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Political Financing Handbook for Nomination Contestants and Financial Agents (EC 20182) – December 2014

This document is the DRAFT version of Elections Canada's guideline: OGI 2014-04

Chapter 4 – Reporting Requirements

This chapter covers the following topics:

Introduction

The responsibilities of the nomination contestant and his or her financial agent do not end on the selection date of the nomination contest. There are financial reports to be completed and filed with Elections Canada. This chapter outlines what they are, when they need to be filed and the supporting documentation that has to accompany each report.

Note: Elections Canada has developed free software to assist with the preparation of financial returns: the Electronic Financial Return (EFR) software. The EFR software is downloadable from the Elections Canada website.

4.1 Reporting timeline

The Canada Elections Act requires certain financial reports to be completed and submitted by set deadlines. Financial forms are available on the Elections Canada website.

Deadline Who is responsible Mandatory documents Submit to whom
30 days after selection date Registered association or registered party that held the contest
  • Nomination Contest Report

Elections Canada

3 months after selection date Nomination contestant
  • Signed Nomination Contestant's Statement of Personal Expenses, with all supporting documents
Financial agent
4 months after selection date* Financial agent
  • Nomination Contestant's Campaign Return** with all supporting documents, including the declaration signed by the nomination contestant and the financial agent
  • Signed Nomination Contestant's Statement of Personal Expenses**, with all supporting documents
  • Auditor's Report (required if the campaign accepted contributions totalling $10,000 or more, or incurred nomination campaign expenses totalling $10,000 or more), (note that transfers to affiliated political entities are not nomination campaign expenses)
Elections Canada
30 days after a claim or loan is paid in full Financial agent
  • Updated Nomination Contestant's Campaign Return
Elections Canada
19 months
after selection date*
Financial agent
  • Contestant's Statement of Unpaid Claims and Loans 18 or 36 Months After Selection Date***
Elections Canada
37 months
after selection date*
Financial agent
  • Contestant's Statement of Unpaid Claims and Loans 18 or 36 Months After Selection Date **
Elections Canada

* If the selection date falls within an election period or 30 days before it, a reference to selection date is to be interpreted as reference to election day.

** Required if the campaign accepted contributions totalling $1,000 or more, or incurred nomination campaign expenses totalling $1,000 or more (note that transfers to affiliated political entities are not nomination campaign expenses).

*** Required if the campaign has unpaid claims and loans.

4.2 Documents to be filed

Document to be filed by the registered association or the registered party

Nomination Contest Report

The registered party or registered association that held the contest must submit a Nomination Contest Report to Elections Canada within 30 days after the selection date. The report must be submitted in all cases where the contest was made open to more than one person to propose their name for consideration. This applies even if only one contestant entered the contest.

The Nomination Contest Report includes the following information:

Documents to be filed within four months after the selection date or election day

The Canada Elections Act requires three documents to be filed within four months after the selection date or election day, if the selection date falls within an election period or 30 days before it:

The Nomination Contestant's Campaign Return and the Auditor's Report (if required) have to be sent to Elections Canada before midnight of the filing deadline.

Nomination Contestant's Campaign Return

The Nomination Contestant's Campaign Return covers the following:

Along with the Nomination Contestant's Campaign Return, the financial agent has to provide supporting documents:

Note: After the nomination contestant's return has been submitted, Elections Canada may contact the financial agent to request additional supporting documents during the review of the contestant's return.

Nomination Contestant's Statement of Personal Expenses

The nomination contestant is responsible for the Nomination Contestant's Statement of Personal Expenses. The nomination contestant has to complete this statement within three months after the selection date.

The statement lists the nomination contestant's personal expenses that were reasonably incurred in relation to his or her campaign and have not been reimbursed by the campaign. It must be completed even if the nomination contestant's personal expenses were nil.

Personal expenses paid by the contestant must be reported in the contestant's return. They may be paid by the financial agent, accepted as a non-monetary contribution from the contestant or reported as an unpaid claim.

The contestant's personal expenses include:

For details on the personal expense categories, see Section 3.2, Contestant's personal expenses.

Along with the Nomination Contestant's Statement of Personal Expenses, the nomination contestant must have proof of payment for all personal expenses, as well as supporting invoices for personal expenses of $50 or more.

Auditor's Report

The Auditor's Report has to be filed with Elections Canada if the nomination contestant's campaign received contributions totalling $10,000 or more, or incurred nomination campaign expenses totalling $10,000 or more (note that transfers to affiliated political entities are not nomination campaign expenses). The financial agent is responsible for ensuring that this report is completed and submitted to Elections Canada within four months after the selection date or election day, if the selection date falls within an election period or 30 days before it.

After the financial agent has completed the nomination contestant's return, the auditor verifies that the information in the return accurately presents the information in the financial records kept by the financial agent during the campaign. The Auditor's Report contains the auditor's opinion as to whether the completed Nomination Contestant's Campaign Return presents this information.

It is very important for the financial agent to give the auditor enough time to properly audit the Nomination Contestant's Campaign Return before the deadline. Therefore it is advised to give the complete nomination contestant's return to the auditor well before the deadline for submission, which is four months after the selection date or election day, if the selection date falls within an election period or 30 days before it.

Note: The Canada Elections Act does not provide for a subsidy for the auditor's fee.

Reporting payment of claims or loans

If the nomination contestant's campaign has unpaid claims or loans, updates are required on the status of payments.

Update after final payment of claim or loan within 36 months after selection date

If a claim or loan is paid in full after the filing of the return and within 36 months after the selection date or election day, if the selection date falls within an election period or 30 days before it, the financial agent must send an updated contestant's return to Elections Canada within 30 days after the final payment was made.

Contestant's Statement of Unpaid Claims and Loans 18 or 36 Months after Selection Date

The Contestant's Statement of Unpaid Claims and Loans 18 or 36 Months after Selection Date is required if the campaign has unpaid claims and loans.

The statement has to include the following information about unpaid claims and loans:

Note: Elections Canada's authorization is not required to pay a claim or loan within 36 months after the selection date or election day, if the selection date falls within an election period or 30 days before it.

Update after final payment of claim or loan more than 36 months after selection day

If a claim or loan is still unpaid 36 months after selection day, or election day, if the selection date falls within an election period or 30 days before it, the financial agent has to seek authorization from Elections Canada or a judge before paying it. After paying a claim or loan, the financial agent must send an updated contestant's return to Elections Canada within 30 days after the payment was made.

For more details on unpaid claims and loans, see Section 5.1, Managing unpaid claims and loans.

4.3 Submission to Elections Canada

The nomination contestant's return may be completed and submitted in a number of ways.

Completed how How to submit
Paper forms
  1. Send signed mandatory documents by courier, mail, fax or e-mail (in PDF format) to Elections Canada.
  2. Send all required supporting documentation to Elections Canada by mail or courier.
EFR
  1. EFR creates a submission file of the return.
  2. Send the submission file as an attachment in an e-mail to Elections Canada.
  3. Send the documents requiring signatures and the required supporting documentation by courier, mail, fax or e-mail (in PDF format) to Elections Canada.
Note: For more information on EFR submissions, please consult the EFR User Guide available within the EFR software.
Where to send documents
E-mail:
efr-rfe@elections.ca

Mail:
Elections Canada
30 Victoria Street
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0M6

Fax:
Political Financing
1-888-523-9333 (toll-free) or 1-819-939-1803

With the submission, please remember to give your name, role (financial agent), electoral district and political affiliation, if applicable. It is recommended to keep a copy of all documents submitted to Elections Canada. Documents filed with Elections Canada have to be signed.

Filing deadline and extensions

The Canada Elections Act specifies deadlines for submitting reports. The financial agent or the nomination contestant must seek authorization from Elections Canada or a judge to file after the deadline.

It is important to note that the mandatory documents must be submitted by the filing deadline. If only a few invoices or receipts are missing, it is recommended to submit the mandatory documents on time and send the missing documentation later.

If the financial agent or the nomination contestant cannot submit a report by the deadline, the financial agent or the nomination contestant may apply to Elections Canada for authorization to submit the document within an extended period. The request has to be received by Elections Canada within two weeks after the report's deadline.

The following table explains which documents are eligible for extension under the Canada Elections Act.

Nomination Contestant reports – extension requests
Document to submit Extension from Elections Canada Additional extension from Elections Canada Extension from a judge
Nomination Contestant's Campaign Return Yes No Yes
Updated Nomination Contestant's Campaign Return after a final payment of claim or loan within 36 months after selection date Yes No Yes
Contestant's Statement of Unpaid Claims and Loans 18 or 36 Months After Selection Date Yes No Yes
Updated Nomination Contestant's Campaign Return after a payment of claim or loan later than 36 months after selection date Yes No Yes
Corrected or revised Nomination Contestant's Campaign Return requested by the nomination contestant or the financial agent Yes Yes No
Corrected or revised Nomination Contestant's Campaign Return requested by Elections Canada No No No

The Request for Extension of Filing Deadline form should be used to apply for an extension. Elections Canada will grant an extension unless the financial agent's failure to provide the document was deliberate or was the result of a failure to exercise due diligence.

Documents not eligible for extension

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 nomination contestant can apply to a judge to be relieved of the obligation of complying with the request.

Court extension

If Elections Canada refuses to authorize an extension, or the financial agent or the nomination contestant is unable to file the required documents within the extended period, the nomination contestant or the financial agent may apply to a judge for an extension. Note that court extensions are not available for corrected or revised returns.

For more details on filing an amended return, see Section 5.2 Filing an amended nomination contestant's return.