As part of an investigation regarding a referendum approval process in Arrondissement Le Sud-Ouest, our office had concluded that the procedure followed was consistent with law requirements. We had nonetheless suggested some possible areas of improvement.


One of these suggestions related to the content of the public notice which is published in newspapers to invite citizens concerned by a referendum approval process to sign a register.


This notice mentions that in order to sign the register, the person has to be a qualified voter entitled to have his name entered on the referendum list and to sign the register. Yet, one of the requirements to qualify as such is to reside in one of the areas surrounding the project subject to a referendum. The notice already specified that in order to prove their identity, citizens could use their health insurance card, their driver’s license or their passport. It did not mention, however, that citizens could also be required to provide proof of their residential address.


In the complaint we had received, some people who had shown up with their health insurance card or their passport had not been authorized to sign the register because they could not provide evidence of their address. Following our intervention, the Borough committed to study the issue.


In 2013, the Borough confirmed that the wording of its public notice had been modified with the addition of the following:


Qualified voters must establish their identity by presenting their health insurance card delivered by the Régie de l’assurance-maladie du Québec, their driver’s license or probationary license on a plastic support delivered by the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec or their Canadian passport as well as a proof of residence or ownership, as appropriate.” (our translation)


We consider this modification as a significant improvement and may invite other Boroughs to follow suit so as to increase the clarity of their own public notices.

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