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By-Elections 1996 – Official Voting Results and Candidates' Contributions and Expenses


Election expenses limits

The Act limits the amount a candidate may spend during a by-election. This limit is calculated according to a formula based on the number of names on the preliminary lists of electors in the electoral district in which the candidate is nominated. The national average of electors by electoral district and the population density are also taken into consideration in this calculation. The limit, therefore, varies from district to district: it was $63 362.29 in Humber–St. Barbe–Baie Verte; $54 177.96 in Labrador, $66 323.09 in Lac-Saint-Jean; $53 615.51 in Papineau–Saint-Michel; $55 718.76 in Saint-Laurent–Cartierville; $56 303.35 in Etobicoke North; and $55 269.83 in Hamilton East.

From the data available as of November 1, 1996, the 43 candidates in the 1996 by-elections who submitted a return together incurred $995 596 in expenses (including unpaid claims) for their election campaigns. Advertising other than on radio and television accounts for 47.86 percent of the candidates' election expenses, while office expenses account for 20.92 percent.

Reimbursements

The Canada Elections Act provides for the reimbursement of a portion of the election expenses incurred by candidates. Under sections 241 and 242 of the Act, a candidate is entitled to a reimbursement of 50 percent of election expenses paid, to a maximum of 50 percent of the expenses limit, if the candidate was elected or obtained at least 15 percent of the valid votes cast. An initial reimbursement equal to 15 percent of the election expenses limit is paid to qualifying candidates and, once the candidate's election expenses returns have been audited, adjustments are made to the final reimbursement amount.

Of the 45 candidates who ran for office at the 1996 by-elections, 15 qualified for reimbursement.

Payment of excess contributions

The Act requires that, where a candidate's revenue exceeds election expenses, the surplus must be paid to the chief agent of the party or to a local organization or association of members of the party in the candidate's electoral district, if the candidate was sponsored by a registered political party; otherwise, the surplus must be paid to the Receiver General for Canada. This surplus must be paid within one month following the date on which the candidate's official agent receives the reimbursement of a candidate's election expenses or two months after the candidate's election expenses return is filed, whichever is later.

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