Elections watchdog: 78-day writ period caused deployment challenges

OTTAWA — Elections Canada experienced some headaches dealing with the longest federal campaign in modern Canadian history, says a new report from the chief electoral officer.

Chief electoral officer Marc Mayrand said Elections Canada had hoped last year’s fixed election date would bring some predictability to their planning for the 2015 vote.

That went out the window, however, when then-prime minister Stephen Harper asked Gov. Gen. David Johnston to dissolve Parliament on Aug. 2, kicking the campaign into gear more than a month earlier than expected.

“The absence of a fixed start date, or a specified time range within which to conduct the election, resulted in significant deployment challenges and delays,” said the report released Wednesday.

Elections Canada plans to make recommendations on how to better define the duration of an election period in its upcoming report to Parliament, expected within the next two weeks.

The report said Elections Canada had been anticipating …
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