Judicial Recount Handbook
7. Costs and Expenses
7.1.1 Security for Costs; Recount on Application of Elector
Where an elector has applied for a recount, the applicant must pay into court the sum of $250 as security for the costs of the candidate who obtained the largest number of votes. [s. 301(3) of the Act] The Act does not set out any security for costs with respect to automatic recounts.
The money deposited as security for costs must, as far as is necessary, be paid out to the candidate in whose favour costs are awarded. If the deposit is not sufficient to cover the costs awarded, the party who was awarded costs has their action for the balance.
If a recount requested by an elector does not alter the result so as to affect the return, the judge shall:
- Order the costs of the candidate for whom the largest number of votes have been cast to be paid by the person who applied for the recount.
- Tax those costs, following as closely as possible the tariff of costs allowed with respect to proceedings in the court in which the judge ordinarily presides. [s. 309(1) of the Act]
- The Act does not require that a court deduct from such costs any amounts reimbursed by the Chief Electoral Officer under s. 310 of the Act (see Section 7.3 below) as both provisions (ss. 309 and 310) operate independently. The Chief Electoral Officer leaves it to the discretion of the court to consider or not amounts of costs reimbursed to a candidate by the Chief Electoral Officer under s. 310 of the Act in calculating a cost award pursuant to s. 309 of the Act.
7.2. Returning Officer and Recount Staff Expenses
The returning officer, field liaison officer, handler, recorder and clerical assistants who assist at the recount are paid pursuant to the Federal Elections Fees Tariff an amount per hour for attendance and service at a recount, as certified by the judge who conducts the recount. [Items 51 and 52 of the Sch. to the Tariff]
The returning officer should complete a time sheet, ensure that each person who was requested to assist with the recount has completed a time sheet and ensure that the judge has certified all of the time sheets. The Time Sheet (Recount)form reproduced in Appendix E (Form 6) of this handbook should be used for this purpose.
7.3. Reimbursement of Candidates' Costs
Regardless of the outcome of the recount, a candidate may make an application to the Chief Electoral Officer for a reimbursement of his or her costs in respect of the recount. [s. 310(1) of the Act] The application must set out the amount and nature of the costs and whether they were actually and reasonably incurred. The Application for Reimbursement of Costs at a Judicial Recount, set out in Appendix E (Form 7) in this handbook, should be used for this purpose. In addition, evidence of having incurred the expense in question (such as receipts) should be provided.
The types of cost that could be the subject of such an application include, for example, preparation for the recount, travel, meals and legal fees.
The Act does not require that amounts reimbursed by the Chief Electoral Officer under s. 310 of the Act be deducted from costs awarded pursuant to s. 309 of the Act as both provisions operate independently. The Chief Electoral Officer leaves it to the discretion of the judge to consider or not the costs reimbursed to a candidate under s. 310 in calculating costs under s. 309.
7.3.2 Amount of Reimbursement
Upon receipt of such an application, the Chief Electoral Officer must determine the costs and make a request for reimbursement to the Receiver General for Canada for that amount, up to a maximum of $500 per day or part of a day during which the judge conducted the recount. [s. 310(2) of the Act]
A “day” in this provision refers to a calendar day of 24 hours beginning at midnight. The hours and duration of the recount are set out in the Act, subject to the discretion of the judge. [s. 305 of the Act] The conduct of a recount does not follow the hours for court sitting days. Therefore, if a recount on a given day continues into the evening, it is still the same day, but if it continues past midnight, the next day has begun.