Findings and Decisions
For provincial elections there are numerous General Offences outlined in Part 5 of the Election Act. More serious offences, called Corrupt Practices, are outlined in Part 6 of that same Act.
Part 7 of the Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act (EFCDA) describes additional specific prohibitions, offences and penalties related to provincial elections.
For local government elections, Part 6 of the Local Authorities Election Act outlines numerous offences and their applicable penalties. In addition, Part 5 describes specific candidate offences that could lead to the forfeiture of an elected seat of office and additional penalties, including imprisonment for up to 2 years. Other offences are listed throughout the Act, and specific penalties are associated with offences related to political contributions (s. 147.82) and third party election advertising (s. 187), including fines up to $100,000.
For the most part, General Offences under the provincial Election Act refer to contraventions and failures to comply with provisions of the Act that are not specifically listed as offences. General Offences are usually considered to be minor offences and are often subject to lesser financial penalties, such as a fine of not more than $5,000. Some other offences listed in Part 5 of the Act, however, carry a fine of up to $10,000 or imprisonment of up to 1 year, or both. Offences under Part 5 of the Election Act are adjudicated in the Provincial Court of Alberta.
Corrupt Practices listed in Part 6 of the Election Act, are more serious offences and carry increased penalties such as fines up to $50,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 2 years. There may be additional consequences when the Court finds a candidate guilty of a Corrupt Practice. The election itself may be declared void. Also, if a candidate or another person is found guilty of a Corrupt Practice, he or she may be prohibited from being a candidate, holding public office, and voting in a provincial election for a period of 8 years. Offences under Part 6 of the Election Act are tried in the Court of Queen’s Bench.
Offences under the EFCDA are subject to fines of up to $1,000 for minor offences and up to $100,000 for the most serious offences.