Federal Court


Eligibility of candidates
Action challenging acceptance requirements in Canada Elections Act was struck out

Plaintiffs were three individuals residing in British Columbia. Plaintiffs intended to stand as candidates for election in federal election held in 2015. Plaintiff S presented himself for that purpose to returning officer for federal electoral district of Victoria. S’s nominating papers were refused because he did not have auditor as required to be appointed, nor did he have names, addresses and signatures of at least 100 persons entitled to vote in riding, nor did he pay or offer to pay deposit of $1,000 or any other amount, all as required by Canada Elections Act (CEA). There was no submission in amended statement of claim that other two plaintiffs presented themselves to be accepted as candidates. Plaintiffs commenced action challenging CEA governing 2015 election and, in particular, requirements for acceptance as candidates. Defendants brought motions to dismiss plaintiffs action. Motions granted. Claims against Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Canada could not stand as CEO could not make changes to CEA or stay results of election. Any claim requiring CEO to take such action should proceed by way of application under Federal Court Act (Can.) for mandamus. Plaintiffs had not specifically invoked Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in their amended statement of claim although they referred to certain rights. Plaintiffs had not pleaded that limitations respecting auditor, or payment of money or 100 signatures presented unreasonable limitations nor was it self-evident that they did so. It had not been shown in claim that either returning officer or CEO engaged in any conduct that would constitute basis for claim of misfeasance of public office. Action was struck out in its entirety.

Shebib v. Canada (May. 12, 2016, F.C., Roger T. Hughes J., T-1748-15) 266 A.C.W.S. (3d) 376.

Law Times Poll

A group of benchers opposed to the Statement of Principles will need to win the support of their colleagues to repeal the requirement. Do you think they will be successful in repealing the statement of principles in the coming year?