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.
9. Nomination Contestant's Personal Expenses
This chapter discusses the nomination contestant's personal expenses and reporting requirements. It covers the following topics:
- What are the contestant's personal expenses?
- What are the reporting requirements, including when expenses are nil?
- Travel and living expenses
- Care and disability expenses
- Other personal expenses
What are the contestant's personal expenses?
Personal expenses of the nomination contestant include the following types of expenses listed in the Canada Elections Act and reasonably incurred in relation to the nomination contest:
- travel and living expenses
- child care 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
The contestant's personal expenses do not count against the nomination contest expenses limit. Personal expenses not reimbursed by the campaign must be reported as non-monetary contributions.
The contestant's personal expenses have to be incurred as an incidence of the nomination contest. They may include new expenses or increases in normally incurred expenses. In other words, they have to be expenses that the contestant would not normally incur if there was no nomination contest.
The expenses of day-to-day meals in the contestant's home are not related to the campaign because meals are consumed regularly outside the contest period. On the other hand, if the contestant has to travel because of the campaign, they might incur meal expenses during the trip. A $50 dinner consumed by the contestant while travelling to another city in the electoral district is recorded as the contestant's personal expense.
What are the reporting requirements?
The contestant is responsible for keeping invoices and other documents in relation to their personal expenses.
All invoices and receipts have to accompany the Nomination Contestant's Statement of Personal Expenses. The contestant has to prepare the statement and submit it to the financial agent within three months after the selection date.
Note: The contestant has to submit the Nomination Contestant's Statement of Personal Expenses even if the personal expenses were nil.
Contestant's personal expense categories
The following are examples of typical personal expenses that the contestant might incur in relation to their campaign.
Travel and living
If the contestant travels to meet supporters in relation to the campaign, the travel and living expenses incurred for the trips are personal expenses of the contestant.
If the contestant uses a personal vehicle for travel, they may submit receipts for gas and other expenses, or may submit a mileage log. The mileage log should contain the following information: the date, the point of origin, the destination, the kilometres travelled and the purpose of travel. Elections Canada follows the kilometric rates established by the Treasury Board of Canada.
An important point is that the expenses of campaign workers and volunteers accompanying the contestant on trips during the contest period, or assisting the contestant during events, are considered nomination contest expenses—not the contestant's personal expenses.
Expenses incurred for return trips of campaign workers and volunteers after the contest period are not nomination contest expenses.
Note: The travel claim has to be either for actual expenses, such as fuel and rental costs, or else for mileage. The claim cannot be for both.
Marisol, a nomination contestant, travels with volunteers during the contest period to visit supporters. The expenses associated with the volunteers' transportation and meals during the trips are nomination contest expenses subject to the limit. Marisol's travel expenses are personal expenses not subject to the limit.
The contestant might engage in campaign activities during the daytime, on evenings or on weekends. Additional child care expenses incurred in relation to the campaign are incremental expenses because they would not normally occur if there was no nomination contest. The additional child care cost is a personal expense of the contestant.
Care for a person with a physical or mental incapacity
If the 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 cost of additional care is a personal expense of the contestant.
Expenses related to a disability
In the case of a contestant with a disability, the additional personal expenses that are related to the disability, and are reasonably incurred in relation to the campaign, are personal expenses of the contestant.
Robert, a nomination contestant with a disability, requires the services of a caregiver when travelling. This person accompanies Robert on trips during the campaign. The expenses of this additional caregiving are personal expenses of the contestant.
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, personal grooming or the contestant's cellphone use. All the items reported must be for expenses that the contestant would not normally incur if there was no nomination contest.