The Office of the Chief Electoral Officer (French: Bureau du directeur général des élections), commonly known as Elections Canada (French: Élections Canada), is the non-partisan agency responsible for administering Canadian federal elections and referendums. Elections Canada is an office of the Parliament of Canada, and reports directly to Parliament rather than to the Government of Canada.
|Headquarters||30 Victoria Street|
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0M6
|Employees||500 (Permanent) up to 235,000 (election period)|
|Annual budget||$110,501,000 (2008 est. spending)|
Its responsibilities include:
- 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
The House of Commons of Canada appoints the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada to head the agency. The Chief Electoral Officer in turn appoints the Commissioner of Canada Elections, who ensures that the Canada Elections Act is enforced; and the Broadcasting Arbitrator, who allocates paid and free broadcasting time during electoral events. The Chief Electoral Officer is seconded by the Deputy Chief Electoral Officer and Chief Legal Counsel and a staff of some 330 representing five executive directorates. During an election, staff at Elections Canada headquarters increases to 600 and to approximately 190,000 across Canada. Members of the general public are recruited to help run the election by manning polling stations, counting ballots, answering voters' questions, and providing other necessary services.
Compliance and enforcementEdit
Compliance and Enforcement of Canadian election law is the responsibility of the Commissioner of Canada Elections, an independent officer of Elections Canada.
The Commissioner is appointed by the Chief Electoral Officer in consultation with the Director of Public Prosecutions and has powers in order to compel testimony and evidence and lay charges.