Political Financing Handbook for Registered Parties and Chief Agents (EC 20231) – April 2020
This document is Elections Canada's guideline OGI 2020-03.
Click on the link for the latest Political Financing Handbook for Registered Parties and Chief Agents.
10. Working with Other Entities
This chapter discusses how transactions are regulated when the registered party engages in shared activities or shares expenses with another political entity, especially candidates during an election. It covers the following topics:
- Property or services provided to another political entity
- Prohibition on transferring expenses
- Typical shared activities (leader's tour, campaigning by a parliamentarian or a candidate)
Property or services provided to another political entity
The registered party may provide property or services to an electoral district association, a candidate, a nomination contestant or a leadership contestant of the party. The property or services can be sent as non-monetary transfers or can be paid by the other political entity. Non-monetary transfers must be offered equally to all contestants.
If the property or service is being paid by the other political entity, a copy of the original supplier invoice as well as the invoice from the party must be sent to that other entity. The documentation should confirm the amount reported in the financial returns.
See Chapter 4, Transfers, for more information on rules and restrictions.
- The registered party purchases signs from Signs Inc. for $1,500 and resells them to the candidate's campaign for $1,500. The party sends the candidate a copy of the original invoice from Signs Inc. for $1,500 as well as an invoice from the party for $1,500.
- The registered party creates a web page on its site for each leadership contestant. The commercial value of creating the web pages is $150 per contestant. The party sends each contestant an invoice for $150 and reports a non-monetary transfer of $150 to each contestant.
Expenses cannot be transferred
It is important to differentiate between the candidate's electoral campaign expenses and the expenses of the candidate's registered party. The Canada Elections Act specifies separate expenses limits for the registered party and each of its candidates.
The Act prohibits the transfer of expenses without accompanying property or services. Each entity has to report the expenses that it incurred for property and services used to promote that entity in the campaign.
Typical shared activities
The following are examples of typical activities where various entities work together and might share expenses.
The party leader's tour expenses are election expenses of the party and may not be election expenses of the candidates. In addition to the expenses of transportation, the party has to include the expenses of all other related items, such as meals, refreshments, salaries of party staff assigned to the tour, and communications equipment rented for the media.
If a candidate's campaign incurs expenses to attend the leader's tour event, such as transporting campaign staff, volunteers or supporters to the event, these are expenses of the candidate.
Note: If a leader attends a candidate event unrelated to the leader's tour, the expenses are those of the candidate, not of the party. Any incremental expenses incurred by the leader to attend such an event are to be reported as a transfer from the party to the candidate's campaign.
The leader's tour has planned stops in Toronto and Ottawa on Thursday and Friday. A candidate asks the party leader to join an event in Hamilton on Thursday night. The incremental expenses for the party leader to attend the Hamilton event, such as added travel costs, are a transfer from the party to the candidate's campaign.
Campaigning by a parliamentarian or a candidate
If a parliamentarian or a candidate campaigns on behalf of the registered party, the expenses related to that person's involvement in the campaign are election expenses and have to be authorized in advance by the chief agent or a registered agent. Any expense incurred in relation to the campaign has to be reimbursed by the party or accepted as a non-monetary contribution if paid by an eligible contributor.
In the event that a parliamentarian or a candidate has travelled to a particular destination for purposes unrelated to the election and campaigns on behalf of the registered party while there, any incremental costs incurred to assist with the campaign are election expenses.