Candidacy Request

  1. Requesting permission to be a candidate in an election
  2. The Commission's permission
  3. The Commission's authority to investigate
  4. Contact information
  5. Procedure for requesting permission or leave for a municipal election
  6. Procedure for requesting permission and leave for a federal, provincial or territorial election

Important Notice: Some of these files are in PDF format only. Please visit the help pages for guidance on accessing these types of files. If you wish to have these documents in an alternate format, please contact us at 1-866-707-7152 or by e-mail CFP.ActivitesPolitiques-PoliticalActivities.PSC@cfp-psc.gc.ca.

1. Requesting permission to be a candidate in an election

If you are an employee working for an organization subject to Part 7 of the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA), you must first receive permission from the PSC to seek nomination as, or be, a candidate before or during the election period.

You can make public your intention to be a candidate and undertake candidacy-related activities only after the PSC has granted you permission to do so.

For federal, provincial or territorial elections, you also need to request and obtain from the PSC a leave without pay (LWOP) for the election period in order to seek nomination as, or be, a candidate. You will cease to be an employee of the public service on the day you are elected.

For municipal elections, the PSC may make the permission conditional on your taking a LWOP or ceasing to be an employee. Otherwise, you may continue to work as a public servant while seeking nomination as, or being, a candidate or if elected.

The PSC will render a decision in writing within 30 days of receiving all the requested information. Employees who do not provide complete information may face the risk of a delay in obtaining a decision or the PSC may be unable to render a decision.

2. The Commission's permission

The Commission may grant permission only if it is satisfied that the employee's ability to perform their duties in a politically impartial manner will not be impaired or be perceived as being impaired.

The Commission may grant leave 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 their duties in a politically impartial manner while being a candidate.

(See Candidacy in elections)

In making this decision, the Commission may take into consideration factors such as the nature of the election, the nature of the employee's duties in the organizational context, and the level and visibility of the employee's position.

If permission is granted, the employee must accept in writing and respect the conditions imposed by the Commission. Notice of the Commission's decision will be published in the Canada Gazette.

3. The Commission's authority to investigate

In accordance with the Political Activities Regulations, the Commission may investigate any allegation that an employee has engaged in improper political activities. If the Commission concludes that the allegation is substantiated, it may take any corrective action that it considers appropriate, up to and including dismissal.

The Commission may investigate any allegation made to it by a person who is or has been a candidate in an election that a deputy head has contravened section 117 of the PSEA. If it concludes that the allegation is substantiated, the Commission shall report its conclusion to the Governor in Council, which may dismiss the deputy head.

4. Contact information

For further information on requests for political candidacy requests or to obtain this fact sheet in an alternative format, please contact:

5. Procedure for requesting permission or leave for a municipal election

Please complete the Request for Permission – Municipal Candidacy form - PDF Format (593 Kb).

  • Part A – Employee and Election Information
    • To be completed by the employee.
  • Part B – Nature of the Duties and Visibility of the Position
    • To be completed by the employee and immediate supervisor.
  • Part C – Employee's Declaration
    • To be completed by the employee.
  • Part D – Statements
    • Signatures are required from the employee and the immediate supervisor. The input and signature of an Executive (minimum EX-1) are also necessary. For organizations that do not have an EX group classification, the Executive should be from the group recognized as an equivalent. Please contact your DPAR about the process for obtaining Executive sign-off.
  • Part E – Deputy Head Input (if required)
    • This section is to be completed by the Deputy Head. Please contact your DPAR about your organization's process for obtaining Deputy Head input.

The employee must also provide the following documents:

  • an approved work description outlining the employee's duties, including a written explanation of specific duties if the work description is generic; and
  • an approved organizational chart identifying the employee's position, subordinates (if applicable) and immediate supervisor.

The PSC may make its permission conditional on the employee taking a leave without pay or ceasing to be an employee.

Copies of the completed form must be sent by mail, e-mail or fax to both:

Director General
Political Activities and Non-Partisanship Directorate
Public Service Commission
22 Eddy Street
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0M7

E-mail: CFP.ActivitesPolitiques-PoliticalActivities.PSC@cfp-psc.gc.ca
Fax: 819-420-6546

Your organization's DPAR.

The PSC will render a decision in writing within 30 days of receiving all the requested information. Employees who do not provide complete information may face the risk of a delay in obtaining a decision or the PSC may be unable to render a decision.

6. Procedure for requesting permission and leave for a federal, provincial or territorial election

Please complete the Request for Permission and Leave of Absence Without Pay – Federal, Provincial and Territorial Candidacy formPDF Format (592 Kb).

  • Part A – Employee and Election Information
    • To be completed by the employee.
  • Part B – Nature of the Duties and Visibility of the Position
    • To be completed by the employee and immediate supervisor or manager.
  • Part C – Statements
    • To be completed by the employee and immediate supervisor or manager.
  • Part D – Senior Management Input
    • For federal candidacy requests this section is to be completed by the Deputy Head. For provincial and territorial candidacy requests, this section is to be completed by an Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) or the DH. For organizations without ADMs, the input should be from the level recognized as an equivalent. Please contact your DPAR about your organization's process for obtaining senior management input.

The employee must also provide the following documents:

  • an approved work description outlining the employee's duties, including a written explanation of specific duties if the work description is generic;
  • an approved organizational chart identifying the employee's position, subordinates (if applicable) and immediate supervisor.

It should be noted that if permission is granted, the employee may be required to take a leave without pay (LWOP) before the election period. In addition, the employee will be required to take a LWOP during the election period, and, if elected, will cease to be an employee.

Copies of the completed form must be sent by mail, e-mail or fax to both:

Director General
Political Activities and Non-Partisanship Directorate
Public Service Commission
22 Eddy Street
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0M7

E-mail: CFP.ActivitesPolitiques-PoliticalActivities.PSC@cfp-psc.gc.ca
Fax: 819-420-6546

Your organization's DPAR.

The PSC will render a decision in writing within 30 days of receiving all the requested information. Employees who do not provide complete information may face the risk of a delay in obtaining a decision or the PSC may be unable to render a decision.