About Manitoba's Commissioner of Elections

The Commissioner of Elections is an independent officer who is responsible for ensuring compliance with and enforcement of The Elections Act (EA) and The Election Financing Act (EFA). Non-compliance and enforcement matters relating to municipal or federal elections do not fall within the Commissioner's jurisdiction.

Generally speaking, the Commissioner's role involves taking corrective action when the law is infringed.

Amendments to The EA and The EFA that came into effect on December 13, 2006 created the position of Commissioner and transferred investigative and prosecutorial responsibilities from the Chief Electoral Officer.

The Commissioner is appointed under section 186 of The Elections Act and, although appointed by the Chief Electoral Officer, the Commissioner's authority is separate from and independent of the Chief Electoral Officer. The Chief Electoral Officer makes the appointment after consulting with the leaders of the political parties represented in the Assembly.

The current Commissioner: Bill Bowles

Bill Bowles is a lawyer and was a partner with Aikins, MacAulay and Thorvaldson for 15 years, where he practiced primarily in the areas of general commercial litigation and insurance law. Since 1998, Mr. Bowles has served as President of Almost Paper, Inc., a company that develops document management software for legal professionals.

His appointment as Commissioner of Elections became effective March 14, 2011.

The first Commissioner, Michael T. Green, was appointed in December 2006.