Municipal elections of November 3, 2013 - The Chief Electoral Officer has begun his training tour intended for the stakeholders in municipal elections

August 28, 2013

Quebec City, August 28, 2013– The Chief Electoral Officer of Québec has begun to give the training that he offers to the returning officers of the 1,104 Québec municipalities and 14 regional county municipalities (RCMs) where elections will be held on November 3 of this year. This week marks the start of the training offered to the treasurers of municipalities with a population of 5,000 or more and the 14 RCMs where the rules respecting political financing and the control of election expenses stipulated in Chapter XIII of the Act respecting elections and referendums in municipalities (AERM) will apply. It is in early September that training will begin for the official agents of political parties and authorized independent candidates who will be active in municipalities with a population of 5,000 or more and in RCMs where the warden is elected by universal suffrage.

“You have to know the rules before you can respect them,” pointed out Jacques Drouin, Chief Electoral Officer of Québec, “and we are traveling all across Québec to provide training for the stakeholders who will be front and centre during the upcoming municipal elections.”Under the Act respecting elections and referendums in municipalities, eachmunicipality ofQuébec is responsible for organizing its own elections. However, for over 25 years the main stakeholders in the municipal elections have been able to benefit from the support of the Chief Electoral Officer, be it for the organization of the election or for the application of the rules respecting the financing of municipal parties and the control of election expenses (Chapter XIII of the AERM). “The Act entrusts us with very important responsibilities concerning financing in the case of municipalities with a population of 5,000 or more,” emphasized Mr.Drouin. “That is why we are making every effort to explain this legislation and to provide tools that will enable the various stakeholders in the electoral process to comply with the Act.”

Training of returning officers

The returning officer is the person responsible for the organization of a municipal poll. The Act stipulates that it is the clerk or secretary-treasurer of the municipality who assumes this role. Between August 12 and September 12, no fewer than 44 training sessions are being offered, in 36 Québec municipalities, to the returning officers of the municipalities and RCMs subject to the rules respecting financing and the control of election expenses.

The management of nomination papers, the preparation and revision of the list of electors, the training of election officers, information for electors, as well as voting procedures are just some of the topics that will be addressed at these training sessions. 

Training of treasurers

Nine training sessions will be held inLaval,Longueuil,QuebecCity and St-Jérôme between August 27 and September 12 for treasurers of municipalities with a population of 5,000 or more and of RCMs that will elect their warden by universal suffrage. Chapter XIII of the AERM, which deals with the financing of municipal political parties and independent candidates and the control of election expenses, will be a central element in these training sessions. 

The treasurer of the municipality is in close contact with the individuals who hold the positions of official representatives or official agents of political parties or authorized independent candidates running for election. In particular, the treasurer receives the returns of election expenses of the parties and candidates and makes the reimbursements provided for under the Act once the elections are over. Consequently, the training given to treasurers helps to guarantee the proper application of the various legal or administrative procedures related to the financial aspects of a municipal election campaign.

Training of official agents

 Between September 3 and October 5 of this year, 71 training sessions, including 9 by web conference, will be offered at 58 different locations across Québec. These sessions are intended for individuals who will play the role of official agent for a political party or for an authorized independent candidate. This training concerns 185 municipalities subject to Chapter XIII of the AERM and 14 regional county municipalities where the warden will be elected by universal suffrage.

All political parties and authorized independent candidates must have an official representative in charge of collecting the funds used to finance their campaign, as well as an official agent responsible for authorizing election expenses.   These individuals must oversee, for example, compliance with the rules governing the collection of political contributions as well as with the ceiling on election expenses. The aim of the training program is to inform stakeholders of their roles and responsibilities as thoroughly as possible and to offer them support throughout the election process.

 For more information

 For more information on municipal elections, please consult the website of the Chief Electoral Officer (www.electionsquebec.qc.ca) or the site “Élections municipales 2013” of the Ministère des Affaires municipales, des Régions et de l’Occupation du territoire at www.electionsmunicipales.gouv.qc.ca

  

– 30 –



Categories : Municipal, Municipal financing, DGE