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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 5 – Closing the Nomination Contestant's Campaign

This chapter covers the following topics:

Introduction

Once the nomination contestant's reporting requirements are met, it is time to close the nomination contestant's campaign. This chapter explains what has to take place before the financial agent can close the campaign bank account and subsequently the nomination contestant's campaign.

The financial agent has to manage unpaid claims and loans, and dispose of any surplus in accordance with the rules and timelines of the Canada Elections Act. In addition, the financial agent has to inform Elections Canada about these transactions by updating the contestant's return to reflect the payment of unpaid claims or loans, and by submitting an amended nomination contestant's return or a statement of surplus.

Once all unpaid claims, loans, other financial obligations and any surplus have been dealt with, the financial agent can close the campaign bank account and send the final bank statement to Elections Canada.


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5.1 Managing unpaid claims and loans

This section explains the rules governing unpaid claims and loans.

Claims and loans can be paid up to 36 months after the selection date or election day, if the selection date falls within an election period or 30 days before it.

If a claim or loan remains unpaid from the time the original return is filed to 36 months after the selection date or election day:

If a claim or loan is still unpaid 36 months after the selection date or election day:

For details about reporting unpaid claims and loans, see Section 4.2, Documents to be filed, and Section 4.3, Submission to Elections Canada.

Authorization to pay claims or loans after 36 months

The following persons may submit a written application to be paid or to pay an unpaid claim or loan later than 36 months after the selection date or election day, if the selection date falls within an election period or 30 days before it:

Authorization for payment of the amount claimed is needed from Elections Canada if payment of the claim or loan was not made within 36 months after selection date or election day, if the selection date falls within an election period or 30 days before it.

Elections Canada may impose any term or condition on the authorized payment.

5.2 Filing an amended nomination contestant's return

An amended Nomination Contestant's Campaign Return has to be filed with Elections Canada to:

Corrections or revisions requested by Elections Canada

In certain circumstances there is a need to make corrections or revisions in the nomination contestant's return.

On reviewing the nomination contestant's return, Elections Canada may request the nomination contestant or his or her financial agent to correct the return within a specified period.

Corrections or revisions requested by the nomination contestant or the financial agent

The nomination contestant or the financial agent may become aware of a need to make a correction or revision to a return that has been filed. In that case, the nomination contestant or the financial agent has to submit a written request for authorization to file an amended return.

An amended return must be submitted within 30 days after the correction or revision was authorized.

Submitting a full return is not necessary. Only the new or corrected data has to be submitted to Elections Canada, along with a declaration signed by the nomination contestant or the financial agent.

For more on filing an amended contestant's return, see Section 4.3, Submission to Elections Canada.

5.3 Disposing of surplus

After all financial obligations have been completed, the campaign must dispose of any surplus of funds in accordance with the Canada Elections Act. The amount of the surplus should equal the money left in the campaign bank account after all the financial obligations have been met.

Definition

The surplus amount of nomination campaign funds is the amount by which the contestant's nomination campaign revenues exceed the total of the nomination campaign expenses paid and transfers made by the contestant's campaign.


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Nomination campaign revenues include:

For the purposes of surplus calculation, expenses include all nomination campaign expenses that were paid using campaign funds:

Transfers made by the nomination contestant's campaign include:

However, in the event that campaign funds were used to pay for expenses related to the contest that were incurred before or after the contest period, Elections Canada will accept that the amount of funds disposed will be lower than the amount of surplus as defined by the Canada Elections Act.

Notice of estimated surplus by Elections Canada

After the review of the nomination contestant's return, in some cases it is determined that the contestant has a surplus of campaign funds. Elections Canada sends a notice about the estimated amount of the surplus to the nomination contestant's financial agent.

The financial agent has to dispose of the surplus within 60 days of receiving the notice.

If financial agent is aware of a surplus

If the financial agent is aware of a surplus of nomination campaign funds but has not yet received a notice from Elections Canada, the financial agent has to dispose of the surplus within 60 days after filing the Nomination Contestant's Campaign Return.

How to dispose of a surplus

Surplus nomination campaign funds have to be transferred to:

Nomination Contestantís Statement of Surplus

The financial agent has to submit the Contestant's Statement of Surplus / Amended Campaign Return form within seven days after disposing of the surplus. The statement notifies Elections Canada of the amount and date of disposal of the surplus, and to whom the surplus was transferred.

In some cases, amendments are also made to the original contestant's return to report financial transactions that occurred since the date the return was submitted. In these cases, any new financial transactions reported in the Contestant's Statement of Surplus / Amended Campaign Return will be treated as a request to correct or revise the Nomination Contestant's Campaign Return and Elections Canada will update the return accordingly.

Section 5.2 discusses the reasons for submitting amendments to the contestant's return.

Note: Elections Canada publishes the notice referring to the disposal of the surplus on its website.

Dispose of a surplus when a nomination contestant's return is not required

A Nomination Contestant's Campaign Return is not required if the contributions accepted or the expenses incurred by the campaign are less than $1,000. However, if the campaign has surplus funds at the end of the contest, the financial agent has to dispose of the surplus and notify Elections Canada by completing the Nomination Contestant's Statement of Surplus.

5.4 Closing the campaign bank account

Once all unpaid claims and loans, other financial obligations and any surplus have been dealt with in accordance with the Canada Elections Act, the financial agent has to close the campaign bank account.

The financial agent has to send the final statement of the bank account to Elections Canada.