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Supreme Court of Canada won’t hear challenge of 2015 Alberta election call

The Supreme Court of Canada is shown in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 10, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

The Supreme Court of Canada won’t hear a challenge of the former Alberta government’s decision to call an election in 2015.

A general election was held in Alberta in 2012 and based on the province’s Election Act, the next one was to take place between March 1 and May 31, 2016.

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Edmonton lawyer Tom Engel and Donald Rigney, who wanted to run as a candidate, went to court in March 2015 seeking a declaration that the Election Act prohibited an election call before the 2016 window.

A judge dismissed their application and Alberta’s Court of Appeal upheld the ruling.

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The appeal court saw no error in the original decision and said Rigney was not denied a meaningful chance to participate in the election.

The court found that even if the Election Act created a statutory expectation about when elections would normally be held, that does not evolve into a constitutional right that they will not be held at any other time.

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