Entries in fraud (1)


Electoral Fraud and Canadian Law

We're in the middle of an electoral fraud scandal here in Canada -- full details can be found here and here. But I have yet to see a full explanation of what laws are involved, and what possible punishments might be in order for whoever is caught. 

I'm no lawyer, and if anyone has more insight on this please send me an email. But I've been poking around the Canada Elections Act and it looks like article 482.b of the elections act is the key clause:

482. Every person is guilty of an offence who

  • (a) by intimidation or duress, compels a person to vote or refrain from voting or to vote or refrain from voting for a particular candidate at an election; or

  • (b) by any pretence or contrivance, including by representing that the ballot or the manner of voting at an election is not secret, induces a person to vote or refrain from voting or to vote or refrain from voting for a particular candidate at an election


And if I read the punishments right under Section 500 (5) It looks like this is punishable by either summary conviction or indictable offence -- with the latter punishable up to $5k in fines and five years in prison:

(5) Every person who is guilty of an offence under any of subsections 480(1) and (2), sections 481 to 483, subsections 484(3), 485(2), 486(3), 487(2), 488(2) and 489(3), section 490, subsections 491(3) and 492(2), section 494, subsections 495(5), 496(2) and 497(3), section 498 and subsection 499(2) is liable

  • (b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine of not more than $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years, or to both.
But what's a bit more interesting is what happens if the person convicted is either a candidate or an agent of a candidate and they are convicted of an "illegal practice" under s. 482b. If I read Section 502 correctly, anyone so convictedcan't sit as an MP or hold any government appointments for five years:

Consequences of illegal, corrupt practices

(3) Any person who is convicted of having committed an offence that is an illegal practice or a corrupt practice under this Act shall, in addition to any other punishment for that offence prescribed by this Act, in the case of an illegal practice, during the next five years or, in the case of a corrupt practice, during the next seven years, after the date of their being so convicted, not be entitled to

  • (a) be elected to or sit in the House of Commons; or

  • (b) hold any office in the nomination of the Crown or of the Governor in Council.