Election Expenses Act
There have been problems with the interpretation and application of this legislation, partly as a consequence of imprecise or ambiguous wording in the Act itself. Many of these questions were examined by the Royal Commission on Electoral Reform and Party Financing which reported early in 1992. Many recommendations were made with the purpose of clarifying and improving the election expenses regime, but none affected in any way the basic principles of the system.
Still unresolved is the question of regulating the expenses of independent candidates unaffiliated with a registered political party. In June of 1996 the Alberta Court of Appeal upheld a decision of a lower court to strike down the provisions of the Act in this regard on the ground that they were an infringement on the freedoms of expression and association guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (see ELECTORAL SYSTEMS). The federal government has decided not to pursue the matter any further through the courts but will instead find another method of dealing with the issue.