open Secondary menu

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

13. Reporting

This chapter describes the registration and financial reports that must be completed and submitted by set deadlines under the Canada Elections Act. It covers the following topics:

  • Reporting obligations before contest day
  • Reporting obligations after contest day
  • Additional reporting
  • Submitting reports to Elections Canada
  • Requesting a filing deadline extension

For a timeline of all reporting obligations, see Important deadlines for the leadership contestant's campaign in Chapter 1, Reference Tables and Timelines.

Note: Forms and instructions are available on the Elections Canada website.

Reporting obligations before contest day

Reports in this table must be submitted to Elections Canada, unless otherwise noted.

Reports Description Who is responsible
Date of registration
General FormóRegistered Party Leadership Contestant
(EC 20371)

The contestant uses this form to register. It must include:

  • the financial agent's and auditor's signed consent to act
  • a declaration by the chief agent that the party has accepted the applicant as a leadership contestant
Leadership contestant and financial agent
Leadership Contestant's Statement of Contributions and Loans Received Before the First Day of the Contest
(EC 20209)
This return details the contributions and loans received by the contestant before the start of the contest. Leadership contestant and financial agent
3 weeks before contest day
Leadership Contestant's Interim Campaign Return*
(EC 20193)

First interim return

This return lists inflows and transfers sent from the first day of the contest to four weeks before contest day.

If the contest period is less than four weeks, only the second interim return is required.

Financial agent
2 days before contest day
Leadership Contestant's Interim Campaign Return*
(EC 20193)

Second interim return
This return lists inflows and transfers sent from the day after the previous reporting period to one week before contest day. Financial agent

*Interim returns are required if contributions totalling more than $10,000 are accepted or leadership campaign expenses totalling more than $10,000 are incurred (note that transfers to affiliated political entities are not leadership campaign expenses).

If the $10,000 threshold is reached after the first reporting period, only the second interim return is required, but it must cover the whole period from the first day of the contest to one week before contest day.

Reporting obligations after contest day

Reports in this table must be submitted to Elections Canada, unless otherwise noted.

Reports Description Who is responsible
5 months after contest day
Leadership Contestant's Statement of Expenses
(EC 20197)

Signed, with all supporting documents
The statement lists the contestant's personal, travel and living, and litigation expenses that were reasonably incurred in relation to the contest and have not been reimbursed by the campaign.

It must be completed even if the expenses were nil.
Leadership contestant

Submitted to financial agent
6 months after contest day
Leadership Contestant's Campaign Return
(EC 20192)

Signed, with all supporting documents

The campaign return includes the following:

  • campaign information and declaration, signed by the contestant and the financial agent
  • revenues and other inflows
  • expenses and other outflows
  • unpaid claims and loans
  • bank reconciliation
Financial agent
Leadership Contestant's Statement of Expenses
(EC 20197)

Signed, with all supporting documents
The financial agent must submit the expenses statement with the Leadership Contestant's Campaign Return. Financial agent
Auditor's report* After the financial agent has completed the campaign return, the auditor has to examine the financial records and give an opinion in a report as to whether the campaign return presents fairly the information contained in the financial records on which it is based. Financial agent

*Required if the campaign accepted contributions totalling $10,000 or more, or incurred leadership campaign expenses totalling $10,000 or more (note that transfers to affiliated political entities are not leadership campaign expenses).

It is very important to give the auditor enough time to properly audit the Leadership Contestant's Campaign Return before the deadline.

Additional reporting

In some cases, reporting obligations continue well past contest day. The campaign might still have unpaid claims or loans, or need to correct an error in the contestant's return. The following table summarizes these additional reporting requirements.

Reports Description Deadline Who is responsible
Leadership Contestant's Campaign Return (EC 20192)
Corrected or revised, as requested by the leadership contestant or financial agent The contestant or the financial agent may become aware of a need to make a correction or report new transactions in a return that has been filed. In that case, the contestant or the financial agent has to submit a written request for authorization to file a corrected or revised return. 30 days after the correction or revision was authorized Leadership contestant or financial agent
Corrected or revised, as requested by Elections Canada On review, Elections Canada may request that the financial agent correct or revise the campaign return. Within a period specified by Elections Canada Financial agent
Updated after the final payment of a claim or loan The financial agent must send an updated Leadership Contestant's Campaign Return indicating the source of funds used to pay the claim or loan. 30 days after a claim or loan is paid* Financial agent
Leadership Contestant's Statement of Unpaid Claims and Loans 18 or 36 Months After Contest Day (EC 20002)
Statement as of 18 months after contest day This statement is required if the campaign still has unpaid claims and loans 18 months after contest day. 19 months after contest day Financial agent
Statement as of 36 months after contest day This statement is required if the campaign still has unpaid claims and loans 36 months after contest day. 37 months after contest day Financial agent

*Claims and loans must be paid within 36 months after contest day. Authorization is required from Elections Canada or a judge to pay claims or loans more than 36 months after contest day.

Submitting reports to Elections Canada

Financial forms, registry forms and instructions are available on the Elections Canada website.

Elections Canada has developed free software to assist with the preparation of financial returns: the Electronic Financial Return (EFR) software. The EFR software can be accessed from the Elections Canada website.

Note: Using EFR to complete or update the Leadership Contestant's Campaign Return, including interim returns, makes reporting much easier because EFR validates the entries and creates a submission file with the required fields populated.

How to submit reports to Elections Canada
Process
  1. Sign the pages requiring signature.
  2. Send the reports to Elections Canada by email (in PDF format), courier, mail or fax.
  3. Send supporting documentation to Elections Canada by email, courier or mail.
If you used EFR: Send the submission file created by the system (in ZIP format) and a copy of the pages requiring signature (in PDF format) by email.
Email efr-rfe@elections.ca
Mail Elections Canada

30 Victoria Street, Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0M6
Fax Political Financing
1-888-523-9333 (toll-free)
1-819-939-1803

Notes

  • Documents submitted to Elections Canada have to be signed.
  • It is recommended that the campaign keep a copy of all documents submitted.

Requesting a filing deadline extension

Reports eligible for an extension

The Canada Elections Act specifies deadlines for submitting reports. The financial agent or the leadership contestant may apply for an extension if they cannot submit certain reports on time.

If only a few invoices or receipts are missing, campaigns should submit the mandatory documents on time and send the missing documentation later.

Note: The Canada Elections Act does not allow extensions for the submission of the Leadership Contestant's Interim Campaign Return under any circumstances.

The following table explains which documents are eligible for an extension and from whom.

Leadership contest reports—extension requests
Report Extension from Elections Canada Additional extension from Elections Canada Extension from a judge
Leadership Contestant's Interim Campaign Return
First or second interim return No No No
Leadership Contestant's Campaign Return
Original submission, including the auditor's report (if required) Yes No Yes
Updated after the final payment of a claim or loan at any time after contest day Yes No Yes
Corrected or revised, as requested by the leadership contestant or the financial agent Yes Yes No
Corrected or revised, as requested by Elections Canada No No No*
Leadership Contestant's Statement of Unpaid Claims and Loans 18 or 36 Months After Contest Day
Statement as of 18 months after contest day Yes No Yes
Statement as of 36 months after contest day Yes No Yes

*Corrections or revisions requested by Elections Canada are not eligible for extensions and must be filed within the specified period. However, the financial agent or the leadership contestant can apply to a judge to be relieved of the obligation of complying with the request.

Submitting an extension request to Elections Canada

To apply for an extension from Elections Canada, the financial agent or the leadership contestant has to send the Request for Extension of Filing Deadline form. It must be received by Elections Canada no later than two weeks after the filing deadline.

Note: Only a judge may grant an extension requested more than two weeks after the deadline has passed.

Elections Canada will grant an extension unless the financial agent's failure to provide the document was deliberate or was the result of a failure to exercise due diligence.

If Elections Canada refuses to authorize an extension or if the financial agent or leadership contestant is unable to file the required documents within the extended period, the leadership contestant or the financial agent may apply to a judge for an extension.

Submitting an extension request to a judge

To apply for an extension from a judge, an application must be submitted to one of the courts listed below. Any of the courts can be applied to, no matter where the campaign has its headquarters.

A copy of the application must be sent to Elections Canada by email or fax.

If the campaign sends a draft of its application to Elections Canada before filing it with the court, Elections Canada staff will verify whether the request will enable the campaign to fulfill its obligations and provide a letter confirming that it has been notified of the application.

Province or territory Court that can receive the application
Alberta Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta
British Columbia Supreme Court of British Columbia
Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench of Manitoba
New Brunswick Court of Queen's Bench of New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador Trial Division of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia Supreme Court of Nova Scotia
Nunavut Nunavut Court of Justice
Ontario Superior Court of Justice of Ontario
Prince Edward Island Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island
Quebec Superior Court of Quebec
Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench of Saskatchewan
Northwest Territories Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories
Yukon Supreme Court of Yukon

In the application, the campaign has to request a new deadline for submitting the documents to Elections Canada. Sometimes the new deadline will be for a past date. This happens when a campaign submitted its mandatory documents late before requesting an extension and is now regularizing its filing.

Extension to future date Extension to past date (retroactive)
The campaign can request any reasonable date as the new filing deadline, based on its circumstances.

Make sure the date chosen gives the campaign enough time to meet its obligations; otherwise, a new application will need to be filed with the court.
The campaign must request the date that all mandatory documents were received by Elections Canada as the new filing deadline.

Please contact the Political Entities Support Network to get the correct date.

Note: If the campaign is not using a lawyer to prepare its application, it may wish to contact the registrar of the court for information on the process or ask a legal clinic for sample documents.