Elections Canada

Elections Canada

August 17, 2006 16:46 ET

Additional Information Added to Elections Canada's Financial Database

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 17, 2006) - The Chief Electoral Officer of Canada, Jean-Pierre Kingsley, announced today that the searchable database on the Elections Canada Web site now includes the electoral campaign returns for candidates in the 1993 general election. These returns are in addition to the financial reports of candidates from the 1997, 2000, 2004 and 2006 elections, which were already available at www.elections.ca, and complete information on all the general elections held in the past decade.

The database has revolutionized media coverage of electoral financing by making it possible for visitors to the Elections Canada Web site to review candidates' electoral campaign returns. In addition to the annual financial returns of every registered party since 1993, this information now includes candidates' returns for all general elections since that time. The on-line database provides several methods to examine details of the financing of elections and other political contests at the federal level in Canada. As well, the database includes leadership campaign and nomination campaign returns and the financial returns of the registered electoral district associations of political parties. These financial returns were not required under the Canada Elections Act prior to 2004.

One of the most frequently used sections of the Elections Canada Web site, the financial database received almost 400,000 visits in the first seven months of this year. The recent federal election campaign generated 3.3 million visits to the site, with almost 630,000 visits on election day alone, January 23, 2006.

"Disclosure and transparency are cornerstones of democracy, and this database is a major step in ensuring the fullest possible transparency of the financing of Canada's registered political entities," said Mr. Kingsley. "Elections Canada is seen as an international leader in the transparency of electoral financing. While disclosure is required by law, Web-based information is not obligatory, and it was Elections Canada's decision to develop this tool to satisfy the public's right to know."

Elections Canada began publishing financial data on its site following the 1997 election. It was among the first electoral agencies in the world to do so, and the database has since received international recognition. New information is added to the financial database following each electoral event and following the receipt of the annual returns from regulated political entities.

Elections Canada is an independent body set up by Parliament.

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