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.
In accordance with section 517 of the Canada Elections Act, on August 25, 2015, the Commissioner of Canada Elections entered into a compliance agreement with Mr. Pierre Lacroix. The text of the compliance agreement is set out in full below.
August 25, 2015
Yves Côté, QC
Commissioner of Canada Elections
Pursuant to section 517 of the Canada Elections Act (the Act), the Commissioner of Canada Elections and Pierre Lacroix (the Contracting Party), a resident of the province of Quebec, enter into this compliance agreement.
As a result of amendments to the Act that came into force on December 19, 2014, all the sections in the part of the Act governing political financing were renumbered. This compliance agreement refers to the sections as they existed at the time of the acts committed by the Contracting Party.
The Contracting Party was the Conservative Party candidate in the riding of Trois-Rivières at the time of the federal general election of May 2, 2011.
Subsection 451(1) of the Act required the Contracting Party's official agent to provide the Chief Electoral Officer with an electoral campaign return, the auditor's report and the declarations of the official agent and the candidate attesting that the electoral campaign return complied with the Act. The electoral campaign return had to contain the information prescribed in subsection 451(2) of the Act, including a complete statement of expenses and statement of contributions for the electoral campaign.
Paragraph 463(1)(b) of the Act stated that no candidate or official agent of an electoral campaign shall provide an electoral campaign return that does not substantially set out the information required by subsection 451(2) of the Act.
Non-compliance with this prohibition could constitute an offence under paragraph 497(1)(y) or 497(3)(v) of the Act.
The undersigned Contracting Party acknowledges his participation in providing an incomplete campaign return as well as his responsibility for the acts that led to an offence under paragraph 463(1)(b) of the Act.
The acts and facts constituting the offence are as follows:
- On October 28, 2011, the Contracting Party's official agent provided the Chief Electoral Officer with a campaign return containing the declarations of the official agent and the Contracting Party as well as the auditor's report.
- The campaign return showed revenues of $2,500 and expenses of $2,898.10. In fact, these amounts represented only the Contracting Party's personal expenses.
- Following five subsequent revisions of the electoral campaign return to report the missing information that was required by subsection 451(2) of the Act, the final campaign return showed revenues of $51,817 and expenses of $48,242.18.
- Given that the initial campaign return contained only information about the Contracting Party's personal expenses, on the face of the document, it is clear that this information represented only a fraction of the information required under subsection 451(2) of the Act.
- The auditor's report on the campaign return, which had also been provided as required by subsection 451(2), clearly indicated that the Contracting Party's campaign return, in its entirety, was incomplete.
- The Contracting Party nonetheless signed the declaration stating that to the best of his knowledge and belief, the information in the electoral campaign return was accurate and that all the electoral expenses related to the conduct or administration of the election had been properly recorded therein.
The Contracting Party acknowledges that he was wilfully blind by not reviewing the campaign return and not reading the auditor's report prior to signing the declaration stating that the electoral campaign return was complete. In doing so, the Contracting Party contravened paragraph 463(1)(b) of the Act because an electoral campaign return that did not substantially set out the information prescribed in subsection 451(2) of the Act was provided to the Chief Electoral Officer. The Contracting Party also acknowledges that the contravention of paragraph 463(1)(b) of the Act could constitute an offence under paragraph 497(1)(y) or 497(3)(v) of the Act.
The Contracting Party sincerely regrets committing the alleged acts and understands the importance and seriousness of his acts. The Contracting Party now knows that he had a duty to verify the campaign return and to read the report of the auditor for his electoral campaign prior to signing a declaration stating that the electoral campaign return was complete. The Contracting Party acknowledges that these omissions resulted in providing the Chief Electoral Officer with a campaign return that did not substantially set out the information prescribed by subsection 451(2) of the Act.
The Contracting Party also acknowledges that, in accordance with paragraph 517(3)(a) of the Act, the office of the Commissioner advised him of his right to be represented by counsel and gave him the opportunity to exercise that right.
In accordance with section 521 of the Act, the Contracting Party consents to the publication by the Commissioner of a notice including his name, the alleged facts and the text of the compliance agreement, with the exception of the parties' signatures.
The Commissioner of Canada Elections acknowledges the excellent collaboration of the Contracting Party during the investigation in this case.
It is understood that the admissions made in this compliance agreement do not constitute a guilty plea in the criminal sense and that no record of conviction is created as a result of admitting responsibility for the activity that constitutes an offence.
Made and signed by Pierre Lacroix at Trois Rivières, this 20th day of August, 2015
Name of witness
Address of witness
Made and signed by the Commissioner of Canada Elections at Gatineau, this 25th day of August, 2015
Yves Côté, QC
Commissioner of Canada Elections