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Appointment of Chief Electoral Officer

Hon. Linda Frum: Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate.

In June of last year, nine months ago, former Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand announced he would step down from his position at the end of 2016. Despite ample advance notice provided by Mr. Mayrand, the government has yet to find a full-time replacement and is choosing instead to rely on the Deputy Chief Electoral Officer.

This coming Monday, there will be five federal by-elections held in the provinces of Alberta, Ontario and Quebec. That the government has not appointed a full-time Chief Electoral Officer to oversee these elections is concerning. Could the Leader of the Government in the Senate tell this chamber why the government has yet to appoint a new Chief Electoral Officer to preside over these by-elections and what is taking so long?

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): I thank the honourable senator for her question and concern on this matter. I want to express the confidence the government has in the acting Chief Electoral Officer as the institution has great depth and competence. With respect to the appointment of a permanent successor to Mr. Mayrand, I will report back.

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