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The Commissioner of Canada Elections

The Commissioner of Canada Elections is the independent officer responsible for ensuring that the Canada Elections Act (the Act) is complied with and enforced. The Commissioner is appointed by the Chief Electoral Officer, after consultation with the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Mr. Yves Côté became Commissioner of Canada Elections in July 2012.

Relationship between the Chief Electoral Officer and the Commissioner of Canada Elections

The Chief Electoral Officer and the Commissioner of Canada Elections play important—but distinct—roles in the administration and enforcement of the Act.

The following document outlines:

  • the appointment and mandate of each position
  • the guiding principles for the relationship between the two offices, including:
    • consultation, cooperation and information sharing between the two offices
    • independence of the Commissioner on all matters related to investigations
    • distinct responsibilities regarding communications with the public
    • accountability and reporting

Referrals to the Commissioner of Canada Elections

When Elections Canada, in its role as the administrator of federal electoral events and of the federal political financing regime, becomes aware of potential violations to the Canada Elections Act, the agency refers that information to the Commissioner of Canada Elections for consideration and possible investigation.

Elections Canada does not comment publicly on matters that have been referred to the Commissioner.

The Commissioner carries out its investigations independently from Elections Canada.