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2013–14 Departmental Performance Report

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 a set amount multiplied by the number of valid votes cast in the most recent general election preceding that quarter.

As a result of the adoption of Bill C-13, which received royal assent on December 15, 2011, the quarterly allowances to registered political parties are being gradually phased out. The per-vote allowance went from $0.3825 to $0.2550 on April 1, 2013, and it is no longer indexed. The allowance will be calculated using $0.1275 starting on April 1, 2014. This allowance will no longer be provided as of April 1, 2015.

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 the auditors of candidates and registered electoral district associations and quarterly allowances to eligible registered parties.

($ thousands) 7. 20112012 Actual Spending 8. 20122013 Actual Spending 9. 20132014 Planned Spending 10. 20132014 Total Authorities 11. 20132014 Actual Spending 12. Variance Between Columns
9 and 11
13. General Elections and By-elections
Candidates
24,956
1,029
0
836
836
(836)
Political parties
33,436
18
0
2
2
(2)
Candidates' auditors
1,209
3
0
32
32
(32)
14. Quarterly Allowances
Allowance to eligible political parties
29,286
22,329
14,886
14,886
14,886
0
15. Electoral District Associations' Auditors
Electoral district associations' auditors
903
942
1,019
697
697
322
16. Total Transfer Payments
89,790
24,321
15,905
16,453
16,453
(548)

17. Comments on variances: The total variance of $548,000 is mainly due to the reimbursement of election expenses for candidates in the May and November 2013 by-elections, not included in the planned spending. It is offset by a surplus in the planned subsidies to electoral district associations' auditors.