open Secondary menu

Performance Report – For the period ending March 31, 2012

Details of Transfer Payment Programs

1. Name of Transfer Payment Program: Reimbursements to candidates, parties and auditors as well as allowances to eligible political parties.

2. Start Date: Ongoing

3. End Date: Ongoing

4. Description: Elections Canada's role is to administer the Canada Elections Act (the Act), which has two main objectives fairness and transparency.

To promote fairness, the Act provides for reimbursement of election expenses to candidates and parties as well as a subsidy for certain auditors' fees. A candidate who is elected or who receives at least 10 percent of the valid votes cast in an election is entitled to a reimbursement of 60 percent of paid election expenses and paid personal expenses, not exceeding 60 percent of the election expenses limit. A registered party is eligible for reimbursement equivalent to 50 percent of election expenses paid if the party obtained 2 percent or more of the total valid votes cast nationally or 5 percent of the valid votes cast in electoral districts where the party endorsed candidates. The Act provides for a subsidy, equal to the lesser of $1,500 or 3 percent of a candidate's election expenses, but a minimum of $250, to be paid out of public funds directly to the candidate's auditor.

A registered association that has, in a fiscal period, accepted contributions or incurred expenses of $5,000 or more in total (less transfers to other political entities) must obtain an audit report that provides an opinion as to whether its Registered Association Financial Transactions Return fairly presents the information contained in the financial records on which it is based. When an audit of this return is required, the Act provides for a subsidy of a maximum of $1,500 for that audit. This amount is paid out of public funds directly to the electoral district association's auditor after the Chief Electoral Officer has received the return, the auditor's report and other documents that must accompany the return.

For eligible political parties, the Act also provides for the payment of a quarterly allowance according to the following formula: a registered political party that obtained at least 2 percent of the total valid votes cast in a general election, or 5 percent of the valid votes cast in the electoral districts where it presented candidates, has the right to a quarterly allowance that is calculated as the product of $0.4375 multiplied by the number of valid votes cast in the most recent general election preceding that quarter and the inflation adjustment factor that is in effect for that quarter.

5. Strategic Outcome: To maintain and strengthen the recognition among Canadians, whether they are electors or other participants in the electoral process, that Elections Canada administers the Act in a fair, consistent, effective and transparent manner.

6. Results Achieved: In accordance with the Act, Elections Canada issued reimbursements of election expenses to eligible candidates and parties, audit subsidies to candidates' and registered electoral district associations' auditors and quarterly allowances to eligible registered parties.

($ thousands) 7. 200910 Actual Spending 8. 201011 Actual Spending 9. 201112 Planned Spending 10. 201112 Total Authorities 11. 201112 Actual Spending 12. Variance Between Columns
9 and 11
13. General Elections and By-elections
Political parties
Candidates' auditors
14. Quarterly Allowances
Allowance to eligible political parties
15. Electoral District Associations' Auditors
Electoral district associations' auditors
16. Total Transfer Payments

17. Comments on variances: The total variance of $61.6 million is primarily a result of the reimbursement of election expenses to candidates and political parties as well as payment of candidates' auditors' fees for the 41st general election, which was called after the 20112012 planned spending figures had been prepared.

The variance of $1.9 million in the allowance to eligible political parties is a result of the increased voter turnout in the 41st general election and the inflation adjustment factor. Both are used in the calculation of the allowance, in accordance with the provisions of the Act.