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Political Financing Handbook for Leadership Contestants and Financial Agents (EC 20195) – February 2020

10. Leadership Contestant's Travel and Living Expenses

This chapter discusses the leadership contestant's travel and living expenses and reporting requirements. It covers the following topics:

  • What are the contestant's travel and living expenses? What are not?
  • Who can incur and pay the contestant's travel and living expenses?
  • Use of travel reward points
  • Typical travel and living expenses (meals and incidentals, temporary lodging and transportation)

What are the contestant's travel and living expenses?

The leadership contestant's travel and living expenses include the following types of expenses reasonably incurred in relation to the contestant's campaign, both during and outside the contest period:

  • transportation
  • temporary lodging
  • meals and incidentals

Note: The contestant's travel and living expenses must be new expenses or increases in normally incurred expenses. In other words, they are expenses that the contestant incurred only because there was a leadership contest.

What are not the contestant's travel and living expenses?

The expenses of campaign workers and volunteers accompanying the leadership contestant on trips during the contest period, or assisting the contestant during events, are not the contestant's travel and living expenses. They are leadership contest expenses.

Expenses incurred for return trips of campaign workers and volunteers after the contest period are other leadership campaign expenses.

Example

The leadership contestant takes commercial flights to meet with supporters across the country during the contest period. The contestant's airfare plus expenses for lodging and meals during the trips are the contestant's travel and living expenses. The contestant travels with leadership campaign workers, who are volunteers. The expenses associated with the campaign workers' airfare, lodging and meals during these trips are leadership contest expenses.

Who can incur and pay the contestant's travel and living expenses?

The leadership contestant, the financial agent or an authorized leadership campaign agent can incur the contestant's travel and living expenses. An expense is incurred when a purchaser enters into an agreement with a supplier, even if payment will happen later.

Only the contestant, the financial agent or an authorized leadership campaign agent is allowed to pay the contestant's travel and living expenses. They can be paid:

  • by the financial agent from the campaign bank account
  • by the contestant using their own funds

The following table explains the different scenarios for contestants paying their own travel and living expenses.

Payment scenario What to keep in mind
Contestant pays a travel and living expense and intends to be repaid by the campaign The campaign has to repay the contestant within 36 months after contest day.

After that date, the repayment cannot be made without prior authorization from Elections Canada or a judge.
Contestant pays a travel and living expense and does not intend to be repaid When contestants use their own funds to pay travel and living expenses, and they are not repaid by the campaign, it is a non-monetary contribution from the contestant to the campaign. The contribution rules apply.

Use of travel reward points

Leadership contestants may have accumulated travel points from reward programs in their personal or professional lives. If a contestant uses the points to cover or subsidize their campaign travel expenses, they are making a contribution to the campaign. The contribution amount is the commercial value of the property or services acquired with the points.

To not have the points count as a contribution, the campaign must repay the commercial value to the contestant.

Typical travel and living expenses

The following are examples of typical travel and living expenses that the leadership contestant might incur in relation to their campaign.

Meals and incidentals

The leadership contestant might spend long hours away from home because of the campaign. Additional expenses for the contestant's meals and incidentals incurred as an incidence of the contest are travel and living expenses.

Example

The contestant orders a $30 dinner while travelling because of the campaign. This is a travel and living expense of the contestant. His day-to-day meals consumed at home, on the other hand, are not a travel and living expense because meals are consumed regularly outside the contest period.

Note: Per diems (daily allowances) cannot be claimed as a contestant's travel and living expenses. Only actual paid expenses are considered.

Temporary lodging

The leadership contestant might stay in a hotel while travelling for the campaign or might relocate temporarily. The expense for the contestant's temporary lodging incurred as an incidence of the contest is a travel and living expense.

Transportation

The leadership contestant might need to travel to different parts of the country for the campaign, using a vehicle or other method of transportation. The expense for the contestant's transportation incurred as an incidence of the contest is a travel and living expense.

If the contestant uses a personal vehicle for travel, they may submit:

  • receipts for gas and other expenses, or
  • a mileage log

The mileage log should contain the following information: the date of travel, point of origin, destination, kilometres travelled and purpose of travel. It is recommended that campaigns use the kilometric rates established by the National Joint Council's Travel Directive to calculate the expense.

Note: A contestant's travel claim has to be either for actual expenses, such as gas and rental costs, or else for mileage. The claim cannot be for both.