Political Financing Handbook for Nomination Contestants and Financial Agents (EC 20182) – October 2021
10. Nomination Contestant's Travel and Living Expenses
This chapter discusses the nomination contestant's travel and living expenses and reporting requirements. It covers the following topics:
- What are the contestant's travel and living expenses? What are not?
- Who can incur and pay the contestant's travel and living expenses?
- Use of travel reward points
- Typical travel and living expenses (meals and incidentals, temporary lodging and transportation)
What are the contestant's travel and living expenses?
The nomination contestant's travel and living expenses include the following types of expenses reasonably incurred in relation to the contestant's campaign, both during and outside the contest period:
- temporary lodging
- meals and incidentals
The contestant's travel and living expenses do not count against the nomination contest expenses limit.
Note: The contestant's travel and living 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 nomination contest.
What are not the contestant's travel and living expenses?
The expenses of campaign workers and volunteers accompanying the nomination contestant on trips during the contest period, or assisting the contestant during events, are not the contestant's travel and living expenses. They are nomination contest expenses subject to the limit.
See Campaign workers and related expenses in Chapter 8, Nomination Contest Expenses.
- The contestant rents a car to travel in the riding and meet with voters during the contest period. The car rental and fuel costs are recorded as travel and living expenses of the contestant. The expenses for the contestantís lodging and meals during the trip are also travel and living expenses. The contestant travels with his campaign manager, who is a volunteer. The expenses associated with the campaign managerís lodging and meals during the trip are nomination contest expenses.
- The contestantís campaign rents a bus for $800 to transport the contestant and volunteers to an event during the contest period. The contestant could have rented a car for $60. The campaign can choose to report $800 as a nomination contest expense, or it can report $60 as the contestantís travel and living expense (not subject to the limit) and the remaining $740 as a nomination contest expense.
Who can incur and pay the contestant's travel and living expenses?
Only the nomination contestant or the financial agent can incur the contestant's travel and living expenses.
Only the contestant or the financial agent is allowed to pay the contestant's travel and living expenses. They can be paid:
- by the financial agent from the campaign bank account
- by the contestant using their own funds
The following table explains the different scenarios for contestants paying their own travel and living expenses.
|Payment scenario||What to keep in mind|
Contestant pays a travel and living expense and intends to be repaid by the campaign
The campaign has to repay the contestant within 36 months after the selection date (or election day, if the selection date falls within an election period or within 30 days before it).
After that date, the repayment cannot be made without prior authorization from Elections Canada or a judge.
Contestant pays a travel and living expense and does not intend to be repaid
When contestants use their own funds to pay travel and living expenses, and they are not repaid by the campaign, it is a non-monetary contribution from the contestant to the campaign. The contribution rules apply.
Use of travel reward points
Nomination contestants may have accumulated travel points from reward programs in their personal or professional lives. If a contestant uses the points to cover or subsidize their campaign travel expenses, they are making a contribution to the campaign. The contribution amount is the commercial value of the property or services acquired with the points.
To not have the points count as a contribution, the campaign must repay the commercial value to the contestant.
Typical travel and living expenses
The following are examples of typical travel and living expenses that the nomination contestant might incur in relation to their campaign.
Meals and incidentals
The nomination contestant might spend long hours away from home because of the campaign. Additional expenses for the contestant's meals and incidentals incurred as an incidence of the contest are travel and living expenses.
The contestant orders a $30 dinner while travelling in the riding because of the campaign. This is a travel and living expense of the contestant. His day-to-day meals consumed at home, on the other hand, are not a travel and living expense because meals are consumed regularly outside the contest period.
Note: Per diems (daily allowances) cannot be claimed as a contestant's travel and living expenses. Only actual paid expenses are considered. Per diems may be reported as a nomination contest expense if they are part of the contestantís compensation agreement.
The nomination contestant might stay in a hotel while travelling in the electoral district for the campaign or might relocate temporarily to the electoral district if they normally live elsewhere. The expense for the contestant's temporary lodging incurred as an incidence of the contest is a travel and living expense.
The nomination contestant might need to travel within or outside the electoral district for the campaign, using a vehicle or other method of transportation. The expense for the contestant's transportation incurred as an incidence of the contest is a travel and living expense.
If the contestant uses a personal vehicle for travel, they may submit:
- receipts for gas and other expenses, or
- a mileage log
The mileage log should contain the following information: the date of travel, point of origin, destination, kilometres travelled and purpose of travel. It is recommended that campaigns use the kilometric rates established by the National Joint Council's Travel Directive to calculate the expense.
Note: A contestant's travel claim has to be either for actual expenses, such as gas and rental costs, or else for mileage. The claim cannot be for both.