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Canada Elections Act (S.C. 2000, c. 9)

Act current to 2020-07-28 and last amended on 2015-10-27. Previous Versions

Marginal note:Nul and void election

 The election of a person is nul and void if, under section 65, the person was not eligible to be a candidate.

Marginal note:Contestation of election

  •  (1) Any elector who was eligible to vote in an electoral district, and any candidate in an electoral district, may, by application to a competent court, contest the election in that electoral district on the grounds that

    • (a) under section 65 the elected candidate was not eligible to be a candidate; or

    • (b) there were irregularities, fraud or corrupt or illegal practices that affected the result of the election.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (2) An application may not be made on the grounds for which a recount may be requested under subsection 301(2).

Marginal note:Competent courts

  •  (1) The following courts are competent courts for the purposes of this Part:

    • (a) a court listed in subsection (2) that has jurisdiction in all or part of the electoral district in question; and

    • (b) the Federal Court.

  • Marginal note:Courts

    (2) For the purposes of paragraph (1)(a), the courts are

    • (a) in the Province of Ontario, the Superior Court of Justice;

    • (b) in the Province of Quebec, the Superior Court;

    • (c) in the Provinces of Nova Scotia, British Columbia and Prince Edward Island, Yukon and the Northwest Territories, the Supreme Court;

    • (d) in the Provinces of New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, the Court of Queen’s Bench;

    • (e) in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Trial Division of the Supreme Court; and

    • (f) in Nunavut, the Nunavut Court of Justice.

  • Marginal note:Rules of procedure

    (3) An application shall be dealt with without delay and in a summary way. The court may, however, allow oral evidence to be given at the hearing of the application in specific circumstances.

  • 2000, c. 9, s. 525
  • 2002, c. 7, s. 94(E), c. 8, s. 117
  • 2014, c. 12, s. 111

Marginal note:Security, service of application

  •  (1) An application must be accompanied by security for costs in the amount of $1,000, and must be served on the Attorney General of Canada, the Chief Electoral Officer, the returning officer of the electoral district in question and all the candidates in that electoral district.

  • Marginal note:Increase of security

    (2) The court may, if it considers it just, increase the amount of the security.

Marginal note:Time limit

 An application based on a ground set out in paragraph 524(1)(b) must be filed within 30 days after the later of

  • (a) the day on which the result of the contested election is published in the Canada Gazette, and

  • (b) the day on which the applicant first knew or should have known of the occurrence of the alleged irregularity, fraud, corrupt practice or illegal practice.

Marginal note:Withdrawal of application

 An application may not be withdrawn without leave of the court.

Marginal note:Notice of appearance

 Any person referred to in subsection 526(1) may, within 15 days after being served with the application, file with the court a notice of appearance if he or she wishes to take part in the proceedings.

Marginal note:Evidence

 In a proceeding in relation to an application, the written statement of the returning officer is, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, sufficient evidence of the holding of the election and of any person named in the certificate having been a candidate.

Marginal note:Dismissal of application

  •  (1) The court may at any time dismiss an application if it considers it to be vexatious, frivolous or not made in good faith.

  • Marginal note:Court’s decision

    (2) After hearing the application, the court may dismiss it if the grounds referred to in paragraph 524(1)(a) or (b), as the case may be, are not established and, where they are established, shall declare the election null and void or may annul the election, respectively.

  • Marginal note:Duties of court clerk

    (3) The clerk of the court shall

    • (a) send copies of the decision to the persons mentioned in subsection 526(1), to any intervenor and to the Speaker of the House of Commons; and

    • (b) inform the Speaker of the House of Commons as to whether or not an appeal has been filed under subsection 532(1).

  • Marginal note:Informing House of Commons

    (4) Except when an appeal is filed under subsection 532(1), the Speaker of the House of Commons shall communicate the decision to the House of Commons without delay.

Marginal note:Appeal

  •  (1) An appeal from a decision made under subsection 531(2) lies to the Supreme Court of Canada on any question of law or fact, and must be filed within eight days after the decision was given.

  • Marginal note:Procedure

    (2) The Supreme Court shall hear the appeal without delay and in a summary manner.

  • Marginal note:Copies of decision

    (3) The registrar of the Supreme Court shall send copies of the decision to the persons mentioned in subsection 526(1), to any intervenor and to the Speaker of the House of Commons.

  • Marginal note:Informing House of Commons

    (4) The Speaker of the House of Commons shall communicate the decision to the House of Commons without delay.

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