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Meeting Summary – General Meeting – December 45, 2014

Party Returns in Election Expenses

Stéphane Perrault and Jeff Merrett, Acting Director, Regulatory Instruments and Systems, led this discussion. Participants were given an overview of the proposed Registered Party Return in Respect of Election Expenses. At the October ACPP meeting, participants were asked to provide EC with comments on the proposed form. Only a few comments were provided, but some were strongly expressed. Most parties voiced support for implementing more detailed reporting of party general election expenses.

In response to comments, the CEO's legal authority to prescribe the forms was clarified. The Act requires that parties submit returns in the form that is prescribed by the CEO. The forms have varied over the years. The Act provides that where a change is made to the form, a copy of the form must be laid before the House of Commons. The CEO had previously announced in EC's report on plans and priorities his intention to modify the form in order to provide greater details on party election expenses.

Members followed up with questions regarding reporting on party assets, including voter databases, in-kind contributions of goods or services, volunteer labour and the reporting of staff salaries. Members also raised concerns about the reporting of leaders' tour expenses by stop and the parties' provision of website services to candidates.