Upcoming 2012 municipal elections (12-03)


The Public Service Commission has moved since this document was first published and therefore the address and telephone numbers indicated may no longer be accurate. Please consult the Contact Us page for up-to-date contact information.


Note: The following message was sent to Deputy Heads on February 23, 2012.

With municipal elections being held across Canada, I would like to provide you with important information to be shared with your employees concerning their rights and legal responsibilities regarding political activities.

The Public Service Employment Act (PSEA) recognizes the need to balance the rights of employees to engage in political activities with the principle of political impartiality in the federal public service.

A political activity is defined by the PSEA as: carrying on any activity in support of, within or in opposition to a political party; carrying on any activity in support of, or in opposition to a candidate before or during an election period; or seeking nomination as or being a candidate in an election before or during the election period.

As a deputy head, the PSEA limits your political activities to voting in federal, provincial, territorial and municipal elections.

Your employees may engage in a political activity as long as it does not impair, or is not perceived as impairing, their ability to perform their duties in a politically impartial manner. Whether a political activity will put that impartiality at risk, or will be perceived as doing so, depends on factors such as the nature of the activity, the nature of the employee’s duties within the organization and the level and visibility of his or her position.

Please note that activities that do not fall under the PSEA’s definition of political activity may be subject to the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service or, in cases where the Treasury Board is not the employer, to the organization’s applicable code.

To assist you in informing employees about their rights and legal responsibilities related to political activities, a detailed communiqué is attached. Should you or your Designated Political Activities Representative require additional information or assistance with your communication efforts, please contact Kathy Nakamura, Director General, Political Activities Directorate at 613-995-1125.

As the PSC oversees the political impartiality of the public service, we appreciate the important leadership role you play in ensuring a professional and non-partisan public service.

Please do not hesitate to contact me directly at 613-992-2788 if you need additional information.

Anne-Marie Robinson

Communiqué to employees

c.c. Designated Political Activities Representatives