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Bill C-3

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Her Excellency the Governor General recommends to the House of Commons the appropriation of public revenue under the circumstances, in the manner and for the purposes set out in a measure entitled ``An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and the Income Tax Act''.


This enactment amends the Canada Elections Act to adjust the requirements for political party registration in response to the June 27, 2003 decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Figueroa v. Canada (Attorney General), 2003 SCC 37.

It replaces the existing 50-candidate requirement for political party registration with a series of new registration requirements. These requirements include that a party endorse and support at least one candidate, that it provide signed declarations of support from at least 250 members and that it have no fewer than four party officers.

It adds a purpose-based definition of ``political party'' and requires the party's leader to make a declaration that one of the party's fundamental purposes is as described in the definition. Entities seeking to register as political parties must also satisfy the requirements of the definition, both at registration and on an ongoing basis. The Commissioner of Canada Elections may apply for judicial deregistration where those requirements are not met.

It provides measures to prevent entities from registering simply for the purpose of obtaining financial and other benefits and from redirecting tax-receipted contributions to outside entities.

It creates new offences for providing false information and for acting as an officer knowing that the party does not satisfy the requirements of the definition. It also adds mechanisms for judicial deregistration of a political party, as well as liquidation of its assets, in the event of a conviction for certain offences.

It also amends the Income Tax Act to suspend the authority of a registered party to issue tax receipts while an application by the Commissioner for judicial deregistration is pending.


Canada Elections Act

Clause 1: New.

Clause 2: The relevant portion of subsection 117(2) reads as follows:

(2) The name, in the form referred to in paragraph 366(2)(b), of the political party that has endorsed the candidate shall be listed on the ballot under the name of the candidate if

    . . .

    (c) at the close of nominations, the party is in compliance with sections 366 and 368; and

    (d) the party has candidates whose nominations have been confirmed in at least 12 electoral districts for the general election or, in the case of a by-election, in the immediately preceding general election.

Clause 3: (1) to (3) Paragraph 366(2)(j) is new. The relevant portion of subsection 366(2) reads as follows:

(2) An application for registration must include

    . . .

    (d) the name and address of the leader of the party;

    . . .

    (f) the names and addresses of the officers of the party;

    . . .

    (i) the names, addresses and signatures of 100 electors who are members of the party.

(4) New.

Clause 4: The relevant portion of section 368 reads as follows:

368. A political party whose leader has made an application under subsection 366(1) becomes eligible for registration if

    . . .

    (b) the party has appointed a chief agent and an auditor; and

    (c) the Chief Electoral Officer is satisfied that the party has provided the information required under subsection 366(2).

Clause 5: Sections 369 and 370 read as follows:

369. (1) The Chief Electoral Officer shall inform the leader of a political party that has applied to become registered as soon as practicable after the day on which the application is received, whether or not the party is eligible for registration under section 368.

(2) A political party that, having been informed of its eligibility under subsection (1), contravenes any of sections 371 and 376 to 381, subsections 382(1), (3) and (4) and 383(1) and section 384 loses its eligibility to become a registered party.

370. (1) An eligible party becomes a registered party if it has candidates whose nomination has been confirmed in 50 electoral districts for a general election and its application to become registered was made 60 days before the issue of the writs for the general election and has not been withdrawn.

(2) A political party that makes its application after the 60 days referred to in subsection (1) becomes a registered party for the next following general election if it satisfies the requirements of that subsection.

(3) The Chief Electoral Officer shall, as soon as practicable after the 48-hour period following the closing of nominations, inform the leader of an eligible party whether or not the party has been registered in accordance with subsection (1).

(4) An eligible party loses its eligibility on being informed, under subsection (3), that it has not been registered.

(5) For the purposes of sections 407, 422, 429 and 435, an eligible party that becomes registered under subsection (1) is deemed to have been registered from the issue of the writs for that election.

Clause 6: The heading before section 375 reads as follows:

Registered Agents and Auditors

Clause 7: New.

Clause 8: Paragraph 377(2)(b.1) is new. The relevant portion of subsection 377(2) reads as follows:

(2) The following persons are not eligible to be an auditor:

Clause 9: Section 378 reads as follows:

378. A registered party or an eligible party shall obtain from a chief agent or auditor, on appointment, their signed consent to so act.

Clause 10: New.

Clause 11: Subsection 381(1.1) is new. Subsection 381(1) reads as follows:

381. (1) No person who is not eligible to be a chief agent or registered agent of a registered party or of an eligible party shall so act.

Clause 12: New.

Clause 13: The heading before section 382 reads as follows:

Change of Information in Registry of Parties

Clause 14: (1) Subsection 382(1) reads as follows:

382. (1) Within 30 days after a change in the information referred to in subsection 366(2), a registered party or eligible party shall report the change in writing to the Chief Electoral Officer. The report must be certified by the party's leader.

(2) Subsection 382(4) reads as follows:

(4) A report under subsection (1) that involves the replacement of the auditor or chief agent must include a copy of the signed consent under section 378.

Clause 15: New.

Clause 16: Sections 384.1, 385.1 and 385.2 are new. Section 385 and the heading before it read as follows:

Deregistration of Registered Parties

385. (1) The Chief Electoral Officer shall, effective on the expiration in a general election of the period for the confirmation or refusal of nominations under subsection 71(1), deregister a registered party that, at that time, has not endorsed a candidate in at least 50 electoral districts.

(2) The Chief Electoral Officer shall give notice of the deregistration under subsection (1) of a registered party, and of the resulting deregistration under section 389.2 of its registered associations, to the leader, the chief agent and any other officer of the party set out in the registry of parties as well as to the chief executive officers and financial agents of the associations.

Clause 17: New.

Clause 18: Subsection 435.35(3) reads as follows:

(3) The leadership contestant's financial agent shall provide an updated version of a document referred to in subsection 435.3(1) within 30 days after making a payment that is dealt with in the updated version.

Clause 19: Subsection 455(3) reads as follows:

(3) The candidate's official agent shall provide an updated version of a document referred to in subsection 451(1) within 30 days after making a payment that is dealt with in the updated version.

Clause 20: Subsection 478.3(3) reads as follows:

(3) The nomination contestant's financial agent shall provide an updated version of a document referred to in subsection 478.23(1) within 30 days after making a payment that is dealt with in the updated version.

Clause 21: (1) The relevant portion of subsection 497(1) reads as follows:

497. (1) Every person is guilty of an offence who

    . . .

    (b) being a registered party, contravenes subsection 375(3) or, being a registered party or eligible party, contravenes section 378, subsection 379(1) or (2) or section 380 (failure to comply with requirements reappointment of registered agent, chief agent or auditor);

(2) and (3) Paragraphs 497(3)(b.1) to (b.4) and (f.162) and (f.163) are new. The relevant portion of subsection 497(3) reads as follows:

(3) Every person is guilty of an offence who

    . . .

    (b) wilfully contravenes subsection 381(1) or (2) (ineligible person acting as chief agent, registered agent or auditor);

Clause 22: (1) and (2) Paragraph 501(1)(a.1) is new. The relevant portion of section 501 reads as follows:

501. When a person has been convicted of an offence under this Act, the court may, having regard to the nature of the offence and the circumstances surrounding its commission, and in addition to any other punishment that may be imposed under this Act, by order direct the person to

(3) New.

Clause 23: New.

Clause 24: New.

Income Tax Act

Clause 25: New.