November 1, 2009 municipal elections - The Chief Electoral Officer has begun his training tour intended for the stakeholders in municipal elections



    QUEBEC, Aug. 19 /CNW Telbec/ - The Chief Electoral Officer of Québec has
begun to give the training that he offers to the returning officers of the
1109 Québec municipalities and 13 regional county municipalities where
elections will be held on November 1st of this year. Next week marks the start
of the training offered to the treasurers of municipalities with a population
of 5 000 or more and the 13 RCMs where the rules respecting political
financing and the control of election expenses stipulated in Chapter XIII of
the Act respecting elections and referendums in municipalities (AERM) will
apply. It is in early September that training will begin for the official
agents of political parties and authorized independent candidates who will be
active in municipalities with a population of 5 000 or more and in RCMs where
the warden is elected by universal suffrage.
    "For more than 20 years, the Chief Electoral Officer has been supporting
the municipal world during elections," recalled Marcel Blanchet, Chief
Electoral Officer of Québec, "we want the stakeholders taking part in the
elections to benefit from the support and to have all the information they
need to ensure the success of this exercise in democracy." Under the Act
respecting elections and referendums in municipalities, each municipality of
Québec is responsible for organizing its own elections. However, the main
stakeholders in the municipal elections can benefit from the support of the
Chief Electoral Officer, be it for the organization of the election or for the
application of the rules respecting the financing of municipal parties and the
control of election expenses (Chapter XIII of the AERM). "The Act entrusts us
with very important responsibilities concerning financing in the case of
municipalities with a population of 5 000 or more," emphasized Mr. Blanchet.
"That is why we are making every effort to explain this legislation and to
provide tools that will enable the various stakeholders in the electoral
process to comply with the Act," he continued.

    Training of returning officers

    The returning officer is the person responsible for the organization of a
municipal poll. The Act stipulates that it is the clerk or secretary-treasurer
of the municipality who assumes this role. Since June 3rd of this year and
continuing until September 10th, 44 training sessions are being offered, in 37
Québec municipalities, to the returning officers of the municipalities and
RCMs subject to the rules respecting financing and the control of election
expenses.
    The management of nomination papers, the preparation and revision of the
list of electors, the training of election officers, information for electors,
as well as voting procedures are just some of the topics that will be
addressed at these training sessions.

    Training of treasurers

    Eight training sessions will be held in Laval, Longueuil and Québec
between August 25th and September 10th for treasurers of municipalities with a
population of 5 000 or more and RCMs that will elect their warden by universal
suffrage. Chapter XIII of the AERM, which deals with the financing of
municipal political parties and independent candidates and the control of
election expenses, will be a central element in these training sessions.
    Indeed, the treasurer of the municipality is in close contact with the
individuals who hold the positions of official representatives or official
agents of political parties or authorized independent candidates running for
election. The treasurer notably receives the returns of election expenses of
the parties and candidates, and makes the reimbursements provided for under
the Act once the elections are over. Consequently, the training given to
treasurers helps to guarantee the proper application of the various legal or
administrative procedures related to the financial aspects of a municipal
election campaign.

    Training of official agents

    Between September 1st and October 5th of this year, 68 training sessions
will be offered at as many locations across Québec. These sessions are
intended for individuals who will play the role of official agent for a
political party or for an authorized independent candidate. This training
concerns 173 municipalities with a population of 5 000 or more subject to
Chapter III of the AERM and 13 regional county municipalities where the warden
will be elected by universal suffrage.
    All political parties and authorized independent candidates must have an
official representative in charge of collecting the funds used to finance
their campaign, as well as an official agent responsible for authorizing
election expenses. These individuals must oversee, for example, compliance
with the rules governing the collection of political contributions as well as
compliance with the ceiling on election expenses. The aim of the training is
to inform stakeholders of their roles and responsibilities as well as to offer
them support throughout the election process.

    For more information

    For more information on municipal elections, consult the website of the
Chief Electoral Officer (www.electionsquebec.qc.ca) or the site "Elections
municipales 2009" of the Ministère des Affaires municipales, des Régions et de
l'Occupation du territoire at www.electionsmunicipales.gouv.qc.ca

    
    Source:   Cynthia Gagnon
              Information officer
              (418) 644-3320 or 1 888 870-3320
              cgagnon@dgeq.qc.ca
    
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For further information:

For further information: Cynthia Gagnon, Information officer, (418)
644-3320, 1-888-870-3320, cgagnon@dgeq.qc.ca

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Directeur général des élections

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