Thank you, Mr. Chair. I'm really pleased to be here today to discuss two topics: first, regarding a voting device that would allow disabled electors to cast ballots autonomously and secretly; and secondly, my report of recommendations following the last election.
With me today are Mr. Rennie Molnar, deputy chief electoral officer responsible for electoral events; Mr. François Bernier, deputy chief electoral officer responsible for political financing matters; and Mr. Stéphane Perrault, senior legal counsel at Elections Canada.
If you allow me, I'll talk briefly about what's called an AVD, assistive voting device. Some of you who visited our premises in June will recall that we had the opportunity to do a demonstration of equipment that would allow disabled electors to cast ballots without assistance, so autonomously, and cast their ballots secretly.
We are proposing this initiative in response to various responsibilities under the human rights legislation, as well as the United Nations international convention dealing with disabled people. This legislation encourages or requires that officials, when providing services, adapt their services to the particular circumstances, in our case, of electors. We have also received a number of requests from various disabled electors, or groups representing disabled electors, seeking alternative ways of casting ballots that would allow them to cast their ballots independently, without assistance from other individuals, and ensuring also thereby the secrecy of their vote.
The proposal that's before the committee builds on the experience that's been taking place both in Canada and very much also in the U.S., so the equipment has been well tested before. It's been used in the most recent general election in New Brunswick. It's going to be used in municipal elections that are taking place in many provinces across the country this fall, and it was used also in a pilot in Ontario last year.
We would like to test the device in a byelection, and there's one that has to be called by October 27 in Winnipeg North. The latest time it can be called would be October 27. Therefore we would like to get the authority of the committee, as required pursuant to section 18.1 of the act, to use that equipment in that riding. Particularly, we will deploy the equipment at the returning officer's office, at advance polls, in long-term-care facilities, and possibly at other sites that we will be able to identify through consultation with the local community.
I don't know if I need to add any more at this point. The committee is generally aware of the initiative. I'll be pleased to deal with any questions on this aspect.