LHHR 15-05: 2015 Elections: Political Activities of Employees
Note: The following message was sent to deputy heads on March 9, 2015.
In 2015, elections are being held at the federal, provincial, territorial and municipal levels. In view of these upcoming elections, I would like to provide you with information that you can share with your employees on their legal rights and responsibilities regarding political activities.
The Public Service Employment Act (PSEA) recognizes that public servants may engage in a political activity as long as it does not impair, or is not perceived as impairing, their ability to perform their public service duties in a politically impartial manner.
A political activity is defined by the PSEA as:
- any activity in support of, within, or in opposition to a political party;
- any activity in support of, or in opposition to, a candidate before or during an election period; or
- seeking nomination as a candidate or being a candidate in an election before or during the election period.
As a deputy head, the only political activity permitted by the PSEA is voting in federal, provincial, territorial and municipal elections.
Activities that do not fall under the definition of a political activity in the PSEA should be considered in light of the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector and your organization’s code of conduct.
Attached is a communiqué that you can share with your employees, which explains their legal rights and responsibilities related to political activities. As well, the communiqué invites them to use the Suite of Tools developed by the Public Service Commission as guidance in making informed decisions regarding participating in political activities.
Should you or your Designated Political Activities Representative require additional information or assistance with your communication efforts, please contact Julie Richer Gobuyan, Acting Director General, Political Activities and Non-Partisanship Directorate, at 819-420-6467.
Your leadership is essential in ensuring a professional and non-partisan public service. Thank you for your ongoing collaboration.
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