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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..

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?
  • Who can incur and pay the contestant's personal expenses?
  • Typical personal 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, both during and outside the contest period:

  • 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.

Note: The contestant's personal 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.

Who can incur and pay the contestant's personal expenses?

Only the nomination contestant or the financial agent can incur the contestant's personal expense.

Anyone can pay the contestant's personal expenses. They can be paid:

  • by the financial agent from the campaign bank account
  • by the contestant using their own funds, including funds provided by another person or group for that purpose
  • by any person or group directly, using their own funds, with the contestant's consent

The following table explains different scenarios for paying personal expenses other than from the campaign bank account.

Payment scenario and
expense category
What to keep in mind

Contestant pays any personal 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 or others pay care or disability expenses and do not intend to be repaid

The contestant, other person or group makes the payment without going through the campaign bank account. It is not a contribution but must still be reported in the contestant's return.

Contestant or others pay other personal expenses and do not intend to be repaid

Same as above. The campaign can accept unlimited payments for these expenses. (Note: This rule is different when it comes to a candidate's other personal expenses, which are subject to a limit.)

Typical personal expenses

The following are examples of typical personal expenses that the nomination contestant might incur in relation to their campaign.

Childcare

The nomination contestant might engage in campaign activities during the daytime, evenings or weekends. If the contestant would normally be at home caring for a child at these times, the expense for additional childcare incurred as an incidence of the contest is a personal expense of the contestant.

Example

Raffi, a nomination contestant, has officially launched his campaign for a nomination contest that will be held later in the year. He has sole care of his child on weekends. When he goes canvassing one Saturday, Raffi leaves his child with a babysitter for three hours. The expense for the babysitter is a personal expense of the contestant.

Care for a person with a physical or mental incapacity

If the nomination 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 expense for additional care is a personal expense of the contestant.

Expenses related to a disability

In the case of a nomination contestant with a disability, the additional expenses related to the disability that are reasonably incurred as an incidence of the contest are personal expenses of the contestant.

Examples
  1. Ana, a contestant, has a disability that requires the services of a caregiver when she travels. The caregiver accompanies Ana on trips in the riding. The expenses of this additional care are personal expenses of the contestant.
  2. Boris, a contestant, has a disability that requires him to use accessible forms of transportation. He regularly travels from home to his campaign office and to campaign events using accessible taxis. The expenses for the taxis are personal expenses of the contestant rather than travel and living expenses.

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 nomination 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.

Example

The nomination contestant makes and receives calls related to the campaign on her own cellphone. The contestant can claim any expenses in excess of her normal cellphone expenses as other personal expenses.