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Political Financing Handbook for Leadership Contestants and Financial Agents (EC 20195 – February 2016 )

Tables and Reminders

The tables and reminders in this section are quick reference tools for the use of leadership contestants, financial agents and leadership campaign agents.

This section contains the following:

Important deadlines for the leadership contestant's campaign

Important deadlines for the leadership contestant's campaign

Text version of "Important deadlines for the leadership contestant's campaign

  1. Must be appointed before contributions, transfers or loans are accepted or leadership campaign expenses are incurred.
  2. Must be appointed before registering as a leadership contestant.
  3. Required before contributions, transfers or loans are accepted or leadership campaign expenses are incurred.
  4. Directed contributions may not be received by the contestant's campaign until the leadership contestant's registration has been confirmed.
  5. Required if contributions totalling more than $10,000 are accepted or leadership campaign expenses totalling more than $10,000 are incurred (note that transfers to affiliated political entities are not leadership campaign expenses). If the threshold is reached after the first reporting period, one interim campaign return must be submitted for the whole period.
  6. Required if contributions totalling $5,000 or more are accepted, or leadership campaign expenses totalling $5,000 or more are incurred (note that transfers to affiliated political entities are not leadership campaign expenses).
  7. Required if the campaign has unpaid claims and loans.

Note: Funds provided specifically to pay for expenses incurred outside the contest period are not subject to the controls on contributions and loans in the Canada Elections Act.

Contributions, loans and loan guarantees limits

Contributions, loans and loan guarantees limits
Political entity 2016 annual limit Limit per election called between Jan. 1, 2016 and Dec. 31, 2016
To each registered party $1,525* n/a
In total to all the registered associations, nomination contestants and candidates of each registered party $1,525* n/a
In total to all leadership contestants in a particular contest $1,525* n/a
To each independent candidate n/a $1,525*

Notes:

  • The contribution limits apply to: total contributions, the unpaid balance of loans made during the contribution period and the amount of any loan guarantees made during the contribution period that an individual is still liable for. The sum of these three amounts cannot at any time exceed the contribution limit.
  • A nomination contestant is permitted to give an additional $1,000 in total per contest in contributions, loans and loan guarantees to his or her own campaign.
  • A candidate is permitted to give a total of $5,000 in contributions, loans and loan guarantees to his or her campaign.
  • A candidate is also permitted to give an additional $1,525 in total per year in contributions, loans and loan guarantees to other candidates, registered associations and nomination contestants of each party. (This includes contributions to the registered association in the candidate's electoral district and contributions to the candidate's own nomination campaign.)
  • A leadership contestant is permitted to give a total of $25,000 in contributions, loans and loan guarantees to his or her campaign.
  • A leadership contestant is also permitted to give an additional $1,525 in total per year in contributions, loans and loan guarantees to other leadership contestants.

* The limits, increase by $25 on January 1st in each subsequent year.

Note: Funds provided specifically to pay for expenses incurred outside the contest period are not subject to the controls on contributions and loans in the Canada Elections Act.

Transfers – types and rules

This table shows the allowable monetary and non-monetary transfers between related registered political entities.

FROM TO
Nomination Contestant Leadership Contestant Candidate Registered Electoral District Association Registered Party
Monetary Non- monetary Monetary Non- monetary Monetary Non- monetary Monetary Non- monetary Monetary Non- monetary
Nomination Contestant No No No No Yes1 No Yes2 No Yes No
Leadership Contestant No No No No No No Yes No Yes No
Candidate Yes3 Yes3 No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Registered Electoral District Association No Yes4 No Yes4 Yes7 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Registered Party No Yes4 No5 Yes4 Yes7 Yes Yes6 Yes6 N/A N/A

1 A nomination contestant may transfer funds (but not property or services) to a candidate of the same party in the electoral district in which the nomination contest was held.

2 A nomination contestant can only transfer funds to the registered electoral district association that held the nomination contest.

3 Candidates may transfer property, services and funds to their own nomination contestant campaign for the same election.

4 Non-monetary transfers must be offered equally to all contestants.

5 Directed contributions are the only exception: they may be transferred to the leadership contestant.

6 Registered parties may transfer property, services and funds to electoral district associations, whether registered or not.

7 Monetary transfers other than trust funds are allowed. After election day, monetary transfers are allowed only to pay claims and loans related to the candidate's campaign.

Note: Independent candidates may not send or accept transfers of funds, property or services to or from other political entities.

Reporting requirements for the leadership contestant's campaign

Reporting requirements for the leadership contestant's campaign
Text version of "Reporting requirements for the leadership contestant's campaign" diagram

  1. Required if contributions totalling more than $10,000 are accepted or leadership campaign expenses totalling more than $10,000 are incurred during the reporting period (note that transfers to affiliated political entities are not leadership campaign expenses). If the threshold is reached after the first reporting period, one campaign return must be submitted for the whole period.
  2. Applies to leadership contestants whose campaigns have accepted contributions totalling $5,000 or more, or incurred leadership campaign expenses totalling $5,000 or more (note that transfers to affiliated political entities are not leadership campaign expenses).
  3. If a claim or loan is paid any time after the campaign return is filed, the financial agent must send an updated campaign return to Elections Canada within 30 days.
  4. Required if the campaign has unpaid claims and loans.

Note: The auditor needs to have sufficient time to properly audit the Leadership Contestant's Campaign Return before the deadline. Therefore it is advisable to give the completed return to the auditor well before the deadline of six months after contest day.

Note: When sending any original documents by mail, please ensure that you keep a copy for your records.

Important reminders for leadership contestants, financial agents and leadership campaign agents

Note: Funds provided specifically to pay for expenses incurred outside the contest period are not subject to the controls on contributions and loans in the Canada Elections Act.

Before Contest Day
DO DON'T
  • Appoint a financial agent, who must open a bank account to be used exclusively for the campaign before any contribution, transfer or loan is accepted or any leadership campaign expense is incurred.
  • Appoint an auditor who is accredited under provincial law to perform accounting services (CPA, CA, CGA, CMA).
  • Ensure that only the financial agent, authorized leadership campaign agents or the leadership contestant incur leadership campaign expenses.
  • Issue receipts for each contribution over $20.
  • For any expense of $50 and over, keep a copy of the original invoice and proof of payment. For any expense of less than $50, keep proof of payment plus a record of the nature of the expense.
  • Do not allow anyone other than the financial agent, authorized leadership campaign agents or the leadership contestant to incur leadership campaign expenses.
  • Do not use funds from the campaign bank account to pay expenses incurred outside the contest period (or any other expense that is not a leadership campaign expense).
  • Do not accept directed contributions from the registered party before the leadership contestant has registered with Elections Canada.
  • Do not allow anyone other than the financial agent or an authorized leadership campaign agent to pay leadership campaign expenses.*
  • Do not accept contributions:
    • from any source other than an individual who is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada
    • that exceed an individual's contribution limit
    • in cash that exceed $20
  • Do not accept loans or loan guarantees:
    • from any source other than a financial institution or an individual who is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada
    • that exceed an individual's contribution limit
*Exceptions: A person authorized by the financial agent or a leadership campaign agent can pay expenses out of petty cash. The leadership contestant can pay the leadership contestant's personal expenses.

After Contest Day
DO DON'T
  • Provide the Leadership Contestant's Statement of Personal Expenses to the financial agent no later than 5 months after contest day, even if it is a nil statement.
  • Submit the Leadership Contestant's Campaign Return and related documents within 6 months after contest day.
  • Ensure that all loan, overdraft and line of credit conditions, including repayment schedules, are submitted with the leadership contestant's return.
  • If there were contributions or leadership campaign expenses, not including transfers to affiliated political entities, totalling $5,000 or more, allow your auditor sufficient time before the submission deadline to review financial documents and prepare the audit report.
  • Ensure all claims and loans related to leadership campaign expenses are paid within 36 months after contest day. Authorization from Elections Canada or a judge is not required for payments made within 36 months after contest day.
  • After the campaign has met its financial obligations, dispose of any surplus in compliance with the Canada Elections Act. Notify Elections Canada within 7 days of the disposal.
  • After all financial obligations are met and any surplus is disposed of, close the campaign bank account and provide Elections Canada with the final statement.
  • Do not pay unpaid claims or loans later than 36 months after contest day without first obtaining Elections Canada's or a judge's authorization.
  • Do not close your campaign bank account until all financial obligations are met and any surplus is disposed of.

Filing deadline extensions

Leadership contestant reports – extension requests
Document to submit Extension from Elections Canada Additional extension from Elections Canada Extension from a judge
Leadership Contestant's Interim Campaign Return No No No
Leadership Contestant's Campaign Return Yes No Yes
Updated Leadership Contestant's Campaign Return after a final payment of a claim or loan within 36 months after contest day Yes No Yes
Leadership Contestant's Statement of Unpaid Claims and Loans 18 or 36 Months After the End of the Leadership Contest Yes No Yes
Updated Leadership Contestant's Campaign Return after payment of a claim or loan later than 36 months after contest day Yes No Yes
Corrected or revised Leadership Contestant's Campaign Return requested by the leadership contestant or the financial agent Yes Yes No
Corrected or revised Leadership Contestant's Campaign Return requested by Elections Canada No No No*

* Corrections or revisions requested by Elections Canada are not eligible for extensions and must be filed within the specified period. However, the financial agent or the leadership contestant can apply to a judge to be relieved of the obligation of complying with the request.