Provincial Election Announcement in Quebec: Candidacy and Non-Candidacy Political Activities of Employees (12-15)


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Note: The following message was sent to Deputy Heads on August 3, 2012.

With the recent announcement of a provincial election to be held in Quebec on September 4, 2012, I would like to bring to your attention important information concerning your employees’ legal rights and responsibilities regarding political activities. The Public Service Employment Act (PSEA) recognizes the need to balance the right 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.

Please note that activities that do not fall under the PSEA’s definition of a political activity may be subject to the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector and to your organization’s code of conduct.

Your employees have the right to 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 their political 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 their position.

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

To assist you in informing employees about their legal rights and 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 Tanya Perlman, Acting Director General, Political Activities and Non-Partisanship Directorate, at 613-996-6871.

The PSC appreciates 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