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 March 23, 2016, the Commissioner of Canada Elections entered into a compliance agreement with the South Simcoe Police, pursuant to section 517 of the Canada Elections Act. The text of the compliance agreement is set out in full below.
March 29, 2016
Yves Côté, QC
Commissioner of Canada Elections
Pursuant to section 517 of the Canada Elections Act (the Act), the Commissioner of Canada Elections (the Commissioner) and the South Simcoe Police (the Contracting Party) enter into this agreement aimed at ensuring compliance with the Act.
The provisions of the Act that are applicable are subsection 132(1) and paragraph 489(1)(a), which make it an offence for an employer to fail to allow the time off work necessary during an employee's hours of work that would enable the employee to have three consecutive hours for the purpose of casting a vote on polling day.
Statements of the Contracting Party
For the purpose of this Compliance Agreement, the Contracting Party acknowledges the following:
- Mr. Richard Beazley, Chief of Police of the South Simcoe Police, is entering into this compliance agreement on behalf of the Contracting Party.
- Section 132 of the Act provides that most employees – other than some employees working for transportation companies – are entitled to have three consecutive hours for the purpose of casting their vote on polling day. If an employee's hours of work do not allow for those three consecutive hours on polling day, the employer must allow the time for voting that is necessary to provide those three consecutive hours. Section 133 further provides that no deduction may be made from an employee's pay with respect to time granted to vote in accordance with section 132.
- Polling day for the 42nd federal general election was on October 19, 2015.
- On October 6, 2015, an e-mail was sent to employees of the Contracting Party by an officer in its command structure, advising employees that those working on polling day would not be allowed time to go vote during working hours. The e-mail to employees indicated that this decision was based on the fact that there are numerous options available to electors to enable them to exercise their right to vote.
- The position put forward in the October 6, 2015 e-mail to employees could have caused the Contracting Party to be in contravention of section 132 of the Act on polling day for the 42nd general election.
- The Contracting Party acknowledges and accepts responsibility for this 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 it of its right to be represented by counsel and it has had the opportunity to obtain counsel.
Factors considered by the Commissioner
In entering into this Compliance Agreement, the Commissioner took into account the fact that the Contracting Party has co-operated fully and in good faith with the Commissioner's investigation.
Undertaking and agreement
The Contracting Party undertakes to develop and adopt a policy that will give effect to its employees' entitlements under sections 132 and 133 of the Act in the future.
The Contracting Party undertakes to communicate this policy to employees once it has been adopted.
The Contracting Party undertakes to comply with the relevant provisions of the Act in the future.
The Contracting Party consents to the publication of this Compliance Agreement in the Canada Gazette and on the Commissioner's Web site in accordance with section 521 of the Act.
The Commissioner agrees that the fulfillment by the Contracting Party of its undertaking in this Compliance Agreement will constitute compliance with the agreement.
Pursuant to subsection 517(8) of the Act, the Commissioner and the Contracting Party recognize that once this Compliance Agreement is entered into, the Commissioner will be prevented from referring this matter for prosecution to the Director of Public Prosecutions unless there is non-compliance with the terms of the Compliance Agreement, and in any event, the Director of Public Prosecutions cannot institute such a prosecution unless non-compliance is established.
Signed by the Contracting Party in the City of Innisfil, this 15th day of March, 2016.
Chief of Police Richard Beazley
Signed by the Commissioner of Canada Elections, in the City of Gatineau, this 23rd day of March, 2016.
Yves Côté, QC
Commissioner of Canada Elections