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If you wish to participate in political activities or to be a candidate for a federal, provincial, territorial or municipal election, you may also contact your organization’s Designated Political Activities Representative.

Political Activities Investigations

The Public Service Commission (PSC) may investigate:

  • any allegation that an employee conducted improper political activities and, if the allegation is substantiated, may dismiss the employee or may take any corrective action that it considers appropriate;
  • any allegation, made by a candidate in an election, that a deputy head has contravened section 117 of the Public Service Employment Act (the Act) and, if it concludes that the allegation is substantiated, the PSC shall report to the Governor in Council, and the Governor in Council may dismiss the deputy head.

According to sections 118 and 119 of the Act, only the PSC can investigate allegations of improper political activities by federal public service employees related to the following:

  • candidacy in a federal, provincial, territorial, or municipal election;
  • political activities in support of, within or in opposition to a political party;
  • political activities in support of or in opposition to a candidate before or during an election period; or
  • a deputy head who engaged in any political activity other than voting in an election.

In order to determine if a political activity impairs or is perceived as impairing an employee’s ability to perform their duties in a politically impartial manner, the PSC will look at several factors, namely:

  • the nature of the person’s duties;
  • the level and visibility of their position and duties; and
  • the nature of the political activity.

Any person can make an allegation of improper political activity against an employee. However, only a person who is or has been a candidate in an election can submit an allegation regarding improper political activity of a deputy head.

For examples of improper political activities investigated by the PSC, please visit the Summaries of Investigations page.

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