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Political Financing Handbook for Candidates and Official Agents (EC 20155) – October 2017

4. Transfers

This chapter explains the rules and procedures for accepting and sending transfers. It covers the following topics:

What is a transfer?

A transfer is a provision of funds, property or services between specified political entities of the same political affiliation. Where specifically permitted under the Canada Elections Act, a transfer is not considered to be a contribution, and contribution rules therefore do not apply.

Monetary transfer Non-monetary transfer
A monetary transfer is a transfer of funds. A non-monetary transfer is a transfer of property or services. The amount of a non-monetary transfer is the commercial value of the property or service.

Unlike non-monetary contributions, a non-monetary transfer has to be reported even if it is below $200.

Transfers are permitted only between related political entities (registered party, electoral district association, candidate and leadership or nomination contestant) of the same political affiliation.

However, not all types of entities are authorized to provide all types of transfers. For a quick reference guide to eligible and ineligible transfers, see the Transfers—types and rules table in Chapter 1, Reference Tables and Timelines.

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.

Transfers of expenses are prohibited

It is important to differentiate between the candidate's electoral campaign expenses and the expenses of the candidate's registered party. The Canada Elections Act specifies separate expenses limits for the registered party and each of its candidates. The Act prohibits the transfer of expenses without accompanying property or services. Each entity has to report the expenses it incurred for property and services it used during the electoral campaign.

Transfers sent to the candidate's campaign

The following transfers may be accepted by the candidate's campaign:

Note: Transfers may not be accepted from provincial parties or provincial electoral district associations. Transfers from a registered provincial division of a federal registered party are considered transfers from the registered party.

Transfers before an election

The registered party or registered association may transfer funds, property or services to the candidate before the election is called provided the following conditions are met:

Transfers after an election

No registered party, registered association or nomination contestant may transfer funds to a candidate after election day, except to pay claims or loans related to the candidate's electoral campaign.

Therefore, it is important to verify whether a transfer is needed before accepting it.

Transfers sent by the candidate's campaign

The following transfers may be sent by the candidate's campaign:

  1. Clara won a nomination contest and has started her election campaign. Her official agent transfers funds to Clara's earlier nomination campaign to pay some outstanding nomination campaign expenses.
  2. The candidate's campaign purchases 1,000 signs for the election. During the election period, 900 signs are installed. After election day, 100 unused and 750 recovered signs are transferred to the registered association. The commercial value of the 850 transferred signs is calculated, and the amount is reported as a transfer to the association.

Independent candidates

An independent candidate may not send or receive any transfers. Any property, services or funds received by an independent candidate, including their own funds, are governed by the rules for contributions and loans.