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Court ledger

Summary

The court ledger records the Chief Electoral Officer's prosecutions for violations of the Election Act, the Act respecting elections and referendums in municipalities, and the Act respecting school elections to elect certain members of the boards of directors of English-language school service centres.

Important note

The court ledger only contains proceedings that were ongoing on April 1, 2016 or filed since this date. It presents information concerning the opening of a prosecution file and, as the case may be, information concerning the guilty plea received by the Chief Electoral Officer, or the date of transfer of the file to the court, in the case of a not-guilty plea or in the case of a failure to plead. The outcome of the legal process is also mentioned. For information on a lawsuit that ended before April 1, 2016, please contact us.

To obtain information related to a prosecution file transferred to the court, please consult your closest courthouse. This information is the responsibility of court administration. You may access a court file using a case number that appears in this court ledger.

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Process

The Chief Electoral Officer is mandated to act as a public prosecutor. When a complaint, an audit, or an investigation reveals a violation of the election laws, a statement of offence may be issued. The defendant then has 30 days to plead guilty or not guilty to the alleged offence.

If they plead guilty, they will receive a fine established by the prosecutor in accordance with the provisions of the relevant electoral law. If they do not enter a plea, plead not guilty, or dispute the fine, the file is transferred to the court. In this case, a trial will be held, and the court will rule on the guilt of the defendant and, where applicable, on the fine.

Sanctions

  1. Fine

    Like any other criminal offence, breaking an electoral law entails a fine. The amount of the fine varies according to the offence in question, in accordance with the relevant electoral law.

  2. Loss of electoral rights

    Certain offences provided for by the legislator constitute fraudulent electoral activities. In this case, a conviction will lead to a fine and a loss of electoral rights. The guilty person may be stripped of the right to run for office, to vote, or to engage in partisan work. The person loses these rights for five years from the time they plead guilty or from the time the guilty verdict can no longer be appealed, i.e., 30 days after the verdict.

    To find out if this penalty applies to a particular case, please see the following articles of law:

  3. Refusal or loss of authorization to enter a contract or subcontract with a public body

    The Chief Electoral Officer shall transmit information concerning prosecutions instituted and convictions to the Anti-corruption commissioner and the Secrétariat du Conseil du trésor for the purposes of the application of the Act respecting contracting by public bodies.

    Certain violations of election laws may result in the refusal or loss of authorization to enter a contract or subcontract with a public body.

    To find out whether an offence under an election law may result in such a penalty, consult the Act respecting contracting by public bodies as well as Appendix I. To better understand the rules of integrity in matters of public contracts, you may also consult the Secrétariat du Conseil du trésor website.

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