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

11. Leadership Contestant's Litigation Expenses

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

  • What are the contestant's litigation expenses?
  • Who can incur and pay the contestant's litigation expenses?

What are the contestant's litigation expenses?

Litigation expenses of a leadership contestant are expenses for any of the following related to the campaign:

  • an application to a judge related to the financial administration of the campaign (extension requests, relief from the obligation to file a corrected return, payment authorizations, etc.)
  • an appeal or judicial review related to the requests or applications above

Who can incur and pay the contestant's litigation expenses?

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

Anyone can pay litigation expenses of the contestant. They can be paid:

  • by the financial agent from the campaign bank account
  • by the contestant using their own funds, including funds provided by another person or group for that purpose
  • by any person or group directly, using their own funds, with the contestant's consent

The following table explains different scenarios for paying litigation expenses other than from the campaign bank account.

Payment source What to keep in mind
Contestant pays a litigation 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 or others pay a litigation expense and do not intend to be repaid The contestant, other person or group makes the payment without going through the campaign bank account. It is not a contribution but must still be reported in the contestant's return.

Note: After sending the Leadership Contestant's Statement of Expenses to the financial agent, if the contestant or others pay a litigation expense, the contestant must send details of the expense and proof of payment to the financial agent as soon as possible. The financial agent will need to submit a revised contestant's return. See Additional reporting in Chapter 13, Reporting.