Elections Canada

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Elections Canada
Élections Canada
Elections Canada Logo.svg
Agency overview
Formed1920 (1920)
JurisdictionFederal Elections in Canada
Headquarters30 Victoria Street
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0M6
Employees500 (Permanent) up to 235,000 (election period)[1]
Annual budget$110,501,000 (2008 est. spending)[2]
Agency executive

Elections Canada (French: Élections Canada) is an independent, non-partisan agency reporting directly to the Parliament of Canada. Its ongoing responsibility is to ensure that Canadians can exercise their choices in federal elections and referendums through an open and impartial process. Elections Canada is the sole agency responsible for administering Canadian federal elections.


Its responsibilities include:

  • Making sure that all voters have access to the electoral system
  • Informing citizens about the electoral system
  • Maintaining the National Register of Electors
  • Enforcing electoral legislation
  • Training election officers
  • Producing maps of electoral districts
  • Registering political parties, electoral district associations, and third parties that engage in election advertising
  • Administering the allowances paid to registered political parties
  • Monitoring election spending by candidates, political parties and third parties
  • Publishing financial information on political parties, electoral district associations, candidates, nomination contestants, leadership contestants and third parties
  • Supporting the independent commissions responsible for adjusting the boundaries of federal electoral districts every ten years
  • Reporting to Parliament on the administration of elections and referendums

The House of Commons of Canada appoints the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada to head the agency. The Chief Electoral Officer in turn appoints the Commissioner of Canada Elections, who ensures that the Canada Elections Act is enforced; and the Broadcasting Arbitrator, who allocates paid and free broadcasting time during electoral events. The Chief Electoral Officer is seconded by the Deputy Chief Electoral Officer and Chief Legal Counsel and a staff of some 330 representing five executive directorates. During an election, staff at Elections Canada headquarters increases to 600 and to approximately 190,000 across Canada. Members of the general public are recruited to help run the election by manning polling stations, counting ballots, answering voters' questions, and providing other necessary services.

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