open Secondary menu

Political Financing Handbook for Electoral District Associations and Financial Agents (EC 20089) – September 2015 – Archived Content

This document is Elections Canada's archived guideline OGI 2015-02 and is no longer in effect.

An updated version of this document is available in Tools for Electoral District Associations.

Chapter 2 – Roles and Responsibilities

This chapter covers the following topics:

Introduction

The electoral district association has to appoint a chief executive officer, a financial agent and an auditor before registration. In addition, a registered association may appoint electoral district agents to perform certain financial tasks, or other officers of the association. This chapter discusses these mandatory and optional appointments and the responsibilities of the persons appointed.

2.1 Mandatory appointments

Chief executive officer

The association must appoint a chief executive officer before applying for registration. The Canada Elections Act does not specify eligibility requirements for this role.

The chief executive officer's responsibilities include:

  • certifying the General Form – Electoral District Association
  • certifying the Annual Statement of Registry Information
  • signing the application for deregistration

Financial agent

The association must appoint a financial agent before applying for registration.

The financial agent of a registered association is responsible for administering its financial transactions and reporting them, as required by the Canada Elections Act.

The registered association may have only one financial agent at a time.

Eligibility

Who can become a financial agent?

  • an individual who is eligible to vote
  • a corporation incorporated under the laws of Canada or a province
  • a person who is a member of a partnership that has been appointed as an auditor for the registered party (if the partnership is an auditor for any other type of political entity, the person is not eligible to be the registered associationís financial agent)

Note: Although it is not a legal requirement, a financial agent should be experienced in managing finances. The role requires a strong ability to control, record and administer financial transactions, as well as to create financial reports.

Who is not eligible to act as financial agent?

  • a candidate
  • an election officer or a member of the staff of a returning officer
  • an undischarged bankrupt
  • an auditor appointed as required by the Canada Elections Act
  • an individual who is not an elector
  • a person who does not have the capacity to enter into contracts in the province or territory in which the person ordinarily resides
Appointment process

The association's application for registration must include the name and address of the financial agent and a signed consent from the financial agent to act in that capacity.

If for any reason the financial agent is no longer able to continue in that role, the association must appoint a new financial agent without delay. The association has to notify Elections Canada of the new appointment within 30 days by sending the General Form – Electoral District Association. The report has to include a signed consent from the new financial agent.

The financial agent's responsibilities and obligations

It is advisable to open a bank account to be used exclusively for the registered association's finances. The financial agent and authorized electoral district agents may have signing authority.

  • All monetary transactions should go through the bank account.
  • Only the financial agent and authorized electoral district agents can accept contributions or loans on the registered association's behalf.
  • Only the financial agent can accept or send transfers on the registered association's behalf.
  • Only the financial agent and authorized electoral district agents can issue receipts for contributions. Note: The registered association must obtain written authorization from the leader of the registered party before issuing tax receipts.
  • Only the financial agent and authorized electoral district agents can incur or pay the registered association's expenses.
  • The financial agent has to prepare and submit financial reports as required by the Canada Elections Act.

Auditor

The association must appoint an auditor before applying for registration.

A registered association may have only one auditor at a time, but the same person can be the auditor for more than one registered association.

Eligibility

Who can become an auditor?

  • a person who is a member in good standing of a corporation, an association or an institute of provincially incorporated professional accountants
  • a partnership of which every partner is a member in good standing of a corporation, an association or an institute of provincially incorporated professional accountants

Provincially incorporated professional accounting designations include: Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), Chartered Accountant (CA), Certified General Accountant (CGA) or Certified Management Accountant (CMA)

Who is not eligible to be an auditor?

  • a candidate, as well as the official agent of that candidate or any other candidate
  • an election officer or a member of the staff of the returning officer
  • a chief agent of a registered party or an eligible party
  • a registered agent of a registered party
  • an electoral district agent of a registered association
  • leadership contestants, their financial agents and leadership campaign agents
  • nomination contestants and their financial agents
  • financial agents of registered third parties
Appointment process

The association's application for registration must include the name and address of the auditor and a signed consent from the auditor to act in that capacity.

If for any reason the auditor is no longer able to continue in that role, the association must appoint a new auditor without delay. The association must notify Elections Canada of the new appointment within 30 days by sending the General Form – Electoral District Association. The report has to include a signed consent from the new auditor.

The auditor's responsibilities and obligations

If in a fiscal period the registered association receives contributions totalling $5,000 or more, or incurs expenses totalling $5,000 or more, the auditor examines the registered association's financial records and prepares a report stating the auditor's opinion as to whether the association's financial return presents the information contained in the financial records on which it is based. Note that transfers to affiliated political entities are not expenses.

The auditor has a right to access all documents of the association, and may require the financial agent to provide any information or explanation that is necessary to enable the auditor to prepare the report.

Payment of audit expenses

After Elections Canada receives the auditor's report and the copy of the auditor's invoice, it authorizes a payment of the audit expenses up to a maximum of $1,500.

Note: The subsidy is provided only when an audit is required for the association's annual financial return.

2.2 Optional appointments

Electoral district agents

A registered association may appoint electoral district agents, who may be authorized by the association to accept contributions, borrow funds or incur and pay expenses on behalf of the association.

A registered association may have any number of electoral district agents.

Eligibility

Eligibility requirements for this role are the same as for the role of financial agent. In addition, the registered association has to specify the terms and conditions of the appointments.

Appointment process

A registered association may appoint electoral district agents at any time.

Within 30 days of the appointment, the registered association must provide Elections Canada with a written report that lists the names and addresses of the new electoral district agents, and specifies the terms and conditions of the appointments. The report must include the financial agent's signed declaration.

Elections Canada enters the information in the Registry of Electoral District Associations.

The electoral district agent's responsibilities and obligations

Authorized electoral district agents might perform one or all of the following tasks:

  • accept contributions or loans on the registered association's behalf
  • issue receipts for contributions
  • incur or pay the registered association's expenses