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The law and our responsibility

Summary

We enforce the Election Act and its regulations for provincial elections as well as the Referendum Act for provincial referendums. During municipal and school elections, we are responsible for the financing and auditing of election expenses, as well as for criminal offences under 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.

In this section

Our responsibilities

Provincial elections

We are responsible for the enforcement of the Election Act for provincial elections, and the Referendum Act for provincial referendums.

Municipal and school board elections

We are responsible for the financing and auditing of election expenses, as well as for the criminal offences under 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.

Given the ongoing legal challenges, any reference to the Act respecting school elections to elect certain members of the boards of directors of English-language school service centres refers to the provisions of the Act respecting school elections in effect prior to the passage of Bill 40, which have been adapted to reflect the repeal of the election process in French-language school service centres.

The administration of municipal referendums and elections as well as school elections is the responsibility of municipalities and school boards.

Provincial

Election Act (CQLR, c. E-3.3)

Referendum Act (CQLR, c. C-64.1)

Municipal

An Act respecting elections and referendums in municipalities (CQLR, c. E-2.2)

School board

An Act respecting school elections to elect certain members of the boards of directors of English-language school service centres (CQLR, c. E-2.3)

Note: The title of the Act respecting school elections was amended by section 190 of An Act to amend mainly the Education Act with regard to school organization and governance (2020, chapter 1, Bill 40), which came into force on February 8, 2020.

On August 10, 2020, the Superior Court of Québec, in its interlocutory judgment Quebec English School Boards Association v. Procureur général du Québec (2020 QCCS 2444), suspended the application of Bill 40 to English-language school boards. In so doing, it made the provisions of the Act respecting school elections, as they read on February 7, 2020, applicable for the purposes of general school board elections, but only in respect of these nine school boards. This judgment was appealed by the Attorney General of Québec.

On September 17, 2020, the Québec Court of Appeal, in its decision Procureur général du Québec v. Quebec English School Board Association (2020 QCCA 1171), upheld the Superior Court’s judgment for the application of the provisions for elections that were scheduled for 2020. However, the health situation did not allow these elections to be held. However, the health situation did not allow the holding of these elections before September 26, 2021. The decision on the merits of the application for judicial review regarding the invalidity of certain provisions of Bill 40 with respect to English-language school boards is still pending.

Thus, this working document incorporates the provisions of the Act respecting school elections in force prior to the adoption of the Act to amend mainly the Education Act with regard to school organization and governance (Bill 40). These provisions are also adapted to take into account the process for appointing members of the boards of directors of French-language school service centres, which remains governed by the Education Act as amended by Bill 40.

The content of this working document is not official. It is a working tool made available to you in order to support you in your efforts and in preparation of the next school elections.

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