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Guideline: 2016-05

Written Opinions, Guidelines and Interpretation Notes

Political Financing Handbook for Candidates and Official Agents

Summary of updates

The following table lists updates that have been made in this version of the handbook to integrate annual requirements and to include improvements identified during previous OGI consultations.


Update type Update description (new text bold or otherwise introduced) Chapter Section
1 Annual Updated dates and limits in text, examples, tables and graphics. n/a n/a
2 Annual Contribution tables updated; the contribution table in the "Campaign Inflows" chapter is now specific to the entity. Tables and Reminders

Chapter 2
n/a
3 Annual Verified and updated names of the reports and forms referenced in the handbook. n/a n/a
4 Reference Copied the "Filing deadline extensions" table from the "Reporting Requirements" chapter to "Tables and Reminders." Tables and Reminders Filing deadline extensions
5 Reference Added references to other OGIs for additional information. n/a n/a
6 Reference Added "What's new in this release?" table to summarize updates. About This Document n/a
7 OGI 2015-06 consultation "For any expense of $50 and over, keep a copy of the invoice and proof of payment." Tables and Reminders Important reminders
8 OGI 2015-02 consultation "indirect contributions (no individual can make a contribution that comes from money, property or the services of another person or entity)" Chapter 2 Ineligible contributions
9 OGI 2015-02 consultation "The official agent must not knowingly accept a contribution that exceeds the limit. It is also advisable not to accept any other type of ineligible contribution." Chapter 2 Returning ineligible contributions
10 OGI 2015-02 consultation "A contribution from an unincorporated sole proprietor has to be recorded in the individual's name (not the business name), using the contributor's home address (a contributor's address is required for contributions over $200)." Chapter 2 What to keep in mind when administering contributions
11 OGI 2015-02 consultation "Where specifically permitted under the Canada Elections Act, a transfer is not considered to be a contribution, and contribution rules therefore do not apply." Chapter 2 Transfers received
12 OGI 2015-01 consultation Modified example: "A person who is employed as a teacher offers to work in the evenings in the campaign office to answer the phone and help with general office duties." Chapter 2 Volunteer labour
13 OGI 2015-01 consultation New text: "A contribution is considered used if the campaign bank account balance was below the contribution amount at some point after the contribution date. In this case, the official agent has to send a cheque for the amount of the ineligible contribution to Elections Canada, payable to the Receiver General for Canada." Chapter 2 Returning ineligible contributions
14 OGI 2015-01 consultation "If the campaign receives an ineligible contribution and it has been deposited into the campaign bank account, the official agent has to return the unused contribution to the contributor within 30 days of becoming aware that it is ineligible." Chapter 2 Returning ineligible contributions
15 OGI 2015-01 consultation New text: "If the campaign receives an ineligible contribution and it has not been deposited into the campaign bank account, the official agent has to return the contribution to the contributor and no reporting is required." Chapter 2 Returning ineligible contributions
16 OGI 2015-01 consultation New example: "The official agent receives a cheque for $2,000 from a contributor. As this is obviously an over-contribution, the official agent does not deposit the cheque, but sends it back to the contributor." Chapter 2 Returning ineligible contributions
17 OGI 2015-01 consultation New note: "If an invoice requiring payment is prepared by one political entity and sent to its related political entity, together with a third party vendor invoice representing the commercial value of the goods or services provided, this is not a transfer but a sale of goods or services from one entity to another." Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Transfers received
Transfers sent
18 OGI 2015-06 consultation New text: "Loans from any other person or entity are not permitted." Chapter 2 Getting a loan
19 OGI 2015-06 consultation New note: "A financial institution must charge a fair market rate of interest on loans made to candidates. Any forgone interest resulting from the financial institution charging a lower interest rate would constitute a non-monetary contribution from an inadmissible contributor." Chapter 2 Getting a loan
20 OGI 2015-06 consultation New note: "An individual cannot make a loan to a candidate if the loan is made possible by money, property or the services of any person or entity that provided it to the individual for that purpose." Chapter 2 Getting a loan
21 OGI 2015-06 consultation New text: "The term 'processing fees' means the expenses for processing contributions, which may include bank charges, credit card processing fees, fees for other payment services (such as PayPal) and salaries for data entry when contributions are received." Chapter 3 Election expenses – definition
22 OGI 2015-01 consultation Modified the text to clarify how the increase in the election expenses limit is calculated for a longer election period:
  • "the initial limit is divided by 37
  • the result is then multiplied by the number of days by which the longer election period exceeds 37 days"
Chapter 3 Limit increases for longer election period
23 OGI 2015-06 consultation Updated the text to clarify the difference between purchased property or services and property or services received at no charge. Chapter 3 Administering electoral campaign expenses