Court of Queens Bench of Alberta  
Citation: Anglin v Resler, 2022 ABQB 477  
Date: 20220711  
Docket: 1703 06642  
Registry: Edmonton  
Joseph V. Anglin  
- and -  
Glen L. Resler, in his capacity as Chief Electoral Officer, Her Majesty the Queen in right of  
Alberta, Pieter Broere, John Doe, and Richard Roe  
Reasons for Judgment  
of the  
Honourable Justice M. J. Lema  
A. Introduction  
An incumbent MLA defeated in the 2015 provincial election alleges the Chief Electoral  
Officer interfered in his campaign (causing his defeat) and otherwise maliciously prosecuted him,  
abusing the CEO’s public office and abusing process generally. He seeks damages exceeding $2.2  
The CEO applies to strike out the claims against him.  
Page: 2  
I find for the CEO and strike all the claims.  
B. Unfair-election positions  
Mr. Joseph Anglin (“Anglin”), an incumbent MLA defeated in the 2015 provincial  
election, contends that the Chief Electoral Officer ruined his campaign via (in part) unnecessary  
investigations into campaign-sign information, unwarranted conclusions of off-side signs, and the  
accordingly unjustified removal of some, many or possibly all his signs before the election.  
He sued the CEO (and others), alleging (among other things):  
During the 2015 election, [the CEO], or agents or employees acting on his behalf  
and on his authority:  
required [him] to cover over the letters “M.L.A.” on signs reading “Re-  
Elect Joe Anglin M.L.A.” when there was no law that prevented these  
letters being used;  
required [him] to cover over sponsorship information on signs with the  
same information of a larger size, when there was no law requiring the  
sponsorship information to be of a larger size;  
(iii) commented to the media that [his] signs were illegal;  
worked with individuals who were supporting candidates that were  
opposed to [him];  
authorized or allowed these individuals, or other individuals, to remove  
[his] signs contrary to the law;  
authorized or allowed these individuals, or other individuals, to damage  
[his] signs, contrary to the law; and  
(vii) singled out [his] signs, which were legal, when many other candidates had  
signs that did not comply with the Election Act.  
In undertaking these actions, [the CEO] worked together with [other people] in a  
common goal [namely] to create an unfair advantage for Anglin’s opponents and  
to deny him a fair election and his chance of re-election.  
In undertaking these actions, and assisting [those others], [the CEO] exercised  
public powers for an improper or ulterior motive, knowing it was likely to cause  
harm to Anglin and his chances of being re-elected.  
… [The CEO] knew or should have known that his actions would probably injure  
Anglin with respect to his chances of being re-elected, or he was subjectively and  
recklessly indifferent with respect to the outcome of his actions.  
In fact, the actions of [the CEO and those others] had a negative impact on Anglin’s re-  
election chances and he was not re-elected.  
He seeks damages for, among other things:  
Page: 3  
“$400,000 for the loss of a chance of being re-elected due to the wrongful  
interference with the election”;  
“$400,000 for loss of future employment”; and  
“punitive or exemplary damages in the amount of $1,000,000” for “interfering  
with the fairness of [the] election.”  
In (partial) response, the CEO points to the controverted-elections provisions of the  
Election Act, seen (by him) as the only means of challenging an election perceived as unfair. With  
Anglin having not pursued such a challenge, and with one no longer possible (timing-wise), his  
collateral challenge via the present lawsuit must fail.  
Anglin’s counsel calls this a “straw man” argument, saying that:  
[He] is not contesting the validity of the election itself, and accordingly his claim  
is not covered by the controverted elections provisions of the Election Act.  
Instead, his claim is for damages – and [the CEO’s] actions during the 2015  
election are only part of the claim that [the CEO] abused his public office, abused  
the process and maliciously prosecuted Anglin.  
His counsel elaborates:  
[The CEO] argues that “It is an abuse of process for an election candidate to  
attempt to circumvent the statutory process in place for challenging the fairness of  
an election by bringing a private action …” However, Anglin is not contesting the  
Instead of trying to invalidate the election through a collateral process, Anglin’s  
claim relies upon the fact of the election result. The results of the election, in  
part, support Anglin’s claim.  
The Supreme Court of Canada dealt with this distinction in TeleZone Inc.  
[Canada (Attorney General) v TeleZone Inc, 2010 SCC 62]. In this case  
TeleZone had applied for a communication service licence, and sued when it  
failed to be granted such a licence. In response to an argument that its claim  
constituted a collateral attack, the Supreme Court rejected the argument,  
Secondly, TeleZone is not seeking to “avoid the consequences of  
[the ministerial] order issued against it.” (Garland, at para 72). On  
the contrary, the ministerial order and the financial losses allegedly  
consequent on that order constitute the foundation of the damages  
claim. This was the result in Garland itself, where Iacobucci J.  
held for the Court:  
Based on a plain reading of this rule, the doctrine of  
collateral attack does not apply in this case because  
here the specific object of the appellant’s action is  
not to invalidate or render inoperative the Board’s  
orders, but rather to recover money that was  
Page: 4  
illegally collected by the respondent as a result of  
Board orders. Consequently, the collateral attack  
doctrine does not apply. … [Emphasis added; para.  
It is important to emphasize that [the CEO’s] action during the 2015 election is  
only a part of the alleged abuse. When seen as a whole, which includes not only  
the taking down of signs but also the investigation, prosecution and decision  
against Anglin on the sponsorship issue as the only remaining basis that supports  
that decision, it is clear that even if Anglin were obliged to bring a controverted  
election petition[,] it would not deal at all with the facts in this particular case.  
The actions that [the CEO] took during the election and his subsequent campaign  
against Anglin through three separate proceedings, are indivisible and his claim  
for damages simply cannot be dealt with [under] the controverted election  
provisions of the Election Act.  
In TeleZone the Supreme Court made this comment which is applicable in this  
This appeal is fundamentally about access to justice. People who  
claim to be injured by government action should have whatever  
redress the legal system permits through procedures that minimize  
unnecessary cost and complexity. The Court’s approach should be  
practical and pragmatic with that objective in mind.  
If a claimant seeks to set aside the order of a federal decision maker, it will have  
to proceed by judicial review, as the Grenier court held. However, if the claimant  
is content to let the order stand and instead seeks a compensation for alleged  
losses (as here), there is no principled reason why it should be forced to detour to  
the Federal Court for the extra step of a judicial review application (itself  
sometimes a costly undertaking) when that is not the relief it seeks. Access to  
justice requires that the claimant be permitted to pursue its chosen remedy directly  
and, to the greatest extent possible, without procedural detours. (emphasis added)  
[footnote omitted]  
C. Controverted-elections process exclusive remedy for alleged unfair election  
[10] Anglin is wrong. His lawsuit is in large part an attempt to bypass the (applicable)  
controverted-elections process.  
Anglin alleges unfair election  
[11] Anglin’s core allegations are that the CEO’s campaign-sign-related decisions and actions,  
allegedly including CEO-directed-or-authorized-or-encouraged removal of some or all of his  
campaign signs before the election, resulted in an unfair election i.e. gave an unwarranted edge to  
the other candidates and, in fact, led to his defeat.  
[12] He says that “but for” that interference, he would have won the election. Per para 10 of his  
statement of claim: “… the actions of [the CEO] [and others] had a negative impact on Anglin’s  
re-election chances and he was not re-elected.”  
Page: 5  
[13] His claim for damages for that alleged loss would require this Court to investigate alleged  
unfairness in the election process.  
No jurisdiction to hear unfair-election case outside of controverted-election process  
[14] That inquiry is expressly or implicitly limited to the controverted-elections process.  
[15] Here I adopt and endorse the CEO’s submissions on this point:  
The Election Act provides a very specific statutory mechanism for challenging the  
validity of elections – an application to the Court of Queen’s Bench under Part 7 –  
“… to void an election by reason of the undue return or undue election of a  
candidate as the member of the Legislative Assembly for an electoral division.”  
The concept of “undue return or undue election” is extremely broad. J. Patrick  
Boyer in his text [Election Law in Canada at p 1057] says:  
As to what constitutes an “undue” election or return, the generality  
of this expression allows for the inclusion of any type of  
wrongdoing or lack of legal capacity which can be said to have  
resulted in an election that was not valid.  
The statutory process has a tight time limitation, requiring the petition to be filed  
within 30 days of the formal publication of the election results in the Alberta  
Gazette. Standing to bring the petition is limited to electors and a defeated  
candidate in the affected electoral division.  
Outside the parameters of the Election Act, the Court does not have the  
jurisdiction to question or impugn the results of an election. The Saskatchewan  
Court of Appeal has said:  
The legislatures of the provinces have exclusive inherent  
jurisdiction to deal with election issues. The jurisdiction of the  
courts is limited to that conferred upon them by legislative  
enactments. [para 24] [emphasis added by CEO]  
[And in dealing with elections, the Court]  
… is not exercising the court’s ordinary civil or criminal  
jurisdiction. Parliament or the legislature, as the case may be, is  
the guardian of its own prerogatives and privileges and the courts  
have nothing to do with questions affecting membership except  
insofar as they have been specifically designated by law to act in  
such matters. [para 26] [emphasis added by CEO] [Lorje v  
Karwacki, 1999 12345 (SKCA)]  
In pursuing this claim, [Anglin] seeks to have this Court relieve him from the  
obligations of challenging the fairness of the 2015 Election through the process  
set out in Part 7 of the Election Act and assess the value of a lost political  
opportunity. Neither of these are forms of relief that this Court may order.  
The claim is an abuse of process for two reasons:  
Page: 6  
a. if [Anglin] wished to challenge the fairness of the 2015 Election, his  
recourse was to file a petition to void the election pursuant to Part 7 of the  
Election Act. ... [various deadlines outlined]  
The purpose of these short deadlines is to ensure that challenges to election results  
are resolved in a timely fashion and the integrity of the Assembly preserved.  
Where a petition … is successful, the election result will be voided. Nowhere do  
the controverted election provisions … provide that a petitioner has any right to  
relief other than the voiding of the election. The legislation requires that this type  
of challenge be dealt with quickly and finally. Litigation about the validity of  
elections outside the parameters of the Election Act can undermine the legitimacy  
of the Assembly.  
b. It is an abuse of process for [Anglin] to seek to do indirectly that which he  
is proscribed from doing directly challenging an election process outside  
the statutorily mandated process. This is in substance a collateral attack  
on the final election result. If [Anglin’s] action is permitted to continue,  
this Court will be inquiring into facts surrounding the propriety of the  
2015 Election many years later [now seven] after any proper challenge to  
the 2015 Election would have been decided.  
… It is an abuse of process for an election candidate to attempt to circumvent the  
statutory process in place for challenging the fairness of an election by bringing a  
private action against the [CEO].  
Legislatures have conferred limited election-review jurisdiction on the courts  
[16] This expanded excerpt from Lorje v Karwacki (cited above) further illuminates the Court’s  
limited election-issues jurisdiction:  
The legislatures of the provinces have exclusive inherent jurisdiction to deal  
with election issues. The jurisdiction of the courts is limited to that conferred  
upon them by legislative enactments: see for example, In Re Pinto  
Creek Elections, 1912 182 (SK QB), [1912] 3 W.W.R. 33. In that case,  
Lamont J., in dismissing a motion for mandamus directed to the District Court  
Judge at Moose Jaw reiterated the governing principle at p. 35:  
The same question came before the courts of the North West  
Territories in the case of In re Dubuc, 3 W.L.R. 248. There an  
application was made to compel the clerk of the Executive Council  
for the province of Alberta to give notice in the official gazette of  
the election of the applicant Dubuc as a member of the first  
legislative assembly of Alberta for the electoral district of Peace  
River. Mr. Justice Scott, before whom the matter came, following  
the cases above cited, held that the court had no jurisdiction to  
grant the application. At p. 251 he said:  
The jurisdiction of this court is limited to the  
jurisdiction exercised by the superior courts of civil  
and criminal jurisdiction in England, and, as none of  
those courts have, in the absence of a statutory  
Page: 7  
enactment conferring it, jurisdiction over matters  
pertaining to elections to the House of Commons  
there, I do not see that this court can, in the  
absence of any such enactment, exercise any such  
jurisdiction over matters pertaining to elections  
in the legislature of this province.  
These authorities make it very clear that the Supreme Court of this  
province has no jurisdiction to compel the judge of a district court  
to hold a recount under “The Saskatchewan Elections Act” unless  
that jurisdiction has been expressly given to the court by the  
This principle was recognized by Bence C.J.Q.B. in Byers v  
Bjarnson (1968), 1968 489 (SK QB), 63 W.W.R. 253. Also see:  
May: Parliamentary Practice (17th ed.) 1964 at 175-184 and the joint opinion of  
Bayda C.J.S. and Cameron J.A. in Storey v Zazelenchuk (1985), 1984  
2426 (SK CA), 36 Sask. R. 103 (C.A.) at 123.  
I am of the opinion that a judge presiding over a recount is not exercising the  
court’s ordinary civil or criminal jurisdiction. Parliament or the legislature, as  
the case may be, is the guardian of its own prerogatives and privileges and  
the courts have nothing to do with questions affecting membership except  
insofar as they have been specifically designated by law to act in such  
matters. This principle was succinctly summed up by Turgeon J.A. in Lamb v  
McLeod (1932), 1931 196 (SK CA), 1 W.W.R. 206 at 208:  
. . . In acting in cases of election petitions, the Court is not  
exercising its ordinary civil or criminal jurisdiction. The  
Assembly is the guardian of its own prerogatives and  
privileges, and the Courts have nothing to do with questions  
affecting its membership except in so far as they have been  
specially designated by law to act in such matters. . . Therefore,  
the Courts will always approach questions concerning their  
jurisdiction over election contests with great caution, as being  
unwilling to interfere without undoubted authority. . .  
Although Lamb v McLeod was delivered in the context of a petition  
under The Controverted Elections Act, the principle articulated is apposite when  
dealing with election recounts before a Queen’s Bench judge.  
The same principle was adopted in Davis v Barlow (1910), 1910 303  
(MB QB), 15 W.L.R. 49 at 51 where Mathers C.J.K.B. stated:  
A very serious question here arises as to the jurisdiction of the  
Court otherwise and under the Controverted Elections Act to  
interfere in any way with the return of a member either to  
Parliament or the Legislative Assembly. Until comparatively  
recent times, all controversies respecting the return of members  
were decided by the House to which the member had been  
Page: 8  
returned, and the House of Commons always jealously guarded its  
jurisdiction in this respect from interference from outside. By  
the Controverted Elections Act power was delegated to Courts  
thereby constituted to deal with disputed elections in the manner  
therein specified. General jurisdiction over the return of members  
was not by these Acts conferred upon the Courts. No case has  
been cited to me, and I have found none, in which the Court  
has assumed directly to interfere with the return of a member  
of the legislature otherwise than under the Controverted  
Elections Act. In my opinion, the jurisdiction to do so is  
confined to the Courts established by those Acts. . .  
Also see: Manitoba Law Reform Commission, Controverted Elections, (1980),  
particularly at p. 6 and Moore v Kennard (1882-83), 10 Q.B.D. 290.  
In Storey v Zazelenchuk (1983), 1982 2431 (SK QB), 21 Sask. R. 158 at  
161-2, Estey J. summarized the approach that must be followed by the courts  
in election issues in this way:  
The position of the court in matters pertaining to an election was  
referred to by Culliton, C.J.S., at p. 399, when he quotes from  
Turgeon, J.A., (later C.J.S.), in Lamb v McLeod, 1931 196  
(SK CA), [1932] 1 W.W.R. 206, at p. 208 [para 6]:  
In acting in cases of election petitions, the  
court is not exercising its ordinary civil or  
criminal jurisdiction. The assembly is the  
guardian of its own prerogatives and privileges,  
and the courts have nothing to do with questions  
affecting its membership except in so far as they  
have been specially designated by law to act in  
such matters: Re Prince Albert Provincial  
Election; Strachan v Lamont (1906), 3 W.L.R. 571,  
affirmed 4 W.L.R. 411 (N.W.T. A.C.). Therefore,  
the courts will always approach questions  
concerning their jurisdiction over election  
contests with great caution, as being unwilling to  
interfere without undoubted authority.  
The position of courts in this province in election matters is  
that the approach must be one of care and caution and the  
exercising only of that authority which is clearly set out in the  
statute. . .[paras 21-30] [emphasis added]  
[17] See also Friesen v Hammell, 1997 2903 (BCSC) (Williams CJSC):  
I would adopt the language of Mr. Maingot [in Parliamentary Privilege in  
Canada (Toronto: Butterworths, 1982 at 161-162], above, that the Courts should  
not deal with questions affecting membership "except insofar as they have  
been specially delegated by law to act in such matters".  
Page: 9  
The Election Act specially designates this Court to deal with those questions where  
election offences are alleged and accordingly I conclude that the Court does not lack  
jurisdiction on the basis of Parliamentary privilege. [paras 24 and 25] [emphasis added]  
Applying those principles here  
[18] Applying the guidance of those cases, which underpin the CEO’s analysis adopted above,  
I find that Anglin’s recourse for an election perceived to have been unfair is limited to the  
controverted-elections process or any mechanism (not identified by him) offered by the Legislature  
itself i.e. does not include a damages action in this Court, with such not provided for in the Election  
[19] If the election was conducted fairly, no controverted-election recourse is available. If it was  
conducted unfairly, void-election recourse may be available under the controverted-election  
provisions. If such recourse were available (or possibly available) under those provisions but was  
not pursued, the effective result is an election implicitly deemed to have been conducted fairly i.e.  
with no challenge brought to it.  
[20] There is no halfway position i.e. of an election regarded as unfair but left unchallenged,  
with “unfairness” recourse elsewhere.  
[21] Anglin faced a choice here: challenge the election for its perceived unfairness, per the  
controverted-election process, or let it be.  
[22] He chose not to challenge it via that process.  
[23] The result is that no “election was unfair” recourse is available via that process (too late  
now, in view of the controverted-election-process deadlines) or otherwise at all.  
[24] This conclusion is reinforced by the potential availability (i.e. at the time) of controverted-  
election relief for perceived shortcomings in the administration of the election, as alleged by  
Anglin here and as discussed below.  
Wide breadth of “undue return or undue election”  
[25] The controverted-election process was available to Anglin here.  
[26] His counsel asserted in argument that it was limited to phenomena such as ballot stuffing  
i.e. did not extend to the overall administration of the election e.g. rulings on and removal of  
campaign signs.  
[27] However, the Election Act does not build any fences around the open-ended concepts of  
“undue return” or “undue election” as they are used in Part 7 (“Controverted elections” – ss 185  
to 201).  
[28] Neither the phrase “undue return or undue election” nor either of its elements is defined in  
or otherwise circumscribed by the Election Act.  
Page: 10  
[29] The wide breadth of those elements and the phrase overall is confirmed by the catalogue  
of matters implicitly acknowledged as potential “undue return” or “undue election” phenomena in  
s. 202 of the Election Act (“Certain irregularities excused”):  
No election is void by reason of an irregularity, failure, non-compliance or  
mistake, including  
(a) an irregularity on the part of an election officer or in any of  
the proceedings preliminary to the vote,  
(b) a failure to hold a vote at any place appointed for holding a  
(c) a non-compliance with the provisions of this Act relating to  
the taking of the vote or the counting of the votes or with  
regard to limitations of time, or  
(d) any mistake in the use of the prescribed forms,  
if it is shown to the satisfaction of the Court that the irregularity, failure,  
non-compliance or mistake did not materially affect the result of the election.  
[30] Besides the “undue return or undue election” bases for an election being void (per s. 185  
EA and related provisions in Part 7), the other EA bases are limited to an elected candidate  
disclaiming his or her election win (s. 139), “corrupt practices by a candidate” (s. 178), and  
“corrupt practices by a candidate’s official agent” (s. 179).  
[31] Those additional bases are obviously not synonymous with or at least obviously not  
exhaustive of the phenomena identified in s. 202.  
[32] Accordingly, at least some of those phenomena fall within the scope of what would  
otherwise (i.e. without the saving provision) be examples of “undue returns” or “undue elections.”  
[33] In any case, the closing words of paragraph 202(a) – “any irregularity … in any of the  
proceedings preliminary to the vote” – are clearly broad enough to include any irregularity (i.e.  
deviation from the norm) in the election campaign e.g. including a candidate’s signs being ruled  
out of bounds when they should not have been or, in any case, being removed when they should  
not have been (assuming such conduct here).  
Cases confirm potential reach of controverted-election remedy to election officials’  
[34] Many cases confirm the potential reach of an “undue return” or “undue election” challenge  
(or equivalent) to conduct-of-election matters, including the conduct of election officials. See, for  
Flookes v Shrake, 1989 3220 (ABQB) (Medhurst J.): “The [found-to-be-  
immaterial] irregularities complained about in this election for the most part were  
the result of breaches or failures to comply with the Act on the part of the election  
officials” (para 81);  
Page: 11  
Inman v Kennedy, 1997 23589 (NBCA) (para 55) (examination of  
various voting-day decisions by election officials on voter eligibility);  
Re Jackman and Stollery et al, 1980 1674 (ON SC) (Cory J. as he then  
was), holding that the federal Chief Electoral Officer’s actions and decisions  
could be the subject of an election-challenge decision (from “The second question  
for consideration …” to the end). [I note that, unlike in that case, the Alberta  
Election Act does not define “election officer” as including the Chief Electoral  
Officer (see the respective definitions in paras 1(1)(h.1) and (i)); however, the Act  
does not restrict pre-election “proceedings” (per para 202(a)) to those of “election  
officials” or otherwise carve out proceedings involving the CEO]; and  
Patterson v District of Kent, 2008 BCSC 352 (Myers J.) (too-close-to-polling-  
station campaign signs found to be an immaterial irregularity) (para 38).  
Comparable approaches in other countries  
[35] Comparable approaches (treating election-official conduct as potential grounds for election  
challenges) are seen in the U.S.A., as described by Professor Steven F Huefner (Ohio State  
University) in Remedying Election Wrongs, (2007) 44 Harv J. on Legis. 263 at pp 273-275, and in  
New Zealand, per Professor Andrew Geddis (University of Otaga), in Resolving Disputed  
Elections in Canada and New Zealand, David Aspen Centre for Constitutional Rights, Toronto,  
24 October 2012 (pp 23 and 24, including “… the [New Zealand] courts are permitted to examine  
whether the overall conduct of the election was in compliance with the law and, at least in some  
situations, invalidate the result if it fails to meet with those requirements”).  
Anglin did not present contrary election-review cases  
[36] Anglin did not offer any case suggesting a narrower reading of “undue return” or “undue  
election” or, in any case, ruling or even suggesting that they, or at least one of them, would not  
cover conduct-of-election activities by election officials.  
TeleZone distinguishable  
[37] As for Anglin’s reliance on TeleZone (cited above):  
1. in that case, the remedy sought (damages for wrongful denial of a communication  
licence) was not inconsistent with the underlying administrative decision (to award  
licences to four other applicants). TeleZone was not attacking, and did not need to  
attack, that decision as part of its action i.e. to argue that it too should have received a  
license. Its focus was the narrow aspect of its own exclusion; and  
2. the Supreme Court expressly found that the provincial superior court had jurisdiction  
to explore and rule on TeleZone’s damages claim.  
[38] In the present (election) case, there can be only one winner. And there is an obvious  
inconsistency in a defeated candidate saying, on the one hand, “I am not challenging the election;  
I recognize the winning candidate as such” and, on the other “I am entitled to damages for election  
unfairness causing my loss” i.e. effectively, “I am the true winner.”  
Page: 12  
[39] That would create the spectre of two winning candidates: one ostensibly elected, the other  
effectively anointed by the Court, via a “wrongful loss” damages award, as the actual winner,  
albeit not seated in the Legislature.  
[40] And, as explained above, the Court has no jurisdiction over claims rooted in perceived  
election unfairness beyond that conferred in the controverted-elections provisions of the Election  
[41] Accordingly, the TeleZone principles do not apply here.  
No injunction sought  
[42] To the extent an injunction may have been available to push back the election in the  
electoral district in question (as was granted, in a municipal election, in Dunne v Patten, 2022  
NLSC 96) e.g. until the propriety of the CEO’s sign-related decisions had been determined and,  
as applicable, his signs reinstated, Anglin did not pursue one.  
Conclusion on unfair-election allegations  
[43] As explained, Anglin’s allegations of election unfairness could only anchor, or potentially  
anchor, a controverted-election challenge.  
[44] This Court has no jurisdiction to entertain an unfair-election lawsuit i.e. outside of that  
[45] Accordingly, the following paragraphs are struck from Anglin’s statement of claim:  
Paragraph 6 (description of various campaign-sign-related activities);  
Paragraph 7 (“In undertaking these [campaign-sign-related decisions and  
actions], Resler worked together with [others] [toward] a common goal.  
[Their] intention was to create an unfair advantage for Anglin’s opponents  
and to deny him a fair election and his chance of re-election);  
Paragraph 8 (“In undertaking these actions, and in assisting [those others],  
Resler exercised public powers for an improper or ulterior motive, knowing  
that it was likely to cause harm to Anglin and his chances of being re-  
Paragraph 9 (“… Resler knew or should have known that his actions would  
probably injure Anglin with respect to his chances of being re-elected, or he  
was subjectively and recklessly indifferent with respect [to] the outcome of  
his actions”);  
Paragraph 10 (“In fact, the actions of Resler [and others] had a negative  
impact on Anglin’s re-election chances and he was not re-elected”);  
Paragraph 15 (“As a result of the actions of Resler [and others] during the  
2015 election campaign, Anglin suffered the following damages: … (iii)  
$400,000 for the loss of a chance of being re-elected due to the wrongful  
Page: 13  
interference with the election; and (iv) $400,000 for loss of future  
employment”); and  
Paragraph 17 (“The actions of Resler of interfering with the fairness of an  
election, when he is specifically tasked with the responsibility of ensuring fair  
elections, should be condemned by this court with the award of punitive or  
exemplary damages” and paragraph 20 (“Punitive or exemplary damages in  
the amount of $1,000,000”).  
D. Alleged post-election CEO misconduct  
[46] Anglin also alleges malicious prosecution, abuse of public office and abuse of process by  
the CEO in the form of various investigations and what he calls “prosecutions” (actually,  
administrative-penalty proceedings) conducted in the aftermath of the election.  
[47] Here are his statement-of-claim allegations:  
Subsequent to the 2015 election, Resler, without reasonable and probable cause or  
for a purpose other than that of carrying the law into effect, instigated a series of  
investigations and prosecutions into Anglin regarding alleged breaches of the  
Election Act. These included an investigation and prosecution:  
into Anglin’s use of the letters “M.L.A.” during the  
into Anglin’s sponsorship information during the  
election; [and]  
into [Anglin’s] use or misuse of a List of Electors.  
The investigation and prosecution into the use of the letters “M.L.A.” was shown  
to be without merit.  
Resler investigated and prosecuted Anglin to the point of conviction for a breach  
of section 134 of the Election Act with regard to the sponsorship information:  
i. for failing to have his sponsorship information in a  
particular size, where there was no law imposing this  
ii. for failing to put sponsorship information on some signs,  
where there was no evidence to support this finding; and,  
iii. for failing to put a telephone number contact in the  
sponsorship information, where there was no evidence to  
support this finding and where the finding was made without  
any opportunity for Anglin to defend himself.  
Resler investigated and prosecuted Anglin to the point of conviction for a breach  
of section 19.1 of the Election Act for failing to “take all reasonable steps to  
protect the list and the information contained in it from loss and  
unauthorized use”;  
Page: 14  
i. where the List of Electors was neither lost nor sustained  
unauthorized use;  
ii. where the decision that Anglin had not undertaken all  
reasonable steps was contrary to evidence; and,  
iii. where Resler’s interpretation of the word “reasonable”  
imposed an impossibly high and illegal requirement on Anglin.  
Resler knew or should have known that there were no factual or legal bases to  
undertake these investigations and prosecutions or he had a subjective and  
reckless indifference with respect to whether the factual or legal bases existed.  
Resler knew or should have known that his actions would probably injure  
Anglin, or he was subjectively and recklessly indifferent with respect to the  
outcome of his actions. [emphasis added]  
[48] Anglin focuses on what he sees as four discrete investigations or at least allegations by the  
at least some of his campaign signs lacked all necessary sponsorship  
his campaign signs featured the letters “M.L.A.”;  
at least some of his signs featured sponsorship information in too-small text;  
the “List of Electors” aspect.  
[49] I address each in turn  
Allegation of complete lack of sponsorship information on some signs  
[50] The details of this allegations are unclear. What is clear is that the CEO did not pursue any  
administrative penalty proceeding or prosecution against Anglin in respect of any such allegation  
i.e. through to conclusion.  
[51] Anglin himself (per his application brief) implicitly acknowledges the inconsequential  
nature of this aspect:  
When [the CEO] released his decision in the Sponsorship proceeding, Anglin  
learned that there was in fact a fourth proceeding, post 2015 election, against him  
because [the CEO] had come to the conclusion that Anglin also had signs without  
any sponsorship information. Although Anglin had previously not been given any  
notice of this investigation, at the appeal of the Sponsorship proceeding [the  
CEO] conceded that there was in fact no evidence of signs without sponsorship  
[52] Whatever the CEO’s initial or tentative concerns here, no penalty, prosecution or other  
adverse-to-Anglin steps were taken here.  
[53] This was a non-event, adding nothing to Anglin’s post-election-focused arguments.  
Page: 15  
M.L.A.-on-signs aspect  
[54] Anglin says that [t]he proceeding involving the use of the letters MLA was eventually  
resolved in Anglin’s favour. Accordingly, one of the main reasons for [the CEO] taking down  
Anglin’s side no longer existed.”  
[55] The CEO says (per his brief) that “[he] took no action after his investigation into [Anglin’s]  
representations to the public that he was an MLA after the dissolution of the Legislature” (Affidavit  
of Glen Resler filed April 28, 2017 in action no. 1603 14130, para 14, Court and Public Documents,  
Tab D).  
[56] Accordingly, this is another non-event, in the sense of no administrative penalty levied and  
no prosecution pursued.  
Investigation re text-size-guideline violations  
[57] The CEO investigated and determined that some of Anglin’s campaign signs breached  
certain text-size guidelines issued by his office.  
[58] As a result of that finding, some (at least 25) of the offending signs were removed,  
apparently by CEO staff persons.  
[59] Anglin initially argued that more like 70 to 100 of his signs were removed; later, he asserted  
that all his campaign signs (approximately 2,000) were removed.  
[60] More fundamentally, Anglin argued that the signs did not breach the Guidelines or, in any  
case, that the Guidelines did not have the force of law and could not be the basis for the removal  
of any signs.  
[61] Here is how Anglin summarized this aspect (per his application brief, filed May 24, 2018  
i.e. before certain other proceedings, discussed below):  
With regard to the allegation regard[ing] the size of the sponsorship information,  
Resler bases his claim not on the Election Act but on a Guideline that he himself  
has written. He has admitted in his decision that this Guideline is not part of the  
Act, and he only has authority to punish for a contravention of the “provisions of  
the Act.” Moreover, it is clear that this Guideline is not law and that is the issue  
that is currently before the Alberta Court of Appeal.  
[62] Anglin had brought judicial-review proceedings in respect of the CEO’s “breach-of-  
Guidelines-and-sign-removal” decisions, which were heard by Clackson J.  
[63] In Anglin v Alberta (Chief Electoral Officer), 2017 ABQB 595, Clackson J. ruled in the  
CEO’s favour:  
In my view, the Chief Electoral Officer was merely fact finding in fulfilling his  
mandate. By virtue of s 134(2)(a), an advertisement must include the sponsor’s  
name, contact information and some form of statement that the sponsor authorizes  
the advertisement. Logically, that information must be visible and intelligible.  
Page: 16  
For instance a microscopic distributed hieroglyph would plainly be inadequate.  
To determine what is adequate, the potential advertiser and sponsor may rely  
upon the advice of the Chief Electoral Officer. That advice is contained in the  
guidelines. Those same guidelines make it plain that to meet the objectives of  
visibility and intelligibility, specific steps must be followed. If those steps are not  
followed, then, depending on the circumstances, the Chief Electoral Officer may  
act in a number of ways to bring about compliance. Having created and  
published guidelines, it is reasonable for the Chief Electoral Officer to act  
when an advertisement does not meet the guidelines. The choice to act and  
the action taken are guided by the guidelines. Both decisions are discretionary  
and dependent on the circumstances. There is nothing in any of that that is  
unreasonable. There was nothing done by the Chief Electoral Officer in this  
case which could be said to have been unreasonable. [para 26] [emphasis  
[64] Anglin appealed unsuccessfully to the Alberta Court of Appeal, which held (in 2018 ABCA  
Mr. Anglin does not dispute that his election signs breached the Guidelines,  
as found by the Chief Electoral Officer. Rather, he says that the Guidelines  
established by the [CEO] do not constitute law and cannot form part of the  
Act, and as such a breach of the Guidelines is not a contravention of the Act.  
There is, therefore, [per him] no basis on which to impose an administrative  
penalty for breach of the Act.  
The thrust of [Anglin’s] argument is that the Act contemplates statutory  
Guidelines that are merely guidelines and are, in effect, unenforceable under the  
Act. General principles of statutory interpretation do not support that  
The language of the Act is clear. The Act expressly requires that candidates  
must act “in accordance with the guidelines” with respect to advertisements.  
The Act compels compliance with the provisions of s 134(2) in accordance  
with the Guidelines; the Guidelines form part of the requirements set out in  
the section. The legislature has the authority to establish this regulatory scheme,  
which includes Guidelines that must be considered and complied with. It also has  
the power to delegate and the guidelines, like other forms of subordinate or  
delegated legislation are all forms of law. …  
The Guidelines are statutorily required and the [CEO] is specifically authorized  
and required to make them. The delegation of the authority to establish  
Guidelines by the Legislature to the [CEO] is incidental to legislative sovereignty.  
The requirement that advertisements contain certain information in a legible  
form is within that delegation of authority. The Act also provides for a  
mechanism of enforcement; s 153.1(1) of the Act grants the [CEO] power to  
impose a reprimand or an administrative penalty.  
Page: 17  
A reading of the provision and the Act as a whole makes clear that the  
Legislature intended for a registered candidate to comply with the  
advertising requirements set forth by the Guidelines. A contextual reading  
having regard to the purpose of the Act, its Regulations and the Guidelines  
supports that interpretation. The appeal is dismissed. [paras 3, 7, 9, 10 and 11]  
[emphasis added]  
[65] Anglin applied unsuccessfully for leave to appeal that decision to the Supreme Court of  
Canada: 2019 37484.  
[66] In other words, the CEO was right about Anglin’s election signs (non-compliant with the  
List of electors  
[67] On this aspect, the CEO investigated and concluded that Anglin had not take all reasonable  
steps to protect an electors list, fining him $500.  
[68] Anglin sought judicial review of that decision.  
[69] In Anglin v Alberta (Chief Electoral Officer), 2020 ABQB 131, Ross J. found no palpable  
and overriding error of fact by the CEO (para 37) in his decision-making, that the CEO had  
properly interpreted s. 19.1 of the Election Act (violation of provision not hinging on whether a  
list is actually lost or misused), and no actual or reasonable apprehension of bias on the part of the  
CEO against Anglin.  
[70] Ross J. did find insufficient disclosure (of certain investigative findings) by the CEO,  
amounting to procedural unfairness, and directed the CEO to reconsider the electors-list issue.  
[71] In Anglin v Alberta (Chief Electoral Officer), 2021 ABQB 353, Ross J. reconsidered her  
remedy decision and decided to simply rescind the $500 penalty. She declined to reconsider her  
determinations “that the CEO did not make a palpable and overriding error in his factual findings  
and did not err in his interpretation or application of s. 19.1 of the Act” (para 14).  
[72] In her costs decision (Anglin v Alberta (Chief Electoral Officer)), 2021 ABQB 623, Ross  
J. directed the parties to bear their own costs. She emphasized the following:  
Anglin’s complaints regarding the CEO’s conduct during his investigation were  
similar to complaints addressed at length in the appeal, and rejected in the  
Administrative Decision [i.e. Ross J.’s first decision]. I did not find that the  
CEO had reacted inappropriately to Anglin’s repeated demands for  
disclosure throughout the proceeding. I found that “the CEO responded to  
numerous disclosure requests by counsel for Anglin and provided numerous  
documents throughout the course of the investigation.”: Administrative Decision,  
at para 80. I also rejected Anglin’s argument that the breach of the duty of  
fairness arose from bias on the part of the CEO:  
While I have found that the duty of disclosure was not met in this  
case, there is nothing in this error that indicates bias on the  
Page: 18  
part of the CEO. There was no precedent determining what  
disclosure should be provided; the CEO’s approach of providing  
information in a Notice of Intended Findings was in my view a  
good faith effort to comply with his obligations. –  
Administrative Decision, at para 80.  
… [the] procedural unfairness [did] not amount to capriciousness or  
malfeasance on the part of the CEO …. [paras 16 and 17] [emphasis added]  
[73] Anglin did not appeal any of Ross J.’s decisions.  
Anglin mischaracterizes these events  
[74] Anglin says that these proceedings collectively amount to malicious prosecution, abuse of  
public office, and abuse of process.  
[75] He says:  
There are … minor differences in some of [these] torts but the facts and pleadings  
cover all of the differences. The first two parts of the test for malicious  
prosecution require that Anglin prove that Resler initiated proceedings against  
him and that they were resolved in his [i.e. Anglin’s] favour. The evidence is  
that Resler initiated four proceedings against Anglin, two of these  
proceedings have already been resolved in Anglin’s favour [presumably  
meaning the “no sponsorship information at all” and “misuse of ‘MLA’”  
inquiries]. In the remaining two proceedings [at that time, the not-yet-  
completed investigations of not-guideline-compliant signs (size of sponsorship  
information) and the electors’ list], one is scheduled to be heard by the  
Alberta Court of Appeal [i.e. the former] and the other is scheduled to be  
heard by the Court of Queen’s Bench [i.e. the latter]. A successful result by  
Anglin in either of these cases will provide additional support for Anglin in  
satisfying these two requirements. [emphasis added]  
[76] However, as explained above the “no sponsorship information at all” allegation did not  
lead to any administrative penalty or prosecution. And same for the “MLA” aspect. On both  
fronts, the CEO’s initial inquiries led him to abandon his investigations.  
[77] With neither leading to an administrative penalty or prosecution, neither adds any fuel to  
Anglin’s malicious prosecution or other tort claims.  
[78] To the extent it makes any difference, with the CEO having not pursued the “MLA” aspect  
to completion, all incumbent candidates in the 2015 election were advised by the Legislative  
Assembly Office that “MLA” could not be used on their election signs or other advertising. Anglin  
argued (apparently successfully) that his use of those initials on his signs signalled the office he  
wished to achieve, not his incumbent status. I simply note that one at least reasonable reading of  
the LA office’s direction was that “MLA” could not be used in any sense i.e. at all.  
[79] As reviewed above, Anglin was unsuccessful on the size-of-sponsorship-information front.  
By definition, those proceedings cannot constitute malicious prosecution, abuse of public office,  
or abuse of process.  
Page: 19  
[80] That leaves the electors-list aspect, where Ross J. found only one shortcoming in the CEO’s  
investigative process i.e. inadequate disclosure.  
[81] However, as also reviewed above, she found that the under-disclosure occurred in an  
overall context of good-faith discharge of the CEO’s duties, with no capriciousness or malfeasance  
occurring, to the extent that, while successful in having the $500 penalty rescinded, Anglin was  
required to bear his own costs of that proceeding.  
[82] Again, nothing on this front adds any fuel to Anglin’s asserted malicious prosecution or  
other tort claims.  
No “prosecutions” or “convictions” here  
[83] Anglin added nothing by continually referring to “prosecutions” and “convictions.” On  
the two investigations that were pursued to completion, the outcomes were both administrative  
penalties (of $250 and $500, respectively). No prosecutions were pursued at any stage; no  
convictions were obtained or even possible given the actual proceedings taken.  
No evidence of who removed any compliant signs  
[84] Anglin tries to tie the CEO into the removal of some of his signs that complied with all EA  
and guideline requirements i.e. beyond the removal of non-compliant signs.  
[85] However, he introduced no evidence of who actually removed any such (compliant) signs.  
Some allegations “bald only”  
[86] As for Anglin’s allegations of the CEO working with others to deny Anglin a fair election  
and chance of re-election, exercising his powers for an improper or ulterior motive, and  
investigating and “prosecuting” Anglin without reasonable and probable cause or for a purpose  
other than carrying the law into effect, I adopt and accept the CEO’s “bald allegations only”  
arguments at paras 61 to 71 of his brief.  
[87] In any case, to the extent such alleged actions come within the sweep of Anglin’s unfair-  
election complaint, they fall away per the controverted-election-process ruling above.  
CEO entitled to immunity in any case  
[88] I also adopt and accept the CEO’s alternative (immunity) arguments at paras 72 to 83 of  
its brief, with no or insufficient facts pled to show bad faith on the CEO’s part i.e. that the CEO  
somehow lost the shield of both common-law and statutory immunity here.  
[89] In any case, even assuming (for sake of discussion) any bad-faith efforts by the CEO going  
to the fairness of the election, as discussed above those necessarily had to be raised (if at all) via  
the controverted-elections process.  
Page: 20  
Net result of these post-election-focused findings  
[90] As discussed above and below, the foundation for statement-of-claim paragraphs 11, 12,  
13, 14, 15, 16, and second 16 has fallen away.  
[91] The combined result (with the earlier findings relating to the controverted-elections  
process) is that no remedies are available to Anglin, with paragraphs 18 to the second paragraph  
21 eclipsed as well.  
E. Conclusion  
[92] Anglin’s statement of claim amounts to an abuse of process since:  
1. in part it would require the Court to inquire into the validity of an election,  
which can only be done under the controverted-elections provisions of the  
Election Act; and  
2. in part it seeks relief that is, in effect, duplicative of the size-of-sponsorship-  
information and electors’-list proceedings already concluded in judicial-  
review realm, with Anglin effectively seeking to re-litigate those issues or,  
alternatively, recharacterize the findings and conclusions of Clackson J. and  
the Alberta Court of Appeal on the former front and of Ross J. on the latter.  
[93] As well, the statement of claim discloses no reasonable cause of action as against the CEO,  
gauged against the backdrop of the various proceedings taken by the CEO against Anglin, the  
abandonment of two of them (i.e. short of any administrative penalty being imposed or prosecution  
pursued), the successful outcome for the CEO in the size-of-sponsorship-information proceeding,  
and the good-faith characterization of the one identified shortcoming (under-disclosure) in the  
electors’-list proceeding.  
[94] In any case, with no or insufficient allegations (i.e. with detailed particulars) of bad faith  
on the CEO’s part, the claims have no reasonable prospect of success in light of the CEO’s  
immunity under both common law and statute i.e. to the extent such allegations do not otherwise  
fall away as necessarily pursuable via the controverted-elections process only.  
F. Costs  
[95] The CEO is entitled to costs of its successful application to strike Anglin’s statement of  
[96] If the parties are unable to agree on the scale or other elements of the costs award by July  
29, I will settle the costs award after receiving their submissions via letter (two-page maximum),  
due by August 19.  
G. Post-script  
[97] In an upstream ruling, Gill J. directed (in part) that no further affidavits could be filed on  
this application. He maintained that ruling following a bid by Mr. Anglin for reconsideration of  
that ruling.  
Page: 21  
[98] In 2022 ABCA 213, Schutz JA declined to stay that ruling.  
[99] At the start of the application here, Anglin’s counsel asked for permission to refer to an  
affidavit prepared by a former Chief Electoral Officer, described (in more recent correspondence  
from his counsel) as follows:  
The report [appended to the affidavit] deals with [the CEO’s] actions during the 2015  
election. It provides an opinion as to the inappropriateness of [the CEO’s] actions during  
that period of time, and concludes, among other things, that “the [campaign] signs did not  
need to be removed or destroyed.” He also concludes that [the CEO’s] actions “would  
have reduced [Mr. Anglin’s] exposure throughout the constituency in the election and  
lessened his opportunity to capture favourable attention of the public and influence the  
vote of the electorate.” It supports the essence of Mr. Anglin’s claim, which is that Mr.  
Resler’s actions during the 2015 election were an abuse of public office and an abuse of  
power. It provides proof positive that Mr. Anglin’s claim is not frivolous or vexatious or  
without merit.  
[100] I ruled that this affidavit and report had already been excluded, per the above rulings, and  
that I had no discretion to rule otherwise.  
[101] Accordingly, the affidavit and report did not form part of the materials before me at the  
[102] On July 5, 2022, while this decision was still under reserve, Mr. Anglin’s counsel sent me  
a letter (copied to the CEO’s counsel) attaching the affidavit and report. As he explained it, the  
above debates about the admissibility of these materials had been unnecessary, with the materials  
having actually been filed before Gill J. provided his reconsideration ruling (“no further  
materials to be filed”), with this fact having only recently been discovered.  
[103] Accordingly, Mr. Anglin’s counsel submitted that I should and, in fact, must consider the  
affidavit and report as part of my ruling here.  
[104] Given my controverted-election-process ruling above, I find that this report, aimed  
exclusively at supporting Mr. Anglin’s unfair-election argument, is irrelevant.  
[105] While the report may have been useful in a controverted-election challenge, it adds  
nothing here, with the Court having no jurisdiction to explore an unfair-election claim outside of  
that process.  
Heard on the 15th day of June, 2022.  
Dated at Edmonton, Alberta this 11th day of July, 2022.  
M. J. Lema  
Page: 22  
Donald F. Bur  
Barrister and Solicitor  
for Joseph V. Anglin (Plaintiff)  
Kathleen Elhatton-Lake  
Shores Jardine LLP  
for the Chief Electoral Officer (Defendant)  

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