Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Gov. Canada photo) Premier Jason Kenney (Gov. Alta. photo)
A recall election is where voters can remove an elected official from office through a direct vote before that official’s term has ended.
Recalls are initiated after sufficient voters sign a petition and dates back to ancient history in Athenian democracy. Recall is used when any elected representative is perceived as not properly honouring their responsibilities.
Canada doesn’t have legislation allowing for recall elections at the federal level.
The only province with recall laws is British Columbia. A politician who has been in office 18 months can be recalled if 40 per cent of registered voters in the riding sign.
Alberta created recall legislation for MLAs in 1936 during William Aberhart’s Social Credit government but the legislation was repealed after a petition was introduced for the recall of Aberhart himself.
In 2020, the Kenney UCP government said they will introduce a bill allowing recall elections for MLA’s, municipal governments, and school boards. It is expected to be enacted in spring 2021.