Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Acting Chief Electoral Officer Stephane Perrault to Become Permanent

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Acting Chief Electoral Officer Stephane Perrault to Become Permanent

Article excerpt

Acting elections watchdog to become permanent

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OTTAWA - The man who's been filling in as the country's chief electoral watchdog for the last 18 months has been nominated to take over the job permanently.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has selected Stephane Perrault to be the new chief electoral officer, a role that's responsible for ensuring federal elections are fair, that Canadians can freely exercise their right to vote and that political actors follow all the rules.

Perrault has been the acting chief since December 2016, when Marc Mayrand retired, and opposition parties aren't likely to question his ability to do the job.

The nomination will be referred to a Commons committee and then must be approved by a vote of the House of Commons.

However, New Democrats are questioning the process that led to the choice of Perrault, saying they received a confidential notice from the Prime Minister's Office three weeks ago, announcing the nomination of someone else -- reportedly Saskatchewan's chief electoral watchdog, Michael Boda.

But that name was never announced publicly and now Trudeau has nominated Perrault instead.

"After inexplicably waiting for 18 months to appoint a chief electoral officer, the government sent two letters in the space of three weeks with two different candidates," NDP MP Guy Caron told the Commons just minutes before Perrault's nomination was announced Tuesday.

"With only 18 months left until the next election, time is running out. …

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