Communiqué to Employees – Streamlined Provincial and Territorial Candidacy Process

The Public Service Commission (PSC) has made changes to the process for requesting permission to be a candidate in a provincial or territorial election, as committed to in its PSC 2009-2010 Annual Report. These changes came into effect on November 1, 2011.

In light of the experience gained in the last six years and the positive lessons learned from streamlining the approach for municipal candidacy requests, introduced on January 1, 2010, the PSC has streamlined its process for provincial and territorial candidacy requests. It is expected that this streamlining will facilitate the timely review of candidacy requests while ensuring that the PSC fulfills its mandate to safeguard a politically impartial public service.

The new process includes an updated request form for the employee, supervisor or manager and an Assistant Deputy Minister or equivalent to complete. However, deputy head input regarding political impartiality and operational concerns is still required for all federal candidacy requests. The form is available on the PSC Web site.

The Public Service Employment Act (PSEA) recognizes the need to balance the rights of employees to engage in political activities with the principle of an impartial public service. In accordance with the PSEA, employees are required to obtain permission from the PSC before and each time they seek nomination as, or are, a candidate in a federal, provincial, territorial or municipal election.

The PSC may grant permission only if it is satisfied that seeking nomination as, or being, a candidate in the election will not impair or be perceived by others as impairing the employee’s ability to perform their duties in a politically impartial manner. To ensure a timely decision, requests should be submitted to the PSC no later than 30 days before the date on which a decision is required from the Commission. Employees who do not provide complete information or who submit their candidacy request with less than 30 days face the risk of a delay or the PSC being unable to render a decision.

To obtain further information, please contact your organization’s Designated Political Activities Representative or visit the PSC’s Political Activities Web site.