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Elections Canada

Elections Canada
Élections Canada
Agency overview
FormedJuly 1, 1920 (1920-07-01)[1]
Headquarters30 Victoria Street
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0M6
Employees500 (Permanent) up to 235,000 (election period)[2]
Annual budget$628,864,260 (2021–22)[3]
Agency executive

Elections Canada (French: Élections Canada) is the non-partisan agency responsible for administering Canadian federal elections and referendums[a]. Elections Canada is an office of the Parliament of Canada, and reports directly to Parliament rather than to the Government of Canada.[6][5]


Elections Canada is responsible for:[7][2]

  • Making sure that all voters have access to the electoral system
  • Informing citizens about the electoral system
  • Maintaining the National Register of Electors
  • Enforcing electoral legislation
  • Training election officers
  • Producing maps of electoral districts
  • Registering political parties, electoral district associations, and third parties that engage in election advertising
  • Administering the allowances paid to registered political parties
  • Monitoring election spending by candidates, political parties and third parties
  • Publishing financial information on political parties, electoral district associations, candidates, nomination contestants, leadership contestants and third parties
  • Supporting the independent commissions responsible for adjusting the boundaries of federal electoral districts every ten years
  • Reporting to Parliament on the administration of elections and referendums

Appointments and staff

The House of Commons of Canada appoints the chief electoral officer to head the agency. The chief electoral officer also appoints the commissioner of Canada elections (French: Commissaire aux élections fédérales), who ensures that the Canada Elections Act is enforced.[8] The broadcasting arbitrator (French: Arbitre en matière de radiodiffusion), who allocates paid and free broadcasting time during electoral events, is appointed by a unanimous decision of registered political parties in the House of Commons, or by the chief electoral officer if the parties fail to agree a candidate.[9][10][11] The chief electoral officer is seconded by the deputy chief electoral officer, chief legal counsel and around 500 to 600 staff, mainly situated in the National Capital Region.[2][4] During a general election or referendum, this rises to 235,000 workers[2]

Compliance, enforcement and regulation

The Commissioner of Canada Elections is responsible for regulating federal electoral events and enforcing compliance with the Canada Elections Act.[8][12]

Before 2018, the commissioner was appointed in consultation with the director of public prosecutions and was overseen by the director, but has since become part of the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer.[13]

See also


  1. ^ a b "How we began". Elections Canada. 2022-09-13. Retrieved 2023-01-06.
  2. ^ a b c d "The Role and Structure of Elections Canada". Elections Canada. 2022-12-23. Retrieved 2023-01-05.
  3. ^ a b Perrault, Stéphane; LeBlanc, Dominic (2022). 2021–22 Departmental Results Report (PDF). Office of the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada. p. 19. ISSN 2371-8218.
  4. ^ a b c "The Chief Electoral Officer and His Office - Overview of Elections Canada and the Federal Electoral System Briefing Book (October 2021)". Elections Canada. October 2021. Retrieved 2023-01-06.
  5. ^ a b "Canada Elections Act". Parliament of Canada. December 12, 2022 [May 31, 2000]. Part 2. Retrieved January 5, 2023 – via Justice Laws. Last amended June 29, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: postscript (link)
  6. ^ "The Electoral System of Canada" (PDF). Elections Canada. 2015.
  7. ^ "Our mission, mandate, values". Elections Canada. 2022-12-23. Retrieved 2023-01-05.
  8. ^ a b "About Us". Commissioner of Canada Elections. 2022-09-14. Retrieved 2023-01-05.
  9. ^ "Arbitre en matière de radiodiffusion" [Broadcasting Arbitrator]. (in French). Elections Canada. 2023-01-02. Retrieved 2023-01-05.
  10. ^ "Broadcasting Arbitrator". Elections Canada. 2023-01-02. Retrieved 2023-01-05.
  11. ^ "The Broadcasting Arbitrator: Appointment, Term of Office and Duties - THE BROADCASTING ARBITRATOR According to the provisions of the Canada Elections Act". Elections Canada. October 2019. Retrieved 2023-01-05.
  12. ^ "Enforcing the Canada Elections Act". Commissioner of Canada Elections. 2022-09-14. Retrieved 2023-01-05.
  13. ^ "Relationship between the Chief Electoral Officer and the Commissioner of Canada Elections: Key Guiding Principles". Elections Canada. 2022-12-23. Retrieved 2023-01-05.


  1. ^ Legally, Elections Canada is a name under which the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada (French: Bureau du directeur général des élections du Canada) conducts electoral administration and oversight of political funding.[4][1][3] Elections Canada itself is not a legal entity - the chief electoral officer exercises most powers or delegates them to staff of the office, and the commissioner of Canada elections exercises others.[5][4]
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Elections Canada
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