Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta Strikes Down $1000 Deposit Requirement for Federal Election Candidates

Good news for independent candidates!

On October 25, 2017, the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta struck down the provision of the Election Act that required candidates in federal elections to provide a $1,000 deposit.

The judge ruled that the deposit requirement was in breach of section 3 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which provides that: “Every citizen of Canada has the right to vote in an election of members of the House of Commons or of a legislative assembly and to be qualified for membership therein.”

In declaring the deposit requirement unconstitutional, the judge wrote that the $1000 deposit requirement deprived otherwise serious but financially challenged candidates from presenting or communicating their ideas and opinions to the general public.

As a result of this decision, Elections Canada announced that it would no longer require prospective candidates to provide the $1000 deposit: http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=med&document=nov0817&dir=pre&lang=e#top

The decision is from Szuchewycz v Canada (Attorney General), which is available here: http://canlii.ca/t/hmqj6

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