Commissioner Of Canada Elections
Canada Elections Act
This notice is published by the Commissioner of Canada Elections, pursuant to section 521 of the Canada Elections Act, S.C. 2000, c. 9.
On July 14, 2021, the Commissioner of Canada Elections entered into a compliance agreement with Daniel I. Berlin, pursuant to section 517 of the Canada Elections Act. The text of the compliance agreement is set out in full below.
February 3, 2022
Pursuant to section 517 of the Canada Elections Act (the Act), the Commissioner of Canada Elections (the Commissioner) has entered into this compliance agreement with Daniel I. Berlin (the Contracting Party) aimed at ensuring compliance with the Act.
The relevant provision of the Act is section 482.1, which makes it an offence to obstruct or hinder the Commissioner’s investigators in their work to ensure compliance with and enforcement of the Act, including by knowingly making a false or misleading statement to them.
Statements by the Contracting Party
For the purpose of this compliance agreement, the Contracting Party acknowledges the following:
- The Contracting Party is the brother of David Z. Berlin, who was the leader of The Bridge Party of Canada (the Party).
- The Contracting Party agreed to be interviewed by investigators from the Office of the Commissioner in the context of an investigation on certain expenses claimed by a candidate of the Party in a by-election.
- Some of these expenses involved an invoice submitted by the Contracting Party, at his brother’s request, for web design work and other technology-related work.
- The Contracting Party is not a professional web designer or videographer. He did, however, record some videos for the Party.
- During the interview with investigators on June 28, 2017, the Contracting Party obstructed or hindered the investigation by sending investigators an electronic copy of the web design work he claimed to have completed, in support of his claim that he had done all the work set out in the invoice.
- Investigators gathered evidence, however, that established that the work sent to them by the Contracting Party was actually carried out by another person who had been paid $5,000 by the Party, well before the by-election.
- The Contracting Party did carry out work for the Party, but the amount invoiced was well in excess of the commercial rate which would have been charged by a professional engaged for the same work.
- The Contracting Party was not otherwise involved with the Party.
- The Contracting Party acknowledges and accepts responsibility for failing to comply with the Act.
- The Contracting Party understands that acknowledgement of non-compliance does not constitute a guilty plea in the criminal sense and that no record of conviction is created as a result of admitting responsibility for acts that could constitute an offence.
- The Contracting Party acknowledges that the Commissioner has advised him of his right to be represented by counsel and that he has had the opportunity to retain and instruct counsel.
Factors considered by the Commissioner
In entering into this compliance agreement, the Commissioner took into account the factors described in section 32 of the Compliance and Enforcement Policy of the Commissioner of Canada Elections Act. In particular, the Commissioner considered the following factors:
- the Contracting Party has no past history of non-compliance with the Act;
- the Contracting Party admitted his wrongful actions; and
- the conclusion of a compliance agreement ensures a swift and efficient resolution of the matter.
Terms and conditions
In accordance with subsection 517(2) of the Act, the Contracting Party undertakes to:
- pay the sum of $2,000 to the Receiver General within 90 days from the date he has been informed that this compliance agreement has been signed by the Commissioner, to enhance future compliance
- complete 150 hours of community service with a charitable organisation registered with Canada Revenue Agency within 120 days from the date he has been informed that this compliance agreement has been signed by the Commissioner; and
- provide to the Commissioner written proof of completion of this community service from the charitable organisation where the hours were performed, within 30 days from the date of their completion.
The Commissioner agrees that the fulfillment by the Contracting Party of the terms and conditions described in this compliance agreement will constitute compliance with the agreement.
The Contracting Party consents to the publication of this compliance agreement on the Commissioner's website in accordance with section 521 of the Act.
The Commissioner and the Contracting Party recognize that once this compliance agreement is entered into, the Commissioner will notify the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, and the prosecution of the Contracting Party instituted before the agreement was entered into will be suspended unless there is non-compliance with the agreement, in accordance with subsection 517(8) of the Act. If the Contracting Party subsequently complies with the terms and conditions of the compliance agreement, the Commissioner will issue a Notice of Compliance and provide a copy to the contracting Party and to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, thereby terminating the prosecution against the Contracting Party.
In accordance with section 508.1 of the Act, a Contracting Party who fails to comply with a provision of a compliance agreement commits a violation, and may be subject to an administrative monetary penalty.
Signed by the Contracting Party in the city of Thornhill, in the province of Ontario, on this 13th day of July 2021.
Daniel I. Berlin
Signed by the Commissioner of Canada Elections in the City of Gatineau, in the Province of Quebec, on this 14th day of July 2021.
Yves Côté, QC
Commissioner of Canada Elections