By law, Canada’s next federal election will take place Oct. 19, 2015. But taking no chances, Elections Canada will be election-ready on March 1. The “readiness date” appeared in an Elections Canada tender last week for multimedia kits — including USB keys preloaded with information about political financing — for distribution to federal political parties. But that doesn’t mean the agency necessarily expects an election to occur before next Oct. 19, as called for in Canada’s fixed date election law, spokeswoman Diane Benson said. “That’s a regular part of planning,” Benson said. “You need to have readiness dates, because our mandate is to be ready.”
Though the law specifies a fixed date for the next election, it also states that nothing precludes the governor general from dissolving Parliament earlier than that, Benson noted. “You have to be ready.”
According to the tender document, Elections Canada wants to enter into a contract for 4,000 multimedia kits in January or February in order to meet the March 1 readiness date. It notes that time frames are “subject to change” and says Elections Canada “will endeavour” to provide one week’s notice of any change.
The multimedia kit tender is one of several election-related contracts posted recently by Elections Canada.