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Political Financing Handbook for Nomination Contestants and Financial Agents (EC 20182) – June 2019

Note: This handbook is to be used for contests called on or after June 13, 2019. For earlier contests, please use the December 2018 version of the handbook..

15. 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?
  • 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 from the campaign bank account and transfers made by the contestant's campaign.

What is a surplus?
Text Description 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 deposited into the campaign bank account 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, this includes all expenses paid using funds from the campaign bank account

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

Note: Surplus only relates to transactions that went through the campaign bank account. If some personal or litigation expenses were paid using outside funds, exclude them from the calculation.

Sale of capital assets

A capital asset is any property with a commercial value of more than $200 that is normally used outside a nomination contest other than for the purposes of a contest.

If the campaign has any capital asset whose acquisition constitutes a nomination campaign expense, the financial agent must sell the asset at fair market value and include the funds in the surplus disposal.

Note: Capital assets must be sold and the funds transferred to a specified political entity. The assets themselves cannot be transferred.

Notice of estimated surplus from Elections Canada

After Elections Canada reviews the nomination contestant's return and pays the auditor's subsidy, it may determine 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

The financial agent has to report the disposal by submitting 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.

The financial agent might also use this form to report financial transactions that occurred since the original contestant's return was submitted. Elections Canada will treat new transactions reported in the Nomination Contestant's Statement of Surplus / Amended Campaign Return as a request to correct or revise the Nomination Contestant's Campaign Return and 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.