal Code.
Marginal note:Part XV of the Criminal Code
(6) Information contained in the testimony or written return referred to in subsection (5) and information derived from such information may be used in an application under Part XV of the Criminal Code.
(7) An individual who is the subject of an order made under paragraph 510.01(1)(a) is entitled to the fees and allowances for so doing as if they were summoned to attend before a superior court of the province in which the individual is summoned to attend.
Marginal note:Representation by counsel
(8) A presiding officer shall permit an individual who is being examined under an order made under paragraph 510.01(1)(a) to be represented by counsel.
Marginal note:Presiding officer
510.03 (1) Any individual who is a barrister or advocate of at least ten years standing at the bar of a province, or who has been a barrister or advocate at the bar of a province for at least ten years, may be designated as a presiding officer.
Marginal note:Remuneration and expenses
(2) A presiding officer is to be paid the remuneration fixed in the order designating them as such, and is entitled to be paid the travel and living expenses, incurred in the performance of their duties under this Act, in accordance with Treasury Board directives.
Marginal note:Administration of oaths
510.04 (1) The presiding officer may administer oaths for the purpose of examinations conducted under an order made under paragraph 510.01(1)(a).
Marginal note:Orders of presiding officer
(2) A presiding officer may make any order that they consider to be proper for the conduct of an examination under an order made under paragraph 510.01(1)(a).
Marginal note:Examination to be in private
(3) The examination before the presiding officer shall be conducted in private.
Marginal note:Application to judge
(4) A judge may, on application by a presiding officer, order any individual to comply with an order made by the presiding officer under subsection (2).
(5) No order may be made under subsection (4) unless the presiding officer has given the individual in respect of whom the order is sought and the Commissioner 24 hours’ notice of the hearing of the application for the order, or any shorter notice that the judge to whom the application is made considers reasonable.
510.1 (1) Subject to subsection (2), neither the Commissioner nor any person acting under his or her direction shall disclose any information relating to an investigation that comes to their knowledge in the exercise of their powers or the performance of their duties and functions under this Act, including information that reveals or from which may be inferred the name of the complainant, if any, the person whose conduct is being investigated or any witness.
Marginal note:Disclosure authorized
(2) The Commissioner may disclose or may authorize any person acting under his or her direction to disclose
(a) with the consent of the person in question, the name of any of the following: the complainant, if any, the person whose conduct is being investigated and any witness;
(b) information that, in the Commissioner’s opinion, is necessary to carry out an investigation;
(c) when a prosecution has been instituted under subsection 511(1), information that the Director of Public Prosecutions requires;
(c.1) when a review by the Chief Electoral Officer is requested under section 521.14, information that the Chief Elector Officer requires;
(d) information that is required to be disclosed in the course of a prosecution for an offence under this Act;
(d.1) information that is required to be disclosed in the course of an application for judicial review in respect of a decision taken under this Act;
(e) information that is required to be disclosed under any other Act of Parliament;
(f) information that, in the Commissioner’s opinion, is necessary in order to enter into or renegotiate a compliance agreement;
(f.1) information that, in the Commissioner’s opinion, is necessary in order for a person or entity to provide an undertaking; and
(g) information whose disclosure is, in the Commissioner’s opinion, in the public interest.
Marginal note:Public interest
(3) For the purposes of paragraph (2)(g), the Commissioner shall take into consideration the effects of disclosure on
(a) the privacy rights of any person who is the subject of the disclosure;
(b) the right of the person under investigation to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law; and
(c) public confidence in the fairness of the electoral process.
- 2014, c. 12, s. 108
- 2018, c. 31, s. 358
Marginal note:Commissioner may institute a prosecution
511 (1) If the Commissioner believes on reasonable grounds that an offence under this Act has been committed, the Commissioner may institute a prosecution or cause one to be instituted.
(2) A prosecution for an offence under this Act is instituted by the laying of an information in writing and under oath before a justice, as defined in section 2 of the Criminal Code.
- 2000, c. 9, s. 511
- 2003, c. 19, s. 62
- 2006, c. 9, s. 130
- 2018, c. 31, s. 360
- Date modified: