Bill 45, Election Statute Law Amendment Act, 2016

Naqvi, Hon Yasir Attorney General

Current Status: Royal Assent received Chapter Number:

Viewing: Royal Assent (current version) pdf

Bill 45                                                          2016

An Act to amend certain Acts with respect to provincial elections

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:

Election Act

   1.  Subsection 4 (7) of the Election Act is amended by striking out “the Chief Electoral Officer shall immediately give notice of any such direction to the candidates affected” at the end and substituting “the Chief Electoral Officer shall immediately give notice of any such direction to the candidates affected and to the registered parties, if any, of the candidates”.

   2.  The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Authority to share equipment and resources

   4.0.3  (1)  The Chief Electoral Officer may make equipment, advice, staff, or other resources available to other electoral authorities in Canada.

Same

   (2)  Any revenue derived from such activities shall be paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

   3.  (1)  Subsection 4.1 (1) of the Act is amended by striking out “vote-counting equipment”.

   (2)  Subsection 4.1 (2) of the Act is amended by striking out “vote-counting equipment”.

   (3)  Subsection 4.1 (5) of the Act is amended by striking out “vote-counting equipment” wherever it appears.

   4.  Subsection 4.2 (2) of the Act is amended by adding the following paragraph:

  2.1  Subsections 17.7 (2) and (3).

   5.  The Act is amended by adding the following sections:

Use of vote counting equipment

   4.5  (1)  The Chief Electoral Officer may issue a direction requiring the use of vote counting equipment during an election and modifying the voting process established by this Act to permit the use of the equipment.

Same

   (2)  Subsections 4.4 (5) to (11) apply, with necessary modifications, with respect to a direction issued under this section.

Restrictions re equipment

   (3)  The following restrictions apply with respect to the use of vote counting equipment:

    1.  The equipment must not be part of or connected to an electronic network, except that the equipment may be securely connected to a network after the polls close, for the purpose of transmitting information to the Chief Electoral Officer.

    2.  The equipment must be tested,

            i.  before the first elector uses the equipment to vote, and

           ii.  after the last elector uses the equipment to vote.

    3.  For the purpose of paragraph 2, testing includes, without limitation, logic and accuracy testing.

    4.  The equipment must not be used in a way that en­ables the choice of an elector to be made known to an election official or scrutineer.

Accessible voting equipment

   (4)  This section does not apply with respect to vote counting equipment required by section 44.1 (accessible voting equipment, etc.)

Opting out of receiving information

   4.6  (1)  Despite any other provision in this Act, a returning officer and the Chief Electoral Officer are not required to provide copies of polling lists, the permanent register of electors, extracts of or updates to the permanent register of electors, or any other elector information to a candidate or registered party that has indicated that it does not wish to receive this information.

Application

   (2)  This section and sections 4.7 and 4.8 apply on and after July 1, 2017.

Redaction of information

   4.7  Despite any requirement in this Act that the Chief Electoral Officer or a returning officer provide information about an elector, the Chief Electoral Officer may, on the request of the elector, redact any information that the Chief Electoral Officer reasonably believes would, if made available, endanger the life, health or security of the elector.

Restrictions on information

   4.8  Where, under this Act, a returning officer or the Chief Electoral Officer are required to provide copies of polling lists, the permanent register of electors, extracts of or updates to the permanent register of electors, or any other elector information to a candidate or registered party, they shall not provide any information about electors other than the following, unless this Act specifically provided otherwise:

    1.  The names and unique identifiers of the electors.

    2.  The mailing addresses and permanent addresses of the electors.

   6.  Subsection 6 (2) of the Act is amended by striking out “subsection (1)” and substituting “subsection (1.1)”.

   7.  Subsection 9 (2) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

First Thursday in June

   (2)  Subject to the powers of the Lieutenant Governor referred to in subsection (1), general elections shall be held on the first Thursday in June in the fourth calendar year following polling day in the most recent general election.

   8.  Subsection 9.1 (8) of the Act is amended by striking out “August 1” and substituting “February 1”.

   9.  Section 9.2 of the Act is repealed.

   10.  Subsection 13 (4.1) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Same

   (4.1)  A municipality, school board or provincially funded institution that makes premises available under subsection (4) shall provide premises that are acceptable to the returning officer, and shall do so free of charge.

   11.  Section 17.1 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsection:

Contents

   (1.1)  The permanent register must contain, for each elector, a unique identifier that is assigned by the Chief Electoral Officer.

   12.  Subsection 17.1.1 (2) of the Act is repealed.

   13.  Subsection 17.6 (2) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Disclosure of policy to Chief Electoral Officer

   (2)  The party shall disclose the policy to the Chief Electoral Officer, and the Chief Electoral Officer shall not provide a copy of the permanent register or part of the permanent register,

  (a)  to a party that has not disclosed the policy or that has disclosed a policy that does not comply with the guidelines published under section 17.5; or

  (b)  to the candidates or members of the Assembly of such a party.

   14.  The Act is amended by adding the following section immediately before the heading “Representative Bodies of Electors”:

Provisional Register of 16 and 17 Year Olds

Provisional register

   17.7  (1)  The Chief Electoral Officer shall establish and maintain a provisional register of persons who are 16 or 17 years of age, are Canadian citizens and who reside in Ontario.

Registration

   (2)  The Chief Electoral Officer shall include in the provisional register only those persons who have requested in writing or in another format acceptable to the Chief Electoral Officer, that they be included, and have provided proof of identity in accordance with section 4.2.

Removal from register

   (3)  The Chief Electoral Officer shall remove from the provisional register a person who has requested, in writing or in another format acceptable to the Chief Electoral Officer, that the person be removed, and has provided proof of identity in accordance with section 4.2.

Must make request oneself

   (4)  For greater certainty, a person may not make a request under subsection (2) or (3) on behalf of another person.

Transfer to permanent register

   (5)  When a person in the provisional register reaches 18 years of age, or when the Chief Electoral Officer is aware that the person will be 18 during the period that begins when a writ of election is issued and ends on polling day, the Chief Electoral Officer shall transfer the information about the person from the provisional register to the permanent register of electors.

Other uses

   (6)  The Chief Electoral Officer may use the information in the provisional register for the purposes of sections 114.1 (public education and information) and 114.2 (information packages for new electors).

   15.  Section 17.13 of the Act is repealed.

   16.  (1)  Section 19 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsection:

Copy to registered parties

   (2.1)  At the time of providing a list under subsection (1) or (2), the Chief Electoral Officer shall provide a copy of the list to each registered party.

   (2)  Clause 19 (3) (c) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

   (c)  one electronic version of the list to be furnished to each candidate in the electoral district, and a printed copy to be furnished on the request of the candidate.

   17.  Subsection 21 (9) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

List of persons issued certificate

   (9)  Upon the request of a candidate, the returning officer shall give the candidate a list of the persons to whom a certificate to vote has been issued up to the time the request is made, and upon the request of a registered party, the Chief Electoral Officer shall give such a list to the party.

   18.  Section 25 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsection:

Sharing of list

   (3)  The returning officer shall provide a copy of the official polling list to each candidate in the electoral district in which the polling division is located, and the Chief Electoral Officer shall supply a copy of the official polling list to the registered party, if any, of the candidates.

   19.  Section 27 of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Nominations

Nomination in one electoral district

   27.  (1)  A candidate may be nominated in one electoral district only.

Candidate’s nomination paper

   (2)  Each candidate shall be nominated by a separate nomination paper which shall include,

  (a)  the electoral district for which the prospective candidate is being nominated;

  (b)  the full legal name of the prospective candidate;

   (c)  the ordinary name of the prospective candidate, whether surname, given name or both, if this is different from the full legal name and the prospective candidate wishes to have his or her ordinary name on the ballot instead;

  (d)  the residential address of the prospective candidate;

  (e)  if applicable, the name of the registered party that the prospective candidate is nominated to represent;

   (f)  the names and residential addresses of at least 25 electors of the electoral district;

  (g)  a signed declaration of each of the electors mentioned in clause (f) (who may provide such a declaration for more than one prospective candidate) that he or she is qualified as an elector for the electoral district for which the election is being held;

  (h)  if applicable, an instrument in writing, signed by the leader of a party that is registered or has applied for registration with the Chief Electoral Officer under the Election Finances Act, that states that the prospective candidate is endorsed by the party;

    (i)  if the prospective candidate is nominated as an independent candidate and wishes to have that status indicated on the ballot, a statement requesting this;

    (j)  a signed statement of the prospective candidate that he or she is qualified to be nominated;

   (k)  in the case of a prospective candidate making a request under clause (c), a signed statement of the individual that the name requested to be used on the ballot is his or her ordinary name;

    (l)  the appointment of an individual as a chief financial officer and the signed consent of the individual to act, which shall be deemed to be sufficient compliance with subsection 33 (2) of the Election Finances Act;

(m)  the appointment of an individual as an auditor, and the auditor’s name and address, which shall be deemed to be sufficient compliance with subsection 40 (1) of the Election Finances Act; and

  (n)  a statement signed by the prospective candidate of an address at which documents will be accepted for delivery to or service on the candidate and a telephone number at which the individual can be contacted.

Nomination by filing documents with the returning officer

   27.1  (1)  In order to make a nomination under this section, the nomination paper required by section 27 must be received by the returning officer for the electoral district during the nomination period that begins when the writ of election is issued and ends at 2 p.m. of the day stated as the day of the close of nominations in the writ.

When must be received

   (2)  For the purposes of this section, nomination papers must be received at the office of the returning officer during its regular office hours and may be received at other times and places during the nomination period as allowed by the returning officer.

Responsibility

   (3)  The obligation to ensure that nomination papers are received in accordance with this section rests with the prospective candidate.

Obligation to accept for filing

   (4)  Once the required nomination paper has been received, the returning officer must accept the paper for filing unless the prospective candidate appears from the paper to be ineligible for nomination.

Corrections

   (5)  If a nomination paper is not accepted for filing because it is defective, it may be completed, corrected or substituted before the end of the nomination period.

Certificate

   (6)  When the required nomination paper is accepted for filing, the returning officer shall notify the Chief Electoral Officer, and shall issue the prospective candidate a certificate indicating that he or she is a candidate in the election. The certificate is final, and the validity of the nomination is not open to question upon any ground whatsoever.

Standing nominations filed with the Chief Electoral Officer

   27.2  (1)  Nomination papers may be filed with the Chief Electoral Officer at any time up until the beginning of the nomination period under subsection 27.1 (1).

Responsibility

   (2)  The obligation to ensure that nomination papers are received in accordance with this section rests with the prospective candidate.

Obligation to accept for filing

   (3)  Once the required nomination paper has been received, the Chief Electoral Officer must accept the paper for filing unless the prospective candidate appears from the paper to be ineligible for nomination.

Corrections

   (4)  If a nomination paper is not accepted for filing because it is defective, it may be completed, corrected or substituted before the day on which the nomination period begins under section 27.1 (1).

Certificate

   (5)  When the nomination paper has been accepted for filing, the Chief Electoral Officer shall issue, after the writ of election has been issued, a certificate to the prospective candidate indicating that he or she is a candidate in the election. The certificate is final, and the validity of the nomination is not open to question upon any ground whatsoever.

Copies to returning officer

   (6)  Subject to subsection (7), as soon as possible after the end of the period for making nominations under this section, the Chief Electoral Officer shall deliver to the applicable returning officer a copy of,

  (a)  the certificate under subsection (5); and

  (b)  the nomination paper filed under this section.

Withdrawal

   (7)  Subsection (6) does not apply in relation to an individual whose nomination is withdrawn.

Same

   (8)  At any time before the prospective candidate receives a certificate, the nomination may be withdrawn by the prospective candidate by delivering to the Chief Electoral Officer a withdrawal signed by the prospective candidate.

Disestablishment

   (9)  If an electoral district is disestablished after a nomination paper is filed under this section in relation to the electoral district, the nomination is cancelled.

New electoral district

   (10)  If an enactment establishes a new electoral district but the enactment does not come into force until a future time, the Chief Electoral Officer may accept nomination papers under this section for the future electoral district.

Changes to nomination paper after filing

   27.3  After nomination papers have been accepted for filing, they may be amended by the returning officer or the Chief Electoral Officer on the basis of information provided by the candidate in writing, but only in relation to matters of fact that have changed since the time of filing.

Public inspection

   27.4  (1)  Nomination papers filed under section 27.1 must be available for public inspection at the office of the returning officer during its regular office hours until they are sent to the Chief Electoral Officer under subsection (3).

Public inspection, papers with CEO

   (2)  Nomination papers filed under section 27.2 must be available for public inspection,

  (a)  at the office of the Chief Electoral Officer during its regular office hours until they are sent to the returning officer under subsection 27.2 (6); and

  (b)  at the office of the returning officer during its regular office hours from the time they are received from the Chief Electoral Officer until they are returned to the Chief Electoral Officer.

Sending to CEO

   (3)  The returning officer must send the nomination papers referred to in subsections (1) and (2) to the Chief Electoral Officer when returning the writ for the election.

Inspection of papers sent to CEO

   (4)  Despite section 86, nomination papers received by the Chief Electoral Officer under subsection (3) must be available for public inspection at the office of the Chief Electoral Officer during its regular office hours until one year after the return of the writ for the election.

Similarity of names

   27.5  Where the given names and surname requested to be shown on the ballot are identical or so nearly identical so as to create the possibility of confusion with the names requested to be shown on the ballot by another candidate whose nomination paper has already been filed, the returning officer or the Chief Electoral Officer shall immediately communicate the facts to the candidates and the Chief Electoral Officer shall consult with the candidates in question and resolve how each name is to be shown on the ballot, and the Chief Electoral Officer shall promptly advise the returning officer how the names are to be shown on the ballot.

   20.  Section 28.1 of the Act is repealed.

   21.  (1)  Section 34 of the Act is amended by striking out “subsection 27 (8)” wherever it occurs, and substituting in each case “section 27.5”

   (2)  Subsection 34 (2) of the Act is amended by adding the following paragraph:

  3.1  At the candidate’s request made under clause 27 (2) (c), a surname that is ordinarily used by the candidate may be shown on the ballot instead of the legal surname.

   (3)  Paragraph 4 of subsection 34 (2) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

    4.  At the candidate’s request made under clause 27 (2) (c), any nickname or an abbreviation or familiar form of a given name may be used instead of his or her legal given name or names.

   (4)  Subparagraph 5 i of subsection 34 (2) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

            i.  an instrument in writing signed by the party leader is filed as described in clause 27 (2) (h), and

   (5)  Section 34 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsection:

Surname ordinarily used by a candidate

   (2.1)  If a candidate requests, under clause 27 (2) (c), the use of a surname other than his or her legal surname on the ballot, the returning officer if section 27.1 applies, or the Chief Electoral Officer if section 27.2 applies, shall determine whether the requested surname is ordinarily used by the candidate and, for that purpose, the returning officer or Chief Electoral Officer may refer to such documents and other evidence as he or she considers relevant in the circumstances.

   22.  Subsections 44 (2) to (8) of the Act are repealed and the following substituted:

Regular general elections

   (2)  In a general election under subsection 9 (2), advance polls shall be held,

  (a)  at every returning office every day during the period that begins on the 18th day and ends on the 16th day before polling day, if the ballots described in section 34 have been printed;

  (b)  at every returning office every day during the period that begins on the 15th day and ends on the 6th day before polling day; and

   (c)  at every designated other location every day during the period that begins on the 12th day and ends on the 8th day before polling day.

Other elections

   (3)  In a by-election and in a general election that is not held under subsection 9 (2), advance polls shall be held in accordance with the following rules:

    1.  The polls must be open at every returning office on six days, including a Saturday and a Sunday, during the period that begins on the 13th day and ends on the 6th day before polling day.  However, the polls do not have to be open on the 13th to 11th days before polling day if the ballots have not been printed.

    2.  The polls must be open at every designated other location on three days during the period that begins on the 13th day and ends on the 6th day before polling day.

Order re alternate polling days

   (4)  Subsections (2) and (3) apply whether or not an order has been made under subsection 9.1 (6).

Same

   (5)  The returning officer shall provide as many advance polling places at designated other locations as the Chief Electoral Officer approves.

Hours for advance polls

   (6)  Advance polls shall be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Notice of polls

   (7)  At least three days before the first advance poll day, the Chief Electoral Officer or the returning officer shall cause one or more notices of the days, times and locations of the advance polls to be published in a manner that provides for coverage throughout the electoral district. The notice shall also be published on a website on the Internet.

   23.  Paragraph 10 of subsection 44.1 (6) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

  10.  The equipment must not be used in a way that en­ables the choice of an elector to be made known to an election official or scrutineer.

   24.  Section 44.3 of the Act is repealed.

   25.  Subsection 45 (2) of the Act is amended by striking out “and the returning officer before polling day shall furnish every candidate in the electoral district with a copy of such list” at the end and substituting “and, before polling day, the returning officer shall give every candidate in the electoral district a copy of the list and the Chief Electoral Officer shall give the registered party, if any, of the candidate a copy of the list”.

   26.  Subsection 45.3 (3) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

List of persons re special ballots

   (3)  Upon the request of a candidate who has been nominated, the returning officer shall give the candidate a list of electors with respect to whom the returning officer has received a notice under subsection (1) or (2) up to the time the request is made, and on the request of a registered party the Chief Electoral Officer shall give the party a copy of the list. Before providing the list or copy, the returning officer or the Chief Electoral Officer, as the case may be, shall redact all mailing addresses.

   27.  Section 45.13 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsection:

Copy to parties

   (9)  The Chief Electoral Officer shall provide a copy of the register of absentee electors to each registered party, but first shall redact all mailing addresses.

   28.  Section 47 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsections:

Updated lists throughout polling day

   (8)  On the regular polling day, the poll clerk shall prepare, at intervals of no less than 30 minutes, using the prescribed form and as directed by the Chief Electoral Officer, a document permitting the identification of every elector who during that interval has voted or forfeited his or her right to vote, other than electors who registered on that day and, on request, provide it to a candidate or a candidate’s representative or provide it in an electronic format to a registered party.

Provision of information post-election

   (9)  The Chief Electoral Officer shall, after the election, provide a list of the following information to each registered party:

    1.  The names and unique identifiers of the electors.

    2.  The mailing addresses and permanent addresses of the electors.

    3.  Whether or not each elector voted.

   29.  Section 49 of the Act is repealed.

   30.  Section 86 of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Inspection of documents and of ballots only under order of judge

   86.  (1)  No person shall be allowed to inspect any ballot or other document that has been forwarded to the Chief Electoral Officer by a returning officer and that is in the custody of the Chief Electoral Officer except under an order of a judge of the Superior Court of Justice.

Exception

   (2)  Subsection (1) does not prohibit the Chief Electoral Officer or an authorized member of his or her staff from inspecting ballots or other documents in the course of investigating a possible corrupt practice.

When order to be granted

   (3)  The order may be made on the judge being satisfied by affidavit or other evidence on oath or affirmation that the inspection or production of the ballot or other document is required for the purpose of instituting or maintaining a prosecution or for the purpose of an action questioning an election or return.

Conditions of order

   (4)  The order may be made subject to such conditions as the judge thinks proper.

Where inspection takes place

   (5)  Subject to the order, the inspection shall take place under the immediate supervision of a local registrar of the Superior Court of Justice who shall be present during the inspection, and, so long as the ballots or other documents are in the custody of the local registrar and not under inspection, they shall be kept in a secure place under lock and key.

   31.  The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Rights of Candidates

Canvassing, etc., in multiple-residence buildings

   89.1  (1)  No owner of a multiple-residence building or, in the case of a condominium multiple-residence building, no condominium corporation, may prevent, or permit any person under their control to prevent, a candidate or his or her representative from having access to the common areas of the multiple-residence building, for the purposes set out in subsection (2), as long as the following rules are complied with:

    1.  The access must be between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., between Monday and Friday, or between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on a Saturday or Sunday.

    2.  At least one person seeking access must be at least 18 years of age.

    3.  Every person seeking access must, on request, provide valid identification documents.

    4.  Every person seeking access who is not a candidate must, on request, provide valid written authorization from the candidate.

Purposes

   (2)  The following are the purposes referred to in subsection (1):

    1.  To distribute materials and perform related activities in common areas.

    2.  To request residents open the doors of their units so that the person or persons seeking access may engage in activities related to the election.

Exception

   (3)  Subsection (1) does not apply in respect of an owner or condominium corporation of a multiple-residence building whose residents’ physical or emotional well-being may be harmed as a result of permitting the access referred to in that subsection.

Same

   (4)  Subsection (1) does not apply in respect of a university or college residence or a multiple-residence building that is mainly occupied by residents who require assistance in living.

Where access refused

   (5)  Where a person who is entitled to access under this section is refused access,

  (a)  the person may give the person who is refusing access a notice, in a form prescribed by the Chief Electoral Officer, that sets out the entitlement under this section and requires that access be granted within 24 hours, or, if access is refused on polling day, immediate access, or post such notice conspicuously at the place where entrance is refused; and

  (b)  if access is not granted within 24 hours, or, on polling day, immediately, a person who is refused access and who is at least 18 years of age may give notice to a returning officer of the situation, in a form prescribed by the Chief Electoral Officer.

Administrative penalty

   (6)  Where a returning officer is of the opinion that an owner or condominium corporation has contravened subsection (1), the returning officer may make an order requiring the owner or condominium corporation to pay an administrative penalty.

Purpose

   (7)  The purpose of an administrative penalty is to promote access to multiple-residence buildings for the purposes set out in subsection (2).

Amount, etc.

   (8)  An administrative penalty shall be paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund, and shall be in the amount of,

  (a)  $500 for the first contravention by the owner or condominium corporation in each period that begins with the issue of a writ for an election and ends on polling day;

  (b)  $1,000 for the second contravention by the owner or condominium corporation in each period that begins with the issue of a writ for an election and ends on polling day; and

   (c)  $2,000 for the third and any subsequent contravention by the owner or condominium corporation in each period that begins with the issue of a writ for an election and ends on polling day.

Procedure

   (9)  An order requiring an owner or condominium corporation to pay an administrative penalty shall be served on the owner or corporation and shall,

  (a)  contain a description of the contravention to which the order relates, including the date of the contravention;

  (b)  specify the amount of the penalty, and warn about the increasing amounts for subsequent contraventions;

   (c)  give particulars respecting the time for paying the penalty and the manner of payment; and

  (d)  provide details of the owner or corporation’s right of appeal.

Appeal

   (10)  An owner or condominium corporation that is served with an order to pay an administrative penalty may appeal the order to the Chief Electoral Officer, within 15 days of being served, and on an appeal the Chief Electoral Officer may, after considering all the circumstances, confirm the penalty, revoke the penalty, or vary the amount of the penalty.

Failure to pay

   (11)  If an owner or condominium corporation who is required to pay an administrative penalty fails to comply with the requirement, the Chief Electoral Officer may file the order that requires payment with a local registrar of the Superior Court of Justice and the order may be enforced as if it were an order of the court.

Definition

   (12)  In this section,

“multiple-residence building” means a building that contains seven or more self-contained units.

   32.  Subsection 99 (7) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Publication of notice by returning officer

   (7)  After receiving notification under subsection (6), the returning officer shall promptly publish, once, a notice of it in the prescribed form in a manner that provides for coverage throughout the electoral district.

   33.  Subsection 114.2 (2) of the Act is amended by adding the following clause:

(b.1) the provisional register established under section 17.7;

Education Act

   34.  Subsection 170 (1) of the Education Act is amended by adding the following paragraph:

polling locations

17.2 ensure that premises under its control are made available as polling locations in compliance with subsections 13 (4) and (4.1) of the Election Act and section 45 of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996.

Election Finances Act

   35.  (1)  The definition of “candidate” in subsection 1 (1) of the Election Finances Act is repealed and the following substituted:

“candidate” means a person who has received a certificate under section 27.1 or 27.2 of the Election Act as a candidate in an electoral district; (“candidat”)

   (2)  Subsection 12 (2.1) of the Act is amended by striking out “If fewer than two of a registered party’s registered constituency associations nominate candidates at a general election” at the beginning and substituting “If a registered party or its constituency associations nominate fewer than two candidates at a general election”.

   (3)  Subsection 13 (1) of the Act is repealed.

   (4)  Subsections 13 (3) to (7) of the Act are repealed and the following substituted:

Registration

   (3)  The Chief Electoral Officer shall, for each election, maintain a register of candidates in respect of whom a certificate has been issued under section 27.1 or 27.2 of the Election Act, and for the purposes of this Act,

  (a)  a prospective candidate who has submitted a nomination paper under one of those sections is deemed to have filed an application for registration as a candidate with the Chief Electoral Officer; and

  (b)  a person is deemed to have been registered as a candidate on and from the day such a certificate has been issued.

   (5)  The definition of “blackout period” in subsection 37 (1) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

“blackout period” means, in any election, polling day and the day before polling day.

   (6)  Subsection 37 (7) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Non-application of section

   (7)  This section does not apply to an official Internet website of a registered party, registered constituency association or registered candidate or their authorized lawn signs, pamphlets, mass or individual mailings, automated or individual telephone calls or social media communications.

Representation Act, 2015

   36.  (1)  Section 4 of the Representation Act, 2015 is repealed and the following substituted:

Far North Electoral Boundaries Commission

   4.  (1)  There is established a body to be known as the Far North Electoral Boundaries Commission in English and Commission de délimitation des circonscriptions électorales du Grand Nord in French (“the Commission”), which shall be composed of the following persons appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council:

    1.  A current or former judge of a court in Ontario, who shall act as the chair of the Commission.

    2.  The Chief Electoral Officer.

    3.  A member of the faculty of a university in Ontario.

    4.  Two community representatives who identify as Indigenous persons.

Remuneration

   (2)  Members of the Commission, other than the Chief Electoral Officer and the chair of the Commission, if the chair is a current judge, may be paid such remuneration as may be determined by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

Reimbursement for expenses

   (3)  Members of the Commission are entitled to be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in the work of the Commission, as determined by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

Staff

   (4)  The Commission may engage staff to assist it in its work, and those staff shall be paid salaries or wages comparable to those determined under Part III of the Public Service of Ontario Act, 2006 for public servants employed under that Part, except for persons whose services are provided under subsection (5).

Seconded staff

   (5)  The Commission may enter into agreements for any service required by the Commission with,

  (a)  the Chief Electoral Officer for the provision of services by employees of the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer; and

  (b)  the Crown for the provision of services by public servants employed under Part III of the Public Service of Ontario Act, 2006.

Charge on CRF

   (6)  All remuneration, expenses and other costs incurred in the work of the Commission shall be paid out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

Mandate

   (7)  The Commission shall consider and make recommendations with respect to the creation of at least one and no more than two additional electoral districts within the geographic areas occupied under this Act, at the time of the establishment of the Commission, by the electoral districts of Kenora-Rainy River and Timmins-James Bay and with respect to the boundaries and names of all of the electoral districts in those geographic areas.

Matters to be considered

   (8)  In making its recommendations, the Commission shall take into account,

  (a)  communities of interest;

  (b)  representation of Indigenous people;

   (c)  municipal and other administrative boundaries;

  (d)  sparsity, density and the rate of population growth in the geographic areas;

  (e)  geographical features;

   (f)  the availability and accessibility of means of communication and transportation in the geographic areas;

  (g)  representations by members of the Legislative Assembly who represent constituencies in Northern Ontario, and other interested persons; and

  (h)  anything else that the Commission considers appropriate.

Preliminary and final reports

   (9)  The Commission, after holding public hearings and performing any other consultation it considers appropriate, shall release a report containing its preliminary recommendations, and, after holding further public hearings and performing any other consultation it considers appropriate, shall produce a report containing its final recommendations.

Submission of final report

   (10)  Within three months of the day when all the members of the Commission have been appointed, the Commission shall submit the report containing its final recommendations to the Attorney General, who shall promptly make the report public.

Recommendations by consensus

   (11)  The Commission shall operate by consensus in making its decisions and recommendations, but in the case of an inability to reach consensus with respect to its preliminary or final recommendations, the recommendations of the dissenting member or members shall be included in the Commission’s report.

Duty to introduce legislation

   (12)  A member of the Executive Council shall, before October 30, 2017, introduce legislation to implement the final recommendations of the Commission.

Repeal

   (13)  This section is repealed on December 31, 2017.

   (2)  Item 3, “Nickel Belt”, in the Schedule to the Act is amended by striking out “All of the Territorial District of Sudbury, EXCEPTING those parts described as follows:” in the portion after the heading “SECONDLY:” and substituting “All of the Territorial District of Sudbury, EXCEPTING those parts described as follows, other than that part forming Wahnapitae Indian Reserve No. 11:”.

   (3)  Item 10, “Timiskaming-Cochrane”, in the Schedule to the Act is amended by striking out “All that part of the Territorial District of Sudbury lying easterly” in the portion after the heading “THIRDLY:” and substituting “All that part of the Territorial District of Sudbury, other than that part forming Wahnapitae Indian Reserve No. 11, lying easterly”.

Commencement and Short Title

Commencement

   37.  (1)  Subject to subsection (2), this Act comes into force on the later of January 1, 2017 and the day it receives Royal Assent.

   (2)  Sections 4, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31, 33 and 35 come into force on July 1, 2017.

Short title

   38.  The short title of this Act is the Election Statute Law Amendment Act, 2016.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTE

 

This Explanatory Note was written as a reader’s aid to Bill 45 and does not form part of the law.  Bill 45 has been enacted as Chapter 33 of the Statutes of Ontario, 2016.

Changes are made regarding Ontario election laws. Among them:

    1.   The date for scheduled provincial elections is changed from the first Thursday in October to the first Thursday in June.

    2.   The Chief Electoral Officer is required to create a provisional register of 16 and 17 year olds who request that their names be added to the register. These persons would be transferred to the permanent register of electors when they reach voting age.

    3.   The Chief Electoral Officer may issue a direction requiring the use of vote counting equipment during an election and modifying the usual voting process to permit the use of the equipment.

    4.   Owners of multiple-residence buildings are prohibited from refusing access to candidates and their canvassers. An administrative penalty scheme is created to deal with violations.

    5.   The Chief Electoral Officer is to assign a unique identifier to each eligible voter on the Permanent Register of Electors.

    6.   The Chief Electoral Officer may only share information from the Permanent Register of Electors with political parties that submit a privacy policy that meets the standards set in Elections Ontario’s guidelines. In addition, when providing elector information to parties and their candidates, the Chief Electoral Officer may only share the elector’s name, unique identifier and address.

    7.   Poll clerks are required to prepare a document at regular intervals that permits the identification of electors who voted during that interval. Political parties will also be able to receive this information.

    8.   Changes are made to the nomination, registration and endorsement processes for candidates under the Election Act and Election Finances Act.

    9.   Political parties and candidates may opt out of receiving products that contain elector information.

10.   Candidates would be permitted to have the surname they use ordinarily, rather than their legal surname, printed on ballots.

11.   Changes are made to the rules respecting advance polls.

12.   Information that is currently required to be provided to candidates by the Chief Electoral Officer would also be provided to parties.

13.   The Education Act is amended to reflect the obligation of school boards to make schools available as polling places under the Election Act and the Municipal Elections Act, 1996.

14.   The first advertising blackout period for unscheduled elections, set out in the Election Finances Act, is eliminated.

15.   The Representation Act, 2015 is amended to establish a Far North Electoral Boundaries Commission with a mandate to review the electoral boundaries of Kenora-Rainy River and Timmins-James Bay and make recommendations about the creation of one or two more ridings in that geographic area. Also, the boundaries of two electoral districts are changed so that the Wahnapitae First Nation’s reserve, known as Wahnapitae Indian Reserve No. 11, is included in the electoral district of Nickel Belt rather than in the electoral district of Timiskaming-Cochrane.

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