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Political Financing Handbook for Nomination Contestants and Financial Agents (EC 20182) – December 2018

Note: This handbook is to be used for contests starting on or after December 21, 2018. For earlier contests, please use the 2016 version of the handbook.

13. Disposing of Surplus

This chapter explains what a surplus of campaign funds is, the rules for disposing of a surplus after all financial obligations have been met, and how to report the disposal. It covers the following topics:

  • What is a surplus?
  • Transfer or sale of capital assets
  • Notice of surplus from Elections Canada
  • If the financial agent is aware of a surplus
  • How to dispose of a surplus
  • Nomination Contestant's Statement of Surplus

What is a surplus?

The surplus amount of nomination campaign funds is the amount by which the contestant's nomination campaign revenues exceed the total of the nomination campaign expenses paid and transfers made by the contestant's campaign.

What is a surplus?
Text version of "What is a surplus?"

The amount of the surplus should equal the money left in the campaign bank account after all the financial obligations have been met.

Nomination campaign revenues Nomination campaign expenses Transfers made
  • Monetary contributions made to the nomination contestant
  • Any other amount that was received by the nomination contestant for their nomination campaign and is not repayable, including bank interest and refunds from suppliers

For the purpose of calculating the surplus, includes all expenses paid using campaign funds:

  • nomination contest expenses
  • contestant's personal expenses
  • other nomination campaign expenses

Any funds the nomination contestant's campaign transfers to:

  • the candidate of the same party in the electoral district where the contest was held
  • the registered association that held the nomination contest
  • the registered party

Notice of estimated surplus from Elections Canada

After the review of the nomination contestant's return, in some cases it is determined that the nomination contestant has a surplus of campaign funds. Elections Canada sends a notice about the estimated amount of the surplus to the nomination contestant's financial agent.

The financial agent has to dispose of the surplus within 60 days of receiving the notice.

If the financial agent is aware of a surplus

If the financial agent is aware of a surplus of campaign funds but has not yet received a notice from Elections Canada, the financial agent has to dispose of the surplus within 60 days after filing the Nomination Contestant's Campaign Return.

How to dispose of a surplus

Surplus nomination campaign funds have to be transferred to:

  • the official agent of the candidate endorsed by the registered party in the same electoral district
  • the registered association that held the nomination contest, or
  • the registered party

Nomination Contestant's Statement of Surplus

The financial agent has to submit the Nomination Contestant's Statement of Surplus / Amended Campaign Return within seven days after disposing of the surplus.

Note: The statement of surplus must be filed even if a Nomination Contestant's Campaign Return was not required for the campaign.

In some cases, amendments are also made to the original contestant's return to report financial transactions that occurred since the date the return was submitted. In these cases, any new financial transactions reported in the Nomination Contestant's Statement of Surplus / Amended Campaign Return will be treated as a request to correct or revise the Nomination Contestant's Campaign Return and Elections Canada will update the return accordingly.

Note: Elections Canada publishes the notice referring to the disposal of the surplus on its website.

For details about closing the nomination contestant's campaign, please see Closing the nomination contestant's campaign in Chapter 1, Reference Tables and Timelines.