REPORT OF THE ELECTIONS COMMITTEE
ACTING AS ELECTION OVERSEERS
February 22, 2021
The Elections Committee of the Governing Council, in accordance with Section 4.3 of the Election Guidelines, 2021, met virtually as Election Overseers on Monday, February 22, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. with the following members present:
P.C. Choo, (Chair), Joan M. Johnston, Joanne McNamara, Mark Lautens
Ms. Tracey Gameiro, Secretary
Mr. Anwar Kazimi, Deputy Secretary of the Governing Council and Chief Returning Officer (CRO)
Ms Cindy Ferencz-Hammond, Assistant Secretary of the Governing Council and Deputy Returning Officer (DRO)
Mr. Patrick McNeill, Assistant Secretary of the Governing Council and Deputy Returning Officer (DRO)
Ms Emma Thacker, Assistant Secretary of the Governing Council and Deputy Returning Officer (DRO)
- Chair’s Remarks
The Chair welcomed members and guests to the meeting. The Chair explained that the meeting had been scheduled to consider an alleged violation in connection with the election for full-time undergraduate students Constituency II to the Governing Council.
- Overview of Mandate of Election Overseers
The Chair reminded members that part of the mandate of the Elections Committee, as stipulated in the Election Guidelines 2021, was to serve as Election Overseers and, in that capacity, to consider any question arising from the conduct of elections as outlined in the Guidelines. The decision of the Election Overseers in such matters was final and not subject to any further review or appeal.
- Presentation of Charge of Alleged Violation by the Chief Returning Officer
Mr. Kazimi, the Chief Returning Officer (CRO) presented the charges to the Elections Committee Acting as Election Overseers. On Friday, February 19, 2021 at 7:47 a.m., the CRO received an email from a member of the community regarding the Respondent, a full-time undergraduate student candidate in the election for the Governing Council Full-time Undergraduate Students – Constituency II (professional faculties).
This allegation was substantiated with a link to the Respondent’s campaign posting and with photographic evidence. The Respondent was informed via email to cease this action immediately. The CRO also attempted to contact the Respondent by telephone at 8:02 a.m. At 9:54 a.m. the Respondent replied to the CRO’s email. In the ensuing communication, the Respondent admitted to the alleged conduct. The Respondent was informed that the matter would be brought before the Election Overseers.
Mr. Kazimi explained that the Respondent had signed a nomination form on January 22, 2021 to participate in the election as a candidate, wherein the Respondent agreed to abide by the Election Guidelines 2021. The Respondent had also attended an information session for candidates on January 27, 2021, during which campaign rules and campaign violations were discussed.
Mr. Kazimi then presented his recommendation that the Respondent be disqualified from the election with immediate effect and that all votes cast in the Respondent’s favour be null and void. He further recommended that any campaign expenses incurred by the Respondent in connection with the candidacy be eliminated.
The Chair invited the Respondent to address the allegations. The Respondent admitted to the allegations, and expressed as a desire to remain as a candidate in the election.
The Committee moved in camera.
- Deliberation by Election Overseers
The CRO was consulted on procedural matters pertaining to the Election Guidelines 2021. Following deliberation, the Committee reached the following decision:
- That the Respondent be disqualified from the election with immediate effect and that all votes cast in the Respondent’s favour be null and void.
- That any campaign expenses incurred by the Respondent in connection with the Respondent’s candidacy be eliminated.
- That the Respondent’s name be redacted from the report of the meeting of the Election Overseers.
The meeting adjourned at 1:57 p.m.
February 23, 2021