Facts about voter information and privacy
Political parties' access to the personal information of electors
The Canada Elections Act states that Elections Canada must provide voters lists to members of Parliament, registered and eligible political parties, and candidates. These voters lists, also known as lists of electors, contain the names, addresses and unique identifier numbers of voters.
Political parties often supplement the basic information they get from the voters lists with information about voters derived from other sources.
Elections Canada provides Political Parties, members of Parliament and candidates with Guidelines for Use of the Lists of Electors. The guidelines explain how recipients are allowed to use the lists and reminds them of the importance of safeguarding confidential information at all times.
Changes included in Bill C-76, known as the Elections Modernization Act
Privacy protection principles for political parties across the country
The federal Privacy Act and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) do not apply to political parties. British Columbia is the only Canadian jurisdiction that has legislation that covers political parties in the province through the Personal Information Protection Act.
Elections Canada's privacy obligations
Elections Canada is subject to the Privacy Act. The Privacy Act states that personal information under the control of a government institution should only be disclosed in very limited circumstances. The Canada Elections Act requires Elections Canada to share the voters lists with political parties, and states how the lists are to be shared and used.