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Status of Political Financing Files from the 43rd General ElectionCEO Appearance on Bill C-19, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act (COVID-19 response)

Fact Sheet

Key Messages

  • In response to COVID-19, Elections Canada focused on providing political entities as much flexibility as possible to allow them to comply with the Canada Elections Act.
  • These changes include providing sufficient time to entities to file their returns.
  • Reimbursements were issued to eligible political entities by the end of October 2020.


*Note prepared with data as of June 7, 2021*

  • To date, Elections Canada has received the majority of returns from the 43rd general election:
    • We have received:
      • 96% of candidate returns
      • 86% of party electoral returns (18 of 21 registered parties)
        • Missing documentation from the United Party of Canada, Stop Climate Change and Progressive Canadians. All three party have been deregistered.
      • 93% of third party returns
  • Ahead of the 43rd general election, Elections Canada made changes to its audit process to adopt a risk-based methodology. Only a subset of returns will be selected for a full audit, based on risk factors (including the overall money spent during the campaign).
  • Work to complete audits of candidate returns within 12 months has been challenging.
    • The deadline for filing the candidate returns was February 21, 2020. Only 52% of returns were received by that date. Elections Canada has received 915 requests for an extension.
    • At present, Elections Canada has completed 86% of scheduled audits (all types) and is targeting June 30, 2021 to complete all audits.
    • At the end of February 2021, Elections Canada had completed 82% of full and limited audits of returns received by the statutory deadline of February 21, 2020 (as of the update, Elections Canada had completed 97%).
  • In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Elections Canada has:
    • Facilitated deadline extensions for candidates and third parties. The Chief Electoral Officer reconsidered extensions from February 21, 2020, for those entities who had already requested and received approval for a deadline extension, to June 30, 2020.
    • Implemented a mechanism, under way from August 2020 to the end of October 2020, to accelerate reimbursements to eligible campaigns. These reimbursements were made prior to the completion of an audit.
    • Recommended to Electoral District Associations (EDAs) expecting delays due to COVID-19 to apply for an extension ahead of the annual filing deadline. Extensions were granted to July 31, 2020.
    • Adjusted our business processes for EDAs, including a simplified process to request an extension and an alternative to a signature for the annual update to the Registry.
  • These adjustments have been communicated to political entities on the Elections Canada website, on social media and through regular channels.