Two financial agents who worked for Ottawa and area Liberal Party of Canada candidates during the 2019 federal election are among 19 individuals found in violations of the Canada Elections Act.
The Deputy Commissioner of Canada Elections issued notices of violation to the two agents on Thursday, October 7, both of which were slapped with $300 monetary penalties for failure to file their Nomination Contestant’s Campaign Return within four months after their selection date.
According to the Commissioner Elaine Barnes, the financial agent for contestant Paola Villa for the electoral district of Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston was required to submit the Return by October 15, 2019. However, the Chief Electoral Officer confirmed they had only received it on February 9, 2021 — that’s 483 days after the deadline.
The second person charged is Kateria Khoury, the financial agent for Khatera Akbari, a Liberal contestant for Orleans.
Khoury needed to file the Return by February 21, 2020. However, Elections Canada confirmed the Return was only submitted on May 6, 2021 — 440 days after the deadline.
In total, all 19 officials and financial agents found to be in violation of the Act are required to pay penalties totalling $6,000.
“Official and financial agents have significant responsibilities under the Act,” Yves Côté, Commissioner of Canada Elections (CCE), said in a statement.
“I would encourage anyone who may be considering a role in a campaign and those who have taken the role of official agent during the recent 44th federal general election to familiarize themselves with their respective obligations. Failure to properly carry out these duties can result in formal consequences under the Act.”
Under the Act, the official agent or the financial agent must provide the Chief Electoral Office with the documentation required by their function within four months following polling day (or selection date in the case of a nomination contest).
Failure to provide the required documentation within this deadline may result in a referral to the CCE.
The Commissioner is responsible for determining and applying proper compliance and enforcement measures, including the imposition of AMPs.
These aim to promote compliance with the Act and maintain confidence in the integrity of the political financing regime.
To view the full list of those found in violation of the Act, visit the Commissioner of Canada Elections website.