In 1991, the Supreme Court confirmed that federal public service workers have a constitutional right to engage in political activity. Before that, the Public Service Employment Act did not allow these workers to take part in any political activities except casting their vote.
One of the hallmarks of a healthy democracy is the ability of citizens to participate freely and actively in determining who they elect to govern and make decisions on their behalf. During the 2019 federal election, PSAC members are encouraged to take an active role in exercising their democratic political rights by:
- Signing a candidate’s nomination papers.
- Wearing a party or candidate button in public.
- Placing an election sign on your property.
- Giving political opinions in public or elsewhere.
- Working as a canvasser for a political party or candidate.
- Working in a campaign office.
- Participating in the formation of party or candidate policies.
- Taking part in election-day activities on behalf of a party or candidate.
- Attending peaceful demonstrations on political topics.
- Soliciting funds from the public for political campaigns and parties.
- Attending a political convention as a delegate.
- Writing letters to the editor endorsing a candidate or party.
For some PSAC members — those covered by the Public Service Employment Act — some restrictions apply. None of the activities listed above should be carried out during your working hours.
There are also separate and special rules that apply if you wish to be a candidate in a federal, territorial, municipal or provincial election.