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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

Tables and Reminders

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

This section contains the following:

Important deadlines for the nomination contestant's campaign

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

  1. Required before contributions, transfers or loans are accepted or expenses are incurred (not required if no contributions, transfers or loans are accepted or no expenses are incurred).
  2. Must be appointed once the contestant has 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).
  3. Required before contributions, transfers or loans are accepted or expenses are incurred.
  4. If the selection date falls within an election period or 30 days before it, the selection date is to be interpreted as a reference to election day.
  5. Required if contributions totalling $10,000 or more are accepted, or nomination campaign expenses totalling $10,000 or more are incurred (note that transfers to affiliated political entities are not nomination campaign expenses).
  6. Required if contributions totalling $1,000 or more are accepted, or nomination campaign expenses totalling $1,000 or more are incurred (note that transfers to affiliated political entities are not nomination campaign expenses).
  7. Required if the campaign has unpaid claims and loans.

Contributions, loans and loan guarantees limits

Limits on Contributions, Loans and Loan Guarantees
Political entity 2015 annual limit Limit per election called between Jan 1, 2015, and
Dec 31, 2015
To each registered party $1,500* n/a
In total to all the registered associations, nomination contestants and candidates of each registered party $1,500* n/a
In total to all leadership contestants in a particular contest $1,500* n/a
To each independent candidate n/a $1,500*

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 event in contributions, loans or 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 $1,500 in total per year in contributions, loans or 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 $1,500 in total per year in contributions, loans or loan guarantees to other leadership contestants.

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

Note: Contributions made to the nomination contestant are not eligible for tax receipts.

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 No 5 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 nomination contestant's campaign

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

  1. Applies to nomination contestants whose campaigns have 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).
  2. Applies to nomination contestants whose campaigns have 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).
  3. If the selection date falls within an election period or 30 days before it, the selection date is to be interpreted as a reference to election day.
  4. 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.
  5. Required if the campaign has unpaid claims and loans.

Note: The auditor needs to have sufficient time to properly audit the Nomination Contestant's Campaign Return before the deadline. Therefore it is advised to give the completed nomination contestant's return to the auditor well before the deadline for submitting the return.

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

Important reminders for nomination contestants and their financial agents

Before Selection Date
DO DON'T
  • Appoint a financial agent, who must open a bank account to be used exclusively for the campaign before any contribution is accepted or any expense is incurred.
  • If contributions or campaign expenses are totalling $10,000 or more, appoint an auditor who is accredited under provincial law to perform accounting services (CPA, CA, CGA, CMA).
  • Ensure that only the financial agent or the nomination contestant incurs nomination contest expenses.
  • Ensure that all monetary transactions go through the campaign bank account.
  • Issue receipts for each contribution over $20.
  • For any expense of $50 and over, keep 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 or the nomination contestant to incur nomination campaign expenses.
  • Do not allow anyone other than the financial agent to pay for nomination campaign expenses.*
  • Do not accept contributions:
    • from any source other than an individual who is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident in Canada
    • that exceed an individual's contribution limits
    • 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 in Canada
    • that exceed an individual's contribution limit

* Exceptions: A person authorized by the financial agent can pay expenses out of petty cash. The nomination contestant can pay nomination contestant's personal expenses.

After Selection Date
DO DON'T
  • Prepare the Nomination Contestant's Statement of Personal Expenses no later than 3 months after the selection date, even if it is a nil statement.
  • Submit the Nomination Contestant's Campaign Return and related documents within 4 months after the selection date or election day (if the contest was held during or within 30 days of the election period), if contributions or expenses, not including transfers to affiliated political entities, total $1,000 or more.
  • Ensure that all loan, overdraft and line of credit conditions, including repayment schedules, are submitted with the nomination contestant's return.
  • If there were contributions or campaign expenses, not including transfers to affiliated political entities, totalling $10,000 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 are paid within 36 months after the selection date or election day (if the contest was held during or within 30 days of the election period).
  • 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 selection date or election day (if the contest was held during or within 30 days of the election period), 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.