Types of Offences

Within the Election Act, there are numerous General Offences outlined in Part 5 and other offences, called Corrupt Practices, outlined in Part 6. Part 7 of the Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act also describes the specific prohibitions, offences and penalties under that Act.

For the most part, General Offences under the 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 tried in the Provincial Court of Alberta.

Corrupt Practices listed in Part 6 of the Election Act, are more serious offences and carry stiffer penalties such as fines of not more than $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 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 Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act are subject to fines of up to $1,000 for minor offences and up to $100,000 for the most serious offences.