Political Activities

What is a Political Activity?

Definition under the Public Service Employment Act:

  • carrying on any activity in support of, within or in opposition to a political party;
  • carrying on any activity in support of or in opposition to a candidate before or during an election period; or
  • seeking nomination as or being a candidate in an election before or during an election period.
  • Role of the Public Service Commission of Canada

    The Public Service Commission is responsible for safeguarding the political impartiality of the public service and public servants’ involvement in political activities, including:

    • providing guidance with respect to involvement in political activities;
    • granting permission and leave for candidacy in federal, provincial, territorial and municipal elections; and
    • investigating allegations of improper political activities and taking corrective action when they are founded.

    Part 7 (Political Activities) of the Act and its Regulations provide a regime for governing the political activities of public servants, while recognizing the need to balance their rights to engage in political activities with the principle of an impartial public service. As such, public servants may engage in any political activity as long as it does not impair, or is not perceived as impairing, their ability to perform their duties in a politically impartial manner.

    Non-Partisanship and the Role of other Organizations

    Upholding the non-partisan nature of the public service is the responsibility of all employees, regardless of their level or duties. Deputy heads of organizations supervise employees and play a leadership role in in this respect.

Did you know?

The Public Service Commission of Canada has published many open datasets to the Government of Canada’s Open Government Portal. 

You can visit the Open Government Portal and search for open data including Public Service Commission datasets on political activities and mobility provisions.

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