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Canada Elections Act (S.C. 2000, c. 9)

Full Document:  

Act current to 2024-06-19 and last amended on 2023-06-22. Previous Versions

PART 14Judicial Recount (continued)

Recount Procedure (continued)

Marginal note:More than one application

 If a judge receives more than one application for a recount for more than one electoral district, the recounts shall be conducted in the order in which the judge receives the applications.

 [Repealed, 2014, c. 12, s. 68]

Marginal note:Recount procedure

  •  (1) The judge shall conduct the recount by adding the number of votes reported in the statements of the vote or by counting the valid ballots or all of the ballots returned by election officers or the Chief Electoral Officer.

  • Marginal note:Documents that may be examined

    (2) If a recount of all of the ballots returned is required, the judge may open the sealed envelopes that contain the used and counted, unused, rejected and spoiled ballots. The judge shall not open any envelopes that appear to contain other documents or refer to any other election documents.

  • Marginal note:Procedure for certain recounts

    (3) In the case of a recount conducted by counting the valid ballots or all of the ballots returned by election officers or the Chief Electoral Officer, the procedure set out in Schedule 4 applies.

  • Marginal note:Powers of judge

    (4) For the purpose of arriving at the facts with respect to a missing ballot box or statement of the vote, the judge has all the powers of a returning officer with regard to the attendance and examination of witnesses who, in case of non-attendance, are subject to the same consequences as in the case of refusal or neglect to attend on the summons of a returning officer.

  • Marginal note:Additional powers of judge

    (5) For the purpose of conducting a recount, a judge has the power to summon any election officer as a witness and to require him or her to give evidence on oath and, for that purpose, has the same power that is vested in any court of record.

  • Marginal note:Clerical assistants

    (6) Subject to the approval of the Chief Electoral Officer, a judge may retain the services of support staff to assist in the performance of his or her duties under this Part.

Marginal note:Proceedings to be continuous

 The judge shall, as far as practicable, proceed continuously with a recount, except for necessary breaks and, unless the judge orders otherwise, between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m.

Marginal note:Security of documents

  •  (1) During a break described in section 305, the judge or any other person who has possession of ballots and other election documents shall keep them sealed in parcels, and the seal shall be signed by the judge and may be signed by any other person in attendance.

  • Marginal note:Supervision of sealing

    (2) The judge shall personally supervise the parcelling and sealing of ballots and documents at a recount and take all necessary precautions for their security.

Marginal note:Judge may terminate recount

 Except in a case referred to in section 300, a judge may at any time terminate a recount on request in writing by the person who applied for the recount.

Marginal note:Procedure at conclusion of recount

 At the conclusion of a recount, the judge shall

  • (a) seal the ballots in a separate envelope for each polling station and without delay prepare a certificate in the prescribed form that sets out the number of votes cast for each candidate;

  • (b) deliver the original of the certificate to the returning officer and a copy of it to each candidate;

  • (c) return to the returning officer the election documents or election materials brought under subsection 300(4) or 301(4) for the purpose of the recount; and

  • (d) deliver to the returning officer the reports created in the course of the recount.

Marginal note:Costs

  •  (1) If a recount does not alter the result of the vote so as to affect the return, the judge shall

    • (a) order the costs of the candidate for whom the largest number of votes have been cast to be paid by the person who applied for the recount; and

    • (b) tax those costs, following as closely as possible the tariff of costs allowed with respect to proceedings in the court in which the judge ordinarily presides.

  • Marginal note:Disposal of deposit and right of action for balance

    (2) The money deposited as security for costs shall, as far as is necessary, be paid out to the candidate in whose favour costs are awarded under subsection (1) and, if the deposit is insufficient to cover the costs, the party in whose favour the costs are awarded has their action for the balance.

Marginal note:Application for reimbursement of costs

  •  (1) After a recount, a candidate may make an application to the Chief Electoral Officer for reimbursement of his or her costs in respect of the recount, setting out the amount and nature of the costs and whether they were actually and reasonably incurred.

  • Marginal note:Chief Electoral Officer determines costs

    (2) On receipt of an application under subsection (1), the Chief Electoral Officer shall determine the costs, and shall make a request for reimbursement to the Receiver General, up to a maximum of $500 for each day or part of a day during which the judge conducted the recount.

  • Marginal note:Payment from Consolidated Revenue Fund

    (3) The Receiver General, on receipt of a request for reimbursement from the Chief Electoral Officer, shall pay to the candidate the amount requested from the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

Failure of Judge to Conduct Recount

Marginal note:Failure of judge to act

  •  (1) If a judge does not comply with the provisions of sections 300 to 309, an aggrieved party may, within eight days after the failure to comply, make application for an order under subsection (3)

    • (a) in the Province of Ontario, to a judge of the Superior Court of Justice;

    • (b) in the Province of Quebec, New Brunswick or Alberta, Yukon, the Northwest Territories or Nunavut, to a judge of the Court of Appeal of the Province or Territory;

    • (c) in the Province of Nova Scotia, British Columbia or Prince Edward Island, to a judge of the Supreme Court of the Province;

    • (d) in the Province of Manitoba or Saskatchewan, to a judge of the Court of Queen’s Bench for the Province; and

    • (e) in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, to a judge of the Trial Division of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador.

  • Marginal note:Application on affidavit

    (2) An application under subsection (1) may be made on affidavit, which need not be entitled in any matter or cause, that sets out the facts relating to the failure to comply.

  • Marginal note:Order of judge

    (3) The judge to whom an application is made under subsection (1) shall, if it appears that there was a failure to comply, make an order

    • (a) fixing the time, within the following eight days, and place to hear the application;

    • (b) directing the attendance of all parties interested at that time and place; and

    • (c) giving directions for the service of the order, and of any affidavit on which it was granted, on the judge alleged to have failed to comply and on any other interested party.

  • Marginal note:Affidavits may be filed in reply

    (4) The judge complained of and any interested party may file in the office of the clerk, registrar or prothonotary of the court of the judge to whom the application is made affidavits in reply to those filed by the applicant and shall provide the applicant with copies of them on demand.

Marginal note:Order of court after hearing

  •  (1) After hearing the judge complained of and any other parties, the judge to whom the application was made or another judge of the same court

    • (a) shall make an order dismissing the application or ordering the judge in default to comply with the requirements of this Act in respect of the recount; and

    • (b) may make an order with respect to costs.

  • Marginal note:Judge to obey order

    (2) A judge found to be in default shall without delay comply with an order made under subsection (1).

  • Marginal note:Costs

    (3) Remedies for the recovery of costs awarded under paragraph (1)(b) are the same as for costs in ordinary cases in the same court.

PART 15Return of the Writ

Marginal note:Return of elected candidate

  •  (1) The returning officer, without delay after the sixth day that follows the completion of the validation of results or, if there is a recount, without delay after receiving the certificate referred to in section 308, shall declare elected the candidate who obtained the largest number of votes by completing the return of the writ in the prescribed form on the back of the writ.

  • Marginal note:Equality of votes

    (2) If there is an equality of votes between the candidates with the largest number of votes, the returning officer shall indicate that on the return of the writ.

Marginal note:Sending of documents

  •  (1) On completing the return of the writ, the returning officer shall without delay send to the Chief Electoral Officer all election documents in his or her possession together with

    • (a) a report of the returning officer’s proceedings in the prescribed form including his or her comments with respect to the state of the election documents received from election officers;

    • (b) a summary, in the prescribed form, of the number of votes cast for each candidate at each polling station; and

    • (c) all other documents that were used at the election, including documents prepared under paragraph 162(i.1).

  • Marginal note:Report re: disappearance of ballot box, etc.

    (2) In any case arising under section 296, the returning officer shall mention specially in the report the circumstances accompanying the disappearance of the ballot boxes or the lack of any statement of the vote, and the mode by which the returning officer ascertained the number of votes cast for each candidate.

Marginal note:Duplicate of return to each candidate

  •  (1) The returning officer shall forward a copy of the return of the writ to each candidate.

  • Marginal note:Premature return

    (2) A premature return of the writ is deemed not to have reached the Chief Electoral Officer until it should have reached the Chief Electoral Officer in due course.

  • Marginal note:Correction of writ

    (3) The Chief Electoral Officer shall, if necessary, send back the return of the writ and any or all of the related election documents to the returning officer for completion or correction.

Marginal note:Where report made before recount

  •  (1) Where, at the time of the issue of an order under section 311 or 312, the returning officer for the electoral district in respect of which the order is made has made a return of the writ under section 314, the Chief Electoral Officer shall, on being provided with a certified copy of the order, send back to the returning officer all election documents required for use at the recount.

  • Marginal note:Duties of returning officer on recount

    (2) On receiving a judge’s certificate with respect to the result of a recount, the returning officer shall

    • (a) if the result of the recount is that a person other than the person named in the original return is to be returned, make a substitute return of the writ; or

    • (b) if the result of the recount is to confirm the return, send the papers back to the Chief Electoral Officer without delay and not make a substitute return of the writ.

  • Marginal note:Effect of substitute return

    (3) A substitute return made under paragraph (2)(a) has the effect of cancelling the original return.

Marginal note:Procedure on receipt of return by Chief Electoral Officer

 The Chief Electoral Officer, on receiving each return of the writ, shall, in the order in which the return is received,

  • (a) indicate, in a book kept by the Chief Electoral Officer for the purpose, that he or she has received it; and

  • (b) publish in the Canada Gazette the name of the candidate who was declared elected.

Marginal note:Equality of votes

 If the return of the writ indicates an equality of votes between the candidates with the largest number of votes, the Chief Electoral Officer shall without delay

  • (a) prepare and send to the Speaker of the House of Commons or, if none, two members of the House or two candidates who have been declared elected, as the case may be, a report stating that no candidate was declared elected in the electoral district because of the equality of votes; and

  • (b) publish in the Canada Gazette

    • (i) the names of the candidates between whom there was an equality of votes, and

    • (ii) notice that, as no candidate was declared elected in the electoral district because of the equality of votes, a by-election will be conducted under subsection 29(1.1) of the Parliament of Canada Act.

PART 16Communications


Marginal note:Definitions

 The definitions in this section apply in this Part.

election advertising

election advertising[Repealed, 2018, c. 31, s. 206]

election survey

election survey[Repealed, 2018, c. 31, s. 206]


network means a network as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Broadcasting Act, but does not include a temporary network operation as defined in that subsection. (réseau)

network operator

network operator means a person or undertaking to which permission has been granted by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to form and operate a network. (exploitant de réseau)

online platform

online platform includes an Internet site or Internet application whose owner or operator, in the course of their commercial activities, sells, directly or indirectly, advertising space on the site or application to persons or groups. (plateforme en ligne)

prime time

prime time, in the case of a radio station, means the time between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., and, in the case of a television station, means the hours between 6 p.m. and midnight. (heures de grande écoute)


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