I want to become a candidate
How will the Public Service Commission (PSC) review a request for permission to be a candidate in an election?
As indicated in the political activities provisions of Part 7 of the Public Service Employment Act (the Act), the PSC’s decision is based on ensuring political impartiality. The PSC considers the nature of the election, the nature of your duties and the level and visibility of your position. To do so, the PSC requires your input and the input of your manager and senior management or your deputy head.
To minimize the risk to political impartiality, the PSC:
- may make your permission conditional on being on leave without pay before or during the election, and if you are elected in a municipal election, for the duration of your mandate;
- expects political activities in support of your candidacy to be conducted outside working hours;
- will render a decision in writing within 30 days of receiving the request. A form well completed will avoid delaying the processing of your request and missing the candidate registration deadline.
Video: Candidacy process
Are you thinking about becoming a candidate in a federal, provincial, territorial or municipal election? Remember that federal public service employees must first request and obtain permission from the Public Service Commission. This video explains the process.
A message from the Public Service Commission of Canada (PSC)
Are you a federal public service employee?
Are you thinking of becoming a candidate in a federal, provincial, territorial or municipal election?
Remember, you must first request and obtain permission from the PSC.
This applies for any elected office.
- Municipal Councillor
Elections anywhere in Canada.
Let's walk through the process:
- Speak with your manager, your organization's Designated Political Activities Representative and the PSC.
- Complete the request form and include the required documents.
- Submit your request. The PSC decision process may take up to 30 days.
- The PSC considers: nature of the election, nature of your duties, level and visibility of your position
So… if you are considering becoming a candidate in an election…
Get informed! Start the process early!
Your manager, your organization's Designated Political Activities Representative and the PSC are ready to help!
For more information: 1-866-707-7152 or canada.ca/political-activities.
How to request permission to be a candidate
If you are an employee of an organization subject to the political activities provisions of the Act:
- you must obtain permission from the PSC to seek nomination as, or be, a candidate before or during the election period;
- you must obtain the permission from the PSC before you make public your intention to be a candidate and undertake political activities.;
- to seek nomination as, or be, a candidate for federal, provincial or territorial elections, you must also request and obtain a leave without pay from the PSC for the duration of the election period. You will cease to be an employee of the public service if you are elected.
For municipal elections, the PSC may make your permission conditional on being on leave without pay before and during the election, and if you are elected, for the duration of your mandate.
The Public Service Commission's permission
The PSC may grant permission only if it is satisfied that being a candidate during the election period will not impair or be perceived as impairing the employee’s ability to perform his or her duties in a politically impartial manner. The PSC may grant a leave without pay if a risk to political impartiality is identified. The PSC’s decision will be published in the Canada Gazette.
Requesting permission or leave for an election
Please complete the appropriate form for federal, provincial, territorial or municipal elections. The completed form must be sent to the PSC and your organization’s Designated Political Activities Representatives and Organizations Subject to the Political Activities Provisions of the Public Service Employment Act.
Roles and responsibilities of a Designated Political Activities Representative
The Designated Political Activities Representative in each organization is the resource person responsible for:
- providing advice, guidance and information to managers and employees;
- acting as liaison between the PSC and the organization;
- raising awareness of political activities among managers and employees.
Candidacy request forms
- Request for permission – PDF Format (1,340 Kb)
- Annex A – Additional position – PDF Format (1,330 Kb)
Federal, provincial or territorial candidacy
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