Québec, August 16, 2010 –– For the by-election that will be held in the electoral division of Saint-Laurent on September 13, 2010, Marcel Blanchet, Chief Electoral Officer of Québec, wishes to recall the rules pertaining to the status of private intervenor.
Under the Election Act, every election expense incurred during a by-election to promote or oppose, directly or indirectly, a candidate or a party during the election period must be incurred and authorized by the official agent of a candidate. However, the Election Act offers electors or groups not constituted as a legal person and the majority of whose members are qualified electors, the possibility of incurring expenses in order to make known their views on a matter of public interest by reserving for them the status of private intervenor.
To avail himself of this status, the elector or the representative of the group must obtain an authorization from the returning officer of his electoral division. For the September 13th by-election, the application for authorization must be made beginning on August 17th and by not later than August 31st of this year.Forms intended for this purpose are available under the "Forms and manuals" heading of the section devoted to the by-election on the web-site of the Chief Electoral Officer at the following address: www.electionsquebec.qc.ca.
While a private intervenor may express his views on a matter of public interest or advocate abstention or the spoiling of ballots, he cannot directly promote or oppose a candidate or a party. Moreover, he cannot also be a member of a party or act directly on behalf of a candidate or a party.
In addition, a private intervenor can only incur up to a maximum of $300 in advertising expenses from his own property in order to make known the message that he intends to promote. However, the Act prohibits him from making or incurring expenses in common with anyone else, namely another private intervenor, a political party, a candidate, etc.
In the 30 days following the day set for the poll, the private intervenor must submit a return of all his expenses to the Chief Electoral Officer.
More information about private intervenors may be obtained by contacting the Information Centre of the Chief Electoral Officer at the following telephone number: 1 888 ELECTION (1 888 353-2846).