Start-up party Strength in Democracy deregistered by Elections Canada

Elections Canada has deregistered Strength in Democracy, a party launched by MP Jean-François Fortin in 2014 to focus on regional issues.

Launched by former MP Jean-François Fortin in 2014, the party ran 17 candidates in the last election

Strength in Democracy, led by former Bloc MP Jean-François Fortin until January, has been deregistered by Elections Canada. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Strength in Democracy, a party launched in 2014 by former Bloc Québécois MP Jean-François Fortin, has been deregistered by Elections Canada.

The party, better known in French as Forces et Démocratie, focused primarily on regional issues. It was launched by Fortin after he left the Bloc caucus over disagreements with the "radical" and "divisive" leadership of Mario Beaulieu. He was joined by NDP MP Jean-François Larose, who left the New Democrats to sit with the new party.

Deregistration bars a party from issuing tax receipts for contributions and strips it of other benefits registered parties receive — including having a party's name on a ballot.

Elections Canada said it deregistered Strength in Democracy for failing to file an administrative form containing a declaration by the leader, as required by the Elections Act, that "one of the party's fundamental purposes is to participate in public affairs by endorsing one or more of its members as candidates and supporting their election."

In its release, Elections Canada said the Canada Party was also being deregistered. The party was founded in 2015 by former Saskatchewan MP Jim Pankiw.

Strength in Democracy ran candidates in 17 ridings in the 2015 federal election, including outside of Quebec. The party received just over 8,000 votes nationwide, about half of those in Fortin's own riding where he sought re-election under his new party's banner.

Fortin finished in fourth place with 11.6 per cent of the vote in Avignon–La Mitis–Matane–Matapédia, the closest the party came to electing a candidate.

Fortin announced he was leaving politics and stepping down as leader of Strength in Democracy in January.