Summary of the Notice of Violation

Name of individual, corporation or entity Michael Wassilyn
Date of violation 43rd federal general election
Section of the Act 320
Baseline amount $300
Aggravating factor N/A
Mitigating factor N/A
AMP total amount $300
Issued by Deputy Commissioner

Key facts of violation

As reported by a Guelph area blog reporting on an interview with independent candidate Michael Wassilyn, election signs promoting the candidate started appearing at major intersections in the electoral district of Guelph during the election period of the 2019 federal general election. These signs were described as “portrait shaped and considerably larger than the typical election signs you see”. Wassilyn, wearing a Roots red and white Canada fleece jacket, looks out at you with the message “Vote for the Man with a Plan.”

A review of one of these signs provides reasonable grounds to believe that this message met the definition of “election advertising”, as it promoted the candidate and was used during the election period. The sign, however, did not display a mention that the transmission of the election advertising message had been authorized by the candidate's official agent, as required by section 320 of the Act.

During an interview with an OCCE investigator, the candidate’s official agent told the investigator that he did not know anything about, nor was he involved in, the campaign. The official agent advised the investigator to talk directly to the candidate.

When contacted by the OCCE investigator, Michael Wassilyn suggested that these signs had been a non-monetary contribution to his campaign, since “there was no cash outlay for them.” Given that he was personally in charge of the campaign, the candidate necessarily accepted the non-monetary contribution made to the campaign, and thus caused the election advertising to be conducted.

There are therefore reasonable grounds to believe that Michael Wassilyn failed to include a mention on the election advertising message that its transmission had been authorized by the official agent, as required by section 320.

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