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Political Financing Handbook for Candidates and Official Agents (EC 20155) – June 2017 – DRAFT guideline OGI 2017-01

15. Disposing of Surplus

This chapter explains what a surplus of campaign funds is, the rules for disposing of a surplus after all financial obligations have been met, and how to report the disposal. It covers the following topics:

What is a surplus?

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

What is a surplus?
Text Description "What is a surplus?"

The amount of the surplus should equal the money left in the campaign bank account after all the financial obligations have been met.

Electoral revenues Electoral campaign expenses Transfers made
  • Monetary contributions made to the candidate
  • Reimbursement received for paid election expenses or paid personal expenses
  • Reimbursement received for the candidate's nomination deposit
  • Any other amount that was received by the candidate for their electoral campaign and is not repayable, including transfers from registered parties, registered associations and nomination contestants
For the purpose of calculating the surplus, includes all expenses paid using campaign funds:
  • election expenses
  • candidate's personal expenses
  • other electoral campaign expenses
Any funds the candidate's campaign transfers to:
  • the registered party or a registered association of the party
  • the candidate themself as a nomination contestant in respect of the same election

Transfer or sale of capital assets

Capital asset means any property with a commercial value of more than $200 that is normally used outside an election period other than for the purposes of an election.

If the campaign has any capital asset whose purchase constitutes an electoral campaign expense, the official agent must either transfer the asset to the registered party or the registered association, or sell the asset at fair market value and include the funds in the surplus disposition.

Notice of estimated surplus from Elections Canada

After the review and the payment of the final reimbursement and the auditor's subsidy, in some cases it is determined that the candidate has a surplus of electoral campaign funds. Elections Canada sends a notice about the estimated amount of the surplus to the candidate's official agent.

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

If the official agent is aware of a surplus

If the official agent is aware of a surplus of electoral funds but has not yet received a notice from Elections Canada, the official agent has to dispose of the estimated surplus within 60 days after:

How to dispose of a surplus

If the candidate was endorsed by a registered party, surplus funds have to be transferred to the registered party or to a registered association of that party in the candidate's electoral district.

Independent and non-affiliated candidates have to transfer surplus funds to Elections Canada by issuing a cheque payable to the Receiver General for Canada.

Candidate's Statement of Surplus

The official agent has to submit the Candidate's Statement of Surplus / Amended Campaign Return form within seven days after disposing of the surplus.

In some cases, amendments are also made to the original candidate'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 Candidate's Statement of Surplus / Amended Campaign Return will be treated as a request to correct or revise the Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return and Elections Canada will update the return accordingly.

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

For details about closing the candidate's campaign, please see Closing the candidate's campaign in Chapter 1, Reference Tables and Timelines.