Amid the COVID‑19 pandemic, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Andrée Laforest, announced via a press release (in French only) that by‑elections in Québec municipalities would be further postponed until August 7, 2020. As a result, no electoral procedures may begin prior to that date in the 43 municipalities in which, as of May 1, 2020, there was a vacancy on the municipal council.
On March 13, following the provincial government’s declaration of a public health emergency, Ms. Laforest had initially postponed the municipal by‑elections until April 26. The Minister subsequently issued a second announcement further postponing the municipal by‑elections until June 26, 2020.
Municipal elections: roles and responsibilities
In general, responsibility for the application of the Act respecting elections and referendums in municipalities, which governs municipal elections, rests with the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. For that reason, the decision to postpone the elections was made by the Minister and her team.
The returning officer for each municipality is responsible for organizing and holding municipal elections. Élections Québec’s role is to train and support the returning officers in the carrying out of their mandate.
Élections Québec also oversees political financing and election expenses.
For further information
Please consult the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing’s website:
- Press release, June 26, 2020: Pandémie de la COVID‑19 ‑ Mise au point concernant les élections partielles municipales (in French only [COVID‑19 pandemic: Update on municipal by‑elections])
- Questions and answers concerning the municipalities during the COVID‑19 pandemic