Press release No. 4 – By-election of December 9, 2013 in Outremont and Viau - In the electoral debate, third parties must respect the equity rules outlined in the Election Act

November 11, 2013

Quebec City, November 11, 2013– In the wake of the recently announced by-elections in the electoral divisions of Outremont and Viau, the Chief Electoral Officer, Jacques Drouin, would like to underscore certain rules outlined in the Election Act designed to guarantee equal opportunity among the parties and candidates involved in this vote. In particular, he wishes to point out that third parties may not incur expenses to promote or oppose a candidate of a party or an independent candidate. This should not however preclude the expression of opinions by means not involving election expenses as defined in the Act.

The provisions of the Election Act concerning election expenses prohibit any natural person or legal entity, for instance an association or pressure group, from intervening in a campaign without these expenses being authorized by an official agent. Assuming the cost of goods or services in order to promote or oppose a party or candidate therefore constitutes an election expense requiring authorization. These rules are designed to ensure equal electoral power for each elector, equal opportunity among parties and candidates, and an equitable electoral process.   

In a decision handed down in January 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed the constitutionality of these provisions and in so doing recognized the primacy of the basic principles of Quebec’s election expense control system. For more information concerning the Supreme Court decision, please refer to the press release distributed by the office of the Chief Electoral Officer on January 12, 2012 :


Once these principles are clearly established, the Chief Electoral Officer will proceed to analyze and evaluate each case according its own distinct characteristics.

 Public assemblies

A directive governs the holding of public assemblies by non-partisan and partisan organizations during the election period. This directive is available on the website of the Chief Electoral Officer at

Other points of information concerning the rules governing the financing and control of election expenses are also available on the website of the Chief Electoral Officer at


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Categories : Provincial, By-elections, DGE