Amendments to Canada’s Election Laws Take Effect in June 2019

campaign finance, Canada, elections

On June 13, 2019, amendments to the Canada Elections Act affecting spending limits for third parties and political parties takes effect. Bill C-76, the Elections Modernization Act, received Royal Assent on December 13, 2018.

The bill is scheduled to take effect six months after Royal Assent, unless Elections Canada determines some portion of the law should take effect earlier. The legislation establishes measures to increase transparency regarding the participation of third parties in the electoral process by adding reporting requirements for third parties engaging in partisan activities, partisan advertising, and election surveys.

Additionally, the bill creates an obligation for third parties to open a separate bank account for expenses and creates an obligation for political parties and third parties to identify themselves in partisan advertising.

The bill also extends voting hours on advance polling days to encourage participation in the election process for voters. Bill C-76 also amends the Parliament of Canada Act to prevent the calling of a by-election for a vacant seat in the House of Commons within nine months before a scheduled general election.