Political Financing Handbook for Nomination Contestants and Financial Agents (EC 20182) – October 2021
This chapter describes the financial reports that must be completed and submitted by set deadlines under the Canada Elections Act. It covers the following topics:
- Reporting obligations after the selection date
- Additional reporting
- Submitting reports to Elections Canada
- Requesting a filing deadline extension
For a timeline of all reporting obligations, see Important deadlines for the nomination contestant's campaign in Chapter 1, Reference Tables and Timelines.
Note: Forms and instructions are available on the Elections Canada website.
Reporting obligations after the selection date
Reports in this table must be submitted to Elections Canada, unless otherwise noted.
|Report||Description||Who is responsible|
|3 months after selection date|
Nomination Contestant's Statement of Expenses
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.
Submitted to financial agent
|4 months after selection dateNote 1|
Nomination Contestant's Campaign ReturnNote 2
Signed, with all supporting documents
The campaign return includes the following:
Nomination Contestant's Statement of ExpensesNote 2
Signed, with all supporting documents
|The financial agent must submit the expenses statement with the Nomination Contestant's Campaign Return.||Financial agent|
|Auditor's reportNote 3||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 contestant's return presents fairly the information contained in the financial records on which it is based.||Financial agent|
Note 1 If the selection date falls within an election period or within 30 days before it, the deadline is four months after election day.
Note 2 Required if the campaign accepted contributions totalling $1,000 or more, or incurred nomination campaign expenses totalling $1,000 or more (note that transfers to affiliated political entities are not nomination campaign expenses).
Note 3 Required if the campaign accepted contributions totalling $10,000 or more, or incurred nomination campaign expenses totalling $10,000 or more (note that transfers to affiliated political entities are not nomination campaign expenses).
It is very important to give the auditor enough time to properly audit the Nomination Contestant's Campaign Return before the deadline.
In some cases, reporting obligations continue well past the selection date. 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.
Note: If the selection date falls with an election period or within 30 days before it, a reference to the selection date in the table below is to be read as election day.
|Report||Description||Deadline||Who is responsible|
|Nomination Contestant's Campaign Return (EC 20171)|
|Corrected or revised, as requested by the nomination 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||Nomination contestant or financial agent|
|Corrected or revised, as requested by Elections Canada||On review, Elections Canada may request the financial agent to 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 Nomination 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|
|Nomination Contestant's Statement of Unpaid Claims and Loans 18 or 36 Months After the Selection Date (EC 20001)|
|Statement as of 18 months after the selection date||This statement is required if the campaign still has unpaid claims and loans 18 months after the selection date.||19 months after selection date||Financial agent|
|Statement as of 36 months after the selection date||This statement is required if the campaign still has unpaid claims and loans 36 months after the selection date.||37 months after selection date||Financial agent|
*Claims and loans must be paid within 36 months after the selection date. Authorization is required from Elections Canada or a judge to pay claims or loans more than 36 months after the selection date.
Submitting reports to Elections Canada
Financial 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.
The EFR software is updated regularly. Check for the latest version before preparing a return.
Note: Using EFR to complete or update the Nomination Contestant's Campaign Return makes reporting much easier because EFR validates the entries and creates a submission file with the required fields populated.
Any other report
|Mail or fax||
Any financial reports
- When submitting online, there is no need to send physical copies by mail.
- It is recommended that the campaign keep a copy of all documents submitted.
- The campaign can print a confirmation of its submission and track the status of its financial return in the Political Entities Service Centre.
Requesting a filing deadline extension
Reports eligible for an extension
The Canada Elections Act specifies deadlines for submitting reports. The financial agent or the nomination contestant may apply for an extension if they cannot submit a report 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.
The following table explains which documents are eligible for an extension and from whom.
|Report||Extension from Elections Canada||Additional extension from Elections Canada||Extension froma judge|
|Nomination 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 the selection date||Yes||No||Yes|
|Corrected or revised, as requested by the nomination contestant or the financial agent||Yes||Yes||No|
|Corrected or revised, as requested byElections Canada||No||No||No*|
|Nomination Contestant's Statement of Unpaid Claims and Loans 18 or 36 Months After the Selection Date|
|Statement as of 18 months after the selection date||Yes||No||Yes|
|Statement as of 36 months after the selection date||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 nomination 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 nomination 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 nomination contestant is unable to file the required documents within the extended period, the nomination 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.