Privy Council Office

Privy Council Office

September 28, 2005 16:23 ET

Government Introduces Amendment Relating to the Canada Elections Act

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Sept. 28, 2005) - The Honourable Mauril Belanger, Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Minister for Internal Trade, Minister responsible for Official Languages and Associate Minister of National Defence, today introduced in the House of Commons an amendment relating to the Canada Elections Act.

The amendment repeals a sunset clause adopted in 2004 as part of Bill C-3 wherein certain provisions relating to the registration of political parties will cease to have effect on May 15, 2006, two years after their coming-into-force. The clause would be replaced by one that requires a mandatory review of the new registration rules by a committee of the House of Commons.

"This legislation will ensure that political party registration rules remain in effect until Members of Parliament have had the opportunity to review them, in the context of a thorough examination of all aspects of the Elections Act which the Committee on Procedure and House Affairs is set to undertake," stated Minister Belanger.

In response to the Supreme Court of Canada's decision in Figueroa v. A.G. (Canada), Bill C-3 replaced the requirement that registered political parties field at least 50 candidates in a general election with a one-candidate threshold and made a range of other modifications to the Canada Elections Act to prevent abuse of the electoral system. The sunset clause was introduced in order to ensure that positions expressed by various intervenors during the legislative process, including Parliamentarians and the Chief Electoral Officer, would be revisited within a set timeframe.

The amendment introduced today calls for a full review of these provisions within two years. The Government has made it clear that it would welcome a decision by the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs to conduct this review at the same time as it considers the upcoming report by the Chief Electoral Officer on political financing. This report, expected later this Fall, will trigger a statutorily-mandated review of new political financing rules, issues that are closely linked to party registration.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Mauril Belanger
    Shawn Salewski
    (613) 952-6732