2019 Elections – Political Activities of Public Servants (19-03)

2019-03-19

Note: The following message was sent to deputy heads on February 25, 2019.

As you know, several elections will be held at the federal, provincial, territorial and municipal levels in 2019. I am therefore requesting your support to distribute a communiqué to your employees.

This communiqué explains that federal public service employees have the right to engage in political activities as long as they do not impair, or are not perceived as impairing, their ability to perform their duties in an impartial manner. This information will help your employees make informed decisions about their participation in political activities. It is important to note that employees must first ask for and obtain permission from the Public Service Commission (PSC) before seeking nomination as a candidate in an election. Online tools are also available.

Please also note that, as a deputy head, the only political activity permitted by the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA) is voting in elections.

I would also like to take this opportunity to remind you that, under the PSEA, the PSC has the authority to investigate potentially inappropriate political activities by federal public service employees and to take corrective action. Situations in which employees may be involved in political activities that may put at risk their impartiality, or the perception of their impartiality in carrying out their duties, should therefore be brought to the attention of the PSC.

If you or your designated political activities representative require additional information or assistance with your communications efforts, please contact Natalie Jones, Director General, Political Activities and Non-Partisanship Directorate, at 819-420-6453.

Your leadership is essential in ensuring a non-partisan public service. Thank you for your collaboration.

Patricia Jaton
Vice-President, Policy and Communications Sector
Public Service Commission

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