I want to become a candidate


Thinking about becoming a candidate in a federal, provincial, territorial or municipal election? Remember, as a federal public service employee, you must obtain permission from the Public Service Commission of Canada before publicly declaring your intention.

Let’s walk through the process:

  1. Speak with your manager, your organization’s designated political activities representative or the Public Service Commission.
    Designated Political Activities Representative
    Telephone: 819-420-8590 or 1-866-707-7152 (toll free)

  2. Fill out and sign the request for permission to be a candidate in an election form, and include the required documents for federal, provincial, territorial or municipal elections.
    Request for permission to be a candidate in an election – PDF (Portable Document Format) Format (1,117 Kb (kilobyte))
    If you cannot access the PDF form above, please contact us at cfp.activitespolitiques-politicalactivities.psc@cfp-psc.gc.ca to obtain a copy by email.

  3. Submit your request to the Public Service Commission. The completed form must be sent to the PSC and your organization’s designated political activities representative.
    Designated Political Activities Representatives
    Telephone: 819-420-8590 or 1-866-707-7152 (toll free)

If you're considering becoming a candidate in an election, start the  process early! The decision process may take up to 30 days.

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.

  • 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.

    Important information

    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 a completed request. A form well completed will minimize delays in the processing of your request.

You don’t want to be a candidate, but you would like to participate in political activities? View Other Political Activities or contact your organization’s Designated Political Activities Representative.

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