Federal elections: the candidacy deposit of$ 1000 is abolished

Photo: Jacques Nadeau Archives The Duty
A financial deposit is required of candidates for federal since 1874.

If you thought the Party Rhinoceros disappeared in the nature, be aware that it might come back in force. Just like the Marijuana Party and the communist Party, for that matter. Because a recent decision of a court in alberta has struck down the obligation for every candidate in a federal election pay a deposit of $ 1000. The small parties feel that their recruitment will be facilitated.


The decision Szuchewycz c. Canada was made without fanfare last month, and Ottawa has until the 27 November to the appeal. Call or not, Elections Canada will apply for the four by-elections federal to be held on 11 December, requiring no deposit.


The judge April Inglis acknowledged that “there is a real risk of serious candidates or impressive are prevented from presenting themselves for election because of the financial pressure created by the deposit of $ 1000″. It has given them reason to Kieran Szuchewycz, a citizen who had attempted to present themselves in 2015 as an independent against Stephen Harper : it has recognised that the requirement for a deposit violate article 3 of the canadian Charter of rights and freedoms, which provides that ” any canadian citizen […] shall be eligible to the legislative elections “.


A financial deposit is required of candidates for federal since 1874. It was at the time of $ 200 and had the objective of setting aside the applicants ” frivolous “. In 1993, he spent $ 1000. “The Party Rhinoceros died in 1993 because of this change “, said in a telephone interview the chef Sébastien “CoRhino” Corriveau.


One-half of the deposit was refundable after the election and the other half was returned if the candidate had obtained at least 15 % support. Suffice to say that the independent candidate, or representative of the formations marginal lost almost always 500 $. The amount is now refunded in full provided that the candidate submits to the Elections Canada all campaign reports required.


“In 2015, I had over 80 people have approached me to become candidates,” says Mr. Corriveau. “When they knew they had to provide $ 1000 and they do the récupéreraient that in six months, I’ve only had 28 applicants. “He said he was deeply pleased with the decision and hope that it will not be appealed.


The leader of the communist Party of Canada, Elizabeth Rowley, talking about it as a ” very positive decision, which is too long to wait “. She reminds us that it is his party that has contested up to the supreme Court the changes introduced in 1993 (Figueroa c. Canada). The communist Party has been successful : the deposit has become refundable and the minimum number of candidates required to remain an official party has been reduced from 50 to 2. The amount of the deposit, however had not changed. For his training, the abolition of the $ 1000 deposit “means that it will be able to use that money to print flyers, use it for political purposes, rather than administrative,” says Ms Rowley.


The speech is the same of the green Party, that this good year, bad year, some 300 candidates in federal elections. “It represents deposits of $ 300,000. It is a lot of money that we take from the traffic, ” notes the deputy leader, Daniel Green. Mr. Green argues that the electoral Act already includes provisions (fines, or even unable to be a candidate later on) if an applicant does not provide the requested reports. Therefore, it is not necessary in his opinion to levy the 1000 $ upstream.


Elizabeth Rowley recalls that Ontario has abolished such deposit ” there’s about three years “, following a court case led by the communist Party, and that it has not contributed, as feared by some critics, to a multiplication of parties is frivolous. Such a deposit does not exist in Quebec.




The leader of the Parti Rhinoceros, also considers that the logic behind the requirement of a deposit is shocking. It is difficult to say with precision what it was a deposit of $ 200 in 1874, since the grid of calculation inflation to the Bank of Canada stops at 1914. But $ 200 in 1914 would be 4360 $ today. “It was to prevent the small people, to be a candidate, ton Mr. Corriveau. Why in 2017 we still have a regulation to prevent the little people ? It didn’t make sense. In 2019, watch out ! Me, I aims to field candidates in all the provinces, with a hundred candidates. It is “back to 1980″!”


The speech is similar to the side of the Marijuana Party. “I only had 8 candidates in 2015 so that I would have been 16 without the deposit,” explains the chef, Blair Longley. That said, he is not as enthusiastic as the other. “The people who want to do this for the principles, and participate in the process, it is well. [The decision] removes this obstacle. But that does not mean that the whole system is skewed in favor of the major parties before the election is triggered, ” he says about the rules on the financing of political parties.


In effect, the candidates and the political parties are reimbursed for half of their election expenses if they obtain at least 10 % of the vote. Small parties often fail. “The $ 1000 deposit are even more evil in this context “, concluded Daniel Green.

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