[Elections Canada]

Commissioner of Canada Elections
Commissaire aux élections fédérales

 May 16, 1997
File: 1033-12-E97-16-E-1

Without prejudice

Online Direct Inc.
5415 Dundas Street West
Suite 200
Etobicoke, Ontario
M9B 1B5

Sir, Madam:

The Commissioner of Canada Elections is the official responsible for ensuring that the Canada Elections Act is complied with and enforced.

As your May 12, 1997 news release and documentation found on your Internet site, http://www.polldirect.com, were brought to my attention, I write to inform you that section 322.1 of the Canada Elections Act states the following:

No person shall broadcast, publish, or disseminate the results of an opinion survey respecting how electors will vote at an election or respecting an election issue that would permit the identification of a political party or candidate from midnight the Friday before polling day until the close of all polling stations.
During the present election, this "blackout" period is from midnight Friday, May 30, 1997 until the closing of all polling stations on Monday, June 2, 1997.

On May 7, 1997 the Supreme Court of Canada refused to suspend the 1996 decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal, Thomsons Newspapers Co. v. Canada (Attorney General). This case upheld the constitutional validity of section 322.1 of the Act. It, therefore follows that this section has full force and effect. I trust you will find this information to be helpful.

Yours Truly,
Raymond A. Landry
The Commissioner of Canada Elections

257 Slater Street, Ottawa, Canada, K1A 0M6
(613) 998-4051 / Fax: (613) 990-4877 / 1-800-267-7360