Political Financing Handbook for Candidates and Official Agents (EC 20155) – June 2016
This document is Elections Canada's guideline: OGI 2016-05
Click on the link for the latest Political Financing Handbook for Candidates and Official Agents.
Tables and Reminders
The tables and reminders in this section are quick reference tools for the use of candidates and official agents.
This section contains the following:
- Important deadlines for the candidate's campaign
- Contribution, loan and loan guarantee limits summary
- Transfers – types and rules
- Reporting requirements for the candidate's campaign
- Important reminders for candidates and their official agents
- Filing deadline extensions
Important deadlines for the candidate's campaign
1 Must be appointed before contributions, transfers or loans are accepted or expenses are incurred.
2 Required before contributions, transfers or loans are accepted or expenses are incurred.
3 If paper-form tax receipts were used, the official agent has to return all unused or cancelled tax receipts as well as a copy of each used tax receipt to Elections Canada.
4 Required if gifts or other advantages received from any one entity exceed a total of $500.
5 Required if the campaign has unpaid claims and loans.
Limits on contributions, loans and loan guarantees
|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*|
- 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.
Transfers – types and rules
This table shows the allowable monetary and non-monetary transfers between related registered political entities.
|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|
|Registered Electoral District Association||No||Yes4||No||Yes4||Yes7||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
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 candidate's campaign
1 Applies to paper-form tax receipts obtained from Elections Canada.
2 Chapter 4, Reporting Requirements, explains details and conditions that apply to the reporting of gifts and other advantages.
3 If a claim or loan is paid any time after the campaign return is filed, the official 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 Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return before the deadline. Therefore it is advised to give the completed return to the auditor well before the deadline of four months after election day.
Note: When sending any original documents by mail, please ensure that you keep a copy for your records.
Important reminders for candidates and their official agents
* Exceptions: A person authorized by the official agent can pay expenses out of petty cash. The candidate can pay the candidate's personal expenses.
Filing deadline extensions
|Document to submit||Extension from Elections Canada||Additional extension from Elections Canada||Extension from a judge|
|Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return||Yes||No||Yes|
|Updated Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return after a final payment of claim or loan within 36 months after election day||Yes||No||Yes|
|Candidate's Statement of Unpaid Claims and Loans 18 or 36 Months After Election Day||Yes||No||Yes|
|Updated Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return after a payment of claim or loan later than 36 months after election day||Yes||No||Yes|
|Corrected or revised Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return requested by the candidate or the official agent||Yes||Yes||No|
|Corrected or revised Candidate's Electoral 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 official agent or the candidate can apply to a judge to be relieved of the obligation of complying with the request.