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Foreign Elections in Canada and Foreign Electoral Constituencies

Circular Note No. XDC-1264 of September 8, 2011

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (Office of Protocol) presents its compliments to Their Excellencies the Heads of Diplomatic Missions and notified Chargés d’affaires, a.i. accredited to Canada and has the honour to clarify the Government of Canada’s policy on both the conduct of foreign electoral related activities in Canada and foreign electoral constituencies.

The Department continues to encourage foreign States to allow citizens residing permanently or temporarily in Canada to exercise their right vote in their country of origin’s elections or referenda, namely via absentee ballot. The Department will also consider official requests from foreign States seeking to establish balloting stations within their recognized diplomatic missions or consular posts in order to facilitate the casting of votes. Official requests, which must specify the location of each balloting station, should be addressed to the Department’s Office of Protocol well in advance of the election or referendum.

It must be emphasized that, as a matter of policy, the Government of Canada will continue to refuse requests by foreign States to include Canada in their respective extraterritorial electoral constituencies. Also, the Department will not allow foreign governments to conduct election campaigns in Canada or establish foreign political parties and movements in Canada.

In keeping with the above, the Department relies upon the collaboration of all Heads of Diplomatic Missions to proactively verify and indicate whether their respective country has adopted, or foresees adopting, measures which include Canada as part of an electoral constituency in elections held in their respective country.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (Office of Protocol) avails itself of this opportunity to renew to Their Excellencies the Heads of Diplomatic Missions and notified Chargés d’affaires, a.i. accredited to Canada the assurances of its highest consideration.

OTTAWA, September 8, 2011

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Date Modified:
2012-10-09