Legislative Amendments

The following is a summary listing of Bills that have passed in the Legislative Assembly since 2004 which amended the provincial statutes administered by the Chief Electoral Officer. For complete details, click on each link.

Reform of Agencies, Boards and Commissions and Government Enterprises Act, 2019 – November 22, 2019

The Bill received Royal Assent on November 22, 2019 and came into force on that date.

The Office of the Election Commissioner was dissolved and the role of the Election Commissioner was made a role that reports to the Chief Electoral Officer.

Bill 18, Statutes Amendment Act, 2018 – June 11, 2018

The Bill received Royal Assent on June 11, 2018 and came into force on that date.  Minor corrections to spelling and grammar were made to the Election Act for clarity.

Bill 16, Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Statutes Amendment Act, 2018 – June 11, 2018

The Bill received Royal Assent on June 11, 2018 and came into force on that date, with exceptions.

The EFCDA was amended with provisions defining associated registered parties and restricting their activities, new penalties and increased penalties for circumventing or exceeding election expense limits, expansion of quarterly reports to include campaign period contributions, and allowing parties to decide and record contributions received in a by-election campaign period as annual or campaign contributions.

Bill 32, An Act to Strengthen and Protect Democracy in Alberta, 2017 – December 15, 2017

Bill 32 received Royal Assent on December 15, 2017, with provisions coming into force on various dates.

The creation of an Election Commissioner position amended the Election Act and Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act (EFCDA).  Sections of the legislation related to the new position were proclaimed July 1, 2018.  Effective July 1, 2018 all complaints regarding breaches of the Election Act or the EFCDA are received and actioned by the Office of the Election Commissioner.

All references to the Senatorial Selection Act, expired December 31, 2016, were removed from the Election Act and the EFCDA.

Additional Election Act amendment highlights: requirement to conduct door-to-door provincial enumeration; changes to election staff hiring timelines and worker eligibility; changes to voter eligibility and validation; advance poll increased from 4 to 5 days; voters allowed to vote at any advance poll; electronic advance poll books; expansion of mobile poll days and locations; voter assistance terminals at all polls; restrictions on government advertising during election period; increased penalties for general offences.

Additional EFCDA amendment highlights: provisions to prevent collusion to circumvent contribution limits and/or election expense limits; new limits and restrictions on third party political advertising and spending.

Bill 15, Tax Statutes Amendment Act, 2017 – June 7, 2017

The Bill received Royal Assent on June 7, 2017, with a retroactive effective date of January 1, 2017. The Bill amended the Alberta Personal Income Tax Act by allowing contributions to leadership contestants and nomination contestants to be eligible for personal tax deductions.

Bill 35, the Fair Elections Financing Act, 2016 – December 14, 2016

The Bill received Royal Assent on December 14, 2016, but came into force on the date it was introduced in the legislative assembly on November 28, 2016. Remaining statutes came into force January 1, 2017.

EFCDA amendment highlights: oversight of nomination contests; new contribution limit of $4,000 per person per calendar year to any or any combination of parties, constituency associations, candidates, leadership contestants and nomination contestants; quarterly reporting disclosure enhancements; loans and guarantees subject to contribution limits; campaign expense limits for parties, candidates and nomination contestants; automatic late filing penalties; changes to leadership contest rules and third party advertiser rules.

Bill 1, An Act to Renew Democracy, 2015 – June 29, 2015

The Bill received Royal Assent on June 29, 2015, with a retroactive effective date of June 15, 2015. The Bill amended the EFCDA to prohibit corporations, trade unions or employee organizations from making political contributions to political parties, constituency associations and candidates.

Bill 7 – Election Accountability Amendment Act, 2012 – December 10, 2012

Bill 7 received Royal Assent on December 10, 2012. Some statutes came into force on that date and the remainder on January 1, 2013. The Election Act, Senatorial Selection Act, and EFCDA were all amended.

Election Act amendment highlights: nomination day was changed to day 14 from day 10 after writs; advance poll was increased from 3 days to 4 days; extended advertising rules, and new guidelines established for advertising and election surveys; students studying away from home permitted to choose place of study as place of residence and vote there.

EFCDA amendment highlights: expanded regulatory powers of the Chief Electoral Officer in situations of non-compliance; mandatory web-posting of findings and decisions in which admin penalties were applied or letters of reprimand issued; quarterly reporting of contributions by parties and constituency associations; oversight of party leadership contests.

Bill 7, Election Statutes Amendment Act, 2010 – April 22, 2010

Bill 7 received Royal Assent on April 22, 2010. Statutes were phased into force in 2010, 2011 and 2012. EFCDA amendment highlights: 2010 – services removed from definition of valued contribution, audits of financial statements only by authorized persons, financial records kept for 3 years from filing date, surplus management, returning funds to contributors for contributions made in breach of EFCDA; 2011 – third party election advertising rules, tax receipts in form provided by CEO, what triggers audited financial statement; 2012 – CFOs subject to prohibitions for failure to comply, loan payments treated as contributions unless repaid before filing deadline, expanded campaign reporting requirements, requirement for candidates to eliminate campaign deficit / prohibitions against candidate and CFO for not retiring deficit

Bill 22, Election Statutes Amendment Act, 2004 – May 11, 2004

Bill 22 received Royal Assent on May 11, 2004. Most of the Bill came into force on proclamation, with exceptions. EFCDA amendment highlights: expanded definition of prohibited corporation, public disclosure of candidate campaign expenses on website, powers of CEO to refuse registration of political party, requirements for polities parties to maintain registration status, increased contribution limits.