POLITICS

Elections watchdog to split from Elections Canada on Oct. 1

09/15/2014 03:57 EDT | Updated 11/15/2014 05:59 EST
Canada's election watchdog will officially make the move to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada on Oct. 1, according to a notice posted to the Canada Gazette website last week.

The transfer of powers was triggered by the passage of the government's controversial revamp of Canada's election laws earlier this year.

Previously, the Commissioner of Elections was hired — and, in theory, could be fired — by the Chief Electoral Officer, and operated out of Elections Canada, albeit at an arms length and with full autonomy over investigations. office.

Under the new rules, Director of Public Prosecutions Brian Saunders will take over administrative responsibility for both the appointment and the office itself, and is explicitly forbidden from consulting the Chief Electoral Officer on future hiring decisions.

The current commissioner, Yves Cote, was named to the post by Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand in 2012, and is expected to remain on the job until his term expires.

As of Oct. 1, former chief electoral officers and their staff will be banned from being considered for the job, as are former candidates, election officers, political and party staffers.