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

9. Leadership Contestant's Personal Expenses

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

  • What are the contestant's personal expenses?
  • Who can incur and pay the contestant's personal expenses?
  • Typical personal expenses (care and disability expenses, other personal expenses)

What are the contestant's personal expenses?

Personal expenses of the leadership contestant include the following types of expenses listed in the Canada Elections Act and reasonably incurred in relation to the leadership contest, both during and outside the contest period:

  • childcare expenses
  • expenses related to the provision of care for a person with a physical or mental incapacity for whom the contestant normally provides such care
  • in the case of a contestant who has a disability, additional personal expenses that are related to the disability
  • other personal expenses—that is, all personal expenses other than those in the preceding categories

Note: The contestant's personal 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.

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

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

Anyone can pay the contestant's personal expenses. 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 personal expenses other than from the campaign bank account.

Payment scenario and expense category What to keep in mind
Contestant pays any personal 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 care or disability expenses 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.
Contestant or others pay other personal expenses and do not intend to be repaid Same as above. The campaign can accept unlimited payments for these expenses. (Note: This rule is different when it comes to a candidate's other personal expenses, which are subject to a limit.)

Typical personal expenses

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

Childcare

The leadership contestant might engage in campaign activities during the daytime, evenings or weekends. If the contestant would normally be at home caring for a child at these times, the expense for additional childcare incurred as an incidence of the contest is a personal expense of the contestant.

Example

Raffi, a leadership contestant, has officially launched his campaign in anticipation of a leadership contest that will be held later in the year. He has sole care of his child on weekends. When he goes canvassing one Saturday, Raffi leaves his child with a babysitter for three hours. The expense for the babysitter is a personal expense of the contestant.

Care for a person with a physical or mental incapacity

If the leadership contestant normally provides care for a person with a physical or mental incapacity, additional care might be needed for the times when the contestant is engaged in campaign activities. The expense for additional care is a personal expense of the contestant.

Expenses related to a disability

In the case of a leadership contestant with a disability, the additional expenses related to the disability that are reasonably incurred as an incidence of the contest are personal expenses of the contestant.

Examples
  1. Ana, a contestant, has a disability that requires the services of a caregiver when she travels. The caregiver accompanies Ana on trips across the country. The expenses of this additional care are personal expenses of the contestant.
  2. Boris, a contestant, has a disability that requires him to use accessible forms of transportation. He regularly travels to campaign events using accessible taxis. The expenses for the taxis are personal expenses of the contestant rather than travel and living expenses.

Other personal expenses

This category includes personal expenses other than those in the preceding categories.

This is the category in which to report items such as costs of dry cleaning and personal grooming. All the items reported must be for expenses that the contestant would not normally incur if there was no leadership contest.