May 1, 2018 •
Elections Modernization Act Introduced in Canada’s House of Commons
On April 30, the Trudeau government, through the Minister of Democratic Institutions, introduced a bill intended to reform federal elections in Canada.
Bill C-76, the Elections Modernization Act, amends the Canada Elections Act to limit election periods to a maximum of 50 days, to establish spending limits for third parties and political parties during a defined period before the election period of a general election held on a day fixed, and to establish measures to increase transparency regarding the participation of third parties in the electoral process.
To achieve third party transparency, the bill adds reporting requirements for third parties engaging in partisan activities, partisan advertising, and election surveys to the reporting requirements for third parties engaging in election advertising and creates an obligation for third parties to open a separate bank account for expenses related those matters. In addition, the bill also creates an obligation for political parties and third parties to identify themselves in partisan advertising during the defined period before the election period.
The legislation also amends the Parliament of Canada Act to prevent the calling of a by-election when a vacancy in the House of Commons occurs within nine months before the day fixed for a general election under the Canada Elections Act.
Another other goal of the bill is to reduce barriers to both electoral and voting participation.
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