September 9, 2021 from 14h30-15h30 EDT

“Insights on the Canadian Electoral Process

Mr. Mike Donison and Deputy Speaker MP Bruce Stanton

Mr. Mike Donison summarized the rules governing the calling and the conduct of a Canadian federal general election. Deputy Speaker MP Bruce Stanton gave perspective from his experience as a five time successful candidate and spoke frankly about how his faith in Christ impacts his attitude. They addressed some of the major developments early in the election campaign, followed by a question and answer session.

The opinions expressed by the speakers and commentators at our events and posted on our website are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Christian Embassy.

"The webinar was helpful. It gave a great insight on how to better read the election results and background for some of us who are relatively new here in Canada."

Ambassador to Canada


0:00 – Introductory comments and introduction of Mr. Mike Donison and Deputy Speaker MP Bruce Stanton

Mr. Mike Donison

3:01 – Overview of the Canadian electoral process

8:26 – How does a Canadian federal election come about?

8:48 – Proclamation Dissolving Parliament

13:30 – Proclamation Issuing Election Writs

15:14 – Proclamation Summoning the House of Commons to Meet

17:14 – Explanation of First Pass the Post

18:15Allocation of Seats in the House of Commons

22:03House of Commons Seat Allocation by Province 20212 to 2022

Deputy Speaker Bruce Stanton

22:36 – On-the-ground perspective from a 5-time successful candidate

25:35 – 338 individual elections determining the winning party and the Prime Minister

27:10 – Optimal focus of a successful candidate

Question and Answer

33:19 – What did the election results of 2019 indicate about the different concerns across Canada?

39:10 – Can you comment on the difference between minority and coalition governments?

45:26 – If the current government is not re-elected, what authority does the government have during the transition period?

50:14 – What happens to foreign policy during an election campaign?

52:03 – What is the earliest date for an election after this one?

57:45 – Concluding Comments

Mr. Mike Donison

Mr. Donison was a political consultant and analyst for more than 20 federal and provincial elections. He has served in a number of political roles in Ottawa:

  • Deputy Director and then Director of Policy and Research in the Office of the Leader of the Opposition
  • Executive Director of the Conservative Party of Canada 
  • Senior Policy Advisor for Legislation and Democratic Reform to the Government House Leader.

He has worked with cabinet ministers, including as Assistant to the Minister of National Defence and Veterans’ Affairs in Ottawa (1979-80) and Ministerial Assistant to the Minister of Industry and Small Business Development in Victoria, B.C. (1980-82). 

Since 2011 he has served as the Chancellor of‎ the Anglican Network in Canada (ANIC). 

Mr. Donison is a graduate of the University of Victoria (Honours Political Science) and the University of British Columbia (Law). He practiced law, particularly in the areas of commercial, real estate and succession and estate law for 23 years and is still a member of the British Columbia Bar. He taught courses on Constitutional law, the Canadian Legal System and Canadian Government at the University of Victoria.

Mike and his wife Marilyn are enjoying retirement in Kelowna, B.C.

Deputy Speaker Bruce Stanton, M.P. — Simcoe North

On December 9, 2019, Bruce Stanton was appointed Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole for the 43rd Parliament. He also held this position in the 42nd Parliament. In accordance with recent practice, the Deputy Speaker generally avoids taking part in debate, but maintains the right to vote when not presiding over the House. In general, the Deputy Speaker does not sponsor private Members’ bills or motions. Mr. Stanton is a member of the Conservative Party. 

In the 41st Parliament, Mr. Stanton served as Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole. In the 40th Parliament, he was Chair of the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development and a member of the Liaison Committee. 

Prior to being elected to the House of Commons, Mr. Stanton worked in his family’s tourism business, which has been operating on Sparrow Lake for five generations since 1884. He is also past-president of Bayview Wildwood Resorts Limited and The Cottages at Port Stanton, on Sparrow Lake. Throughout his career, he served on the boards of several tourism organizations, including the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, Resorts Ontario, and Tourism Ontario. 

Mr. Stanton also served as a councillor for the Township of Severn, as a member of the Rotary Clubs of Orillia and Washago, and on the Board of the Orillia Community Futures Development Corporation. 

He and his wife Heather live near Coldwater, Ontario.