open Secondary menu

Results of the Study – Report on the Survey of Registered Third Parties for the 43rd General Election: Wave 2 Final Report

Ease of Handling the Electoral Campaign Return

Ease of Finding the Electoral Campaign Return

All 29 financial agents reported that they were the person responsible for finding the Electoral Campaign Return on the Elections Canada website, and they were subsequently asked how easy it was to find. The majority (20 out of 29) said the form was easy to find, with two in ten (6 out of 29) saying it was very easy to find and about half (14 out of 29) saying it was somewhat easy. Only two in seven (8 out of 29) said it was difficult to find, and one person said they did not know (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Ease of finding the Electoral Campaign Return on the Elections Canada website

Q2: How easy or difficult was it to find the Electoral Campaign Return form on the Elections Canada website? Base: Respondents who said that they were the person responsible for finding the Electoral Campaign Return form on the Elections Canada website (n=29)

Figure 1: Ease of finding the Electoral Campaign Return on the Elections Canada website

Text version of "Figure 1: Ease of finding the Electoral Campaign Return on the Elections Canada website"

The stacked horizontal bar chart above displays the respondents' reported level of ease of finding the Electoral Campaign Return form on the Elections Canada website. The breakdown is as follows:

  • Don't know: 1
  • Very difficult: 5
  • Somewhat difficult: 3
  • Somewhat easy: 14
  • Very easy: 6
  • BTM2: 8
  • TOP2: 20

Ease of Completing and Submitting the Electoral Campaign Return

The following series of questions asked about the ease of completing and submitting the Electoral Campaign Return.

First, financial agents were asked whether it was easy or difficult to figure out how to fill out the Electoral Campaign Return. Four in ten (12 out of 29) said it was easy to figure out how to fill out the form, and about six in ten (16 out of 29) said it was difficult. Almost a third of financial agents (10 out of 29) found it somewhat difficult, and almost a fifth (6 out of 29) found it very difficult, to figure out how to fill out the form (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: Ease of figuring out how to fill out the Electoral Campaign Return

Q3: How easy or difficult was it to figure out how to fill out the Electoral Campaign Return form? Base: All respondents (n=29)

Figure 2: Ease of figuring out how to fill out the Electoral Campaign Return

Text version of "Figure 2: Ease of figuring out how to fill out the Electoral Campaign Return"

The stacked horizontal bar chart above displays the respondents' reported level of ease of figuring out how to fill out the Electoral Campaign Return form. The breakdown is as follows:

  • Don't know: 1
  • Very difficult: 6
  • Somewhat difficult: 10
  • Somewhat easy: 11
  • Very easy: 1
  • BTM2: 16
  • TOP2: 12

The Electoral Campaign Return must typically be submitted within four months of election day. When asked how easy it was to figure out when the return was due at Elections Canada, three quarters of financial agents (22 out of 29) said it was easy, with almost four in ten (11 out of 29) saying it was very easy and another four in ten (11 out of 29) saying it was somewhat easy. Two in ten (6 out of 29) found it difficult to figure out the due date for submission (see Figure 3).

Figure 3: Ease of figuring out by what date the third party needed to submit the Electoral Campaign Return to Elections Canada

Q4: How easy or difficult was it to figure out by what date your third party needed to submit the Electoral Campaign Return to Elections Canada? Base: All respondents (n=29)

Figure 3: Ease of figuring out by what date the third party needed to submit the Electoral Campaign Return to Elections Canada

Text version of "Figure 3: Ease of figuring out by what date the third party needed to submit the Electoral Campaign Return to Elections Canada"

The stacked horizontal bar chart above displays the respondents' reported level of ease of figuring out by what date the third party needed to submit the Electoral Campaign Return to Elections Canada. The breakdown is as follows:

  • Don't know: 1
  • Very difficult: 1
  • Somewhat difficult: 5
  • Somewhat easy: 11
  • Very easy: 11
  • BTM2: 6
  • TOP2: 22

In terms of figuring out how to submit the Electoral Campaign Return to Elections Canada, almost eight in ten financial agents (23 out of 29) said it was easy. A third (10 out of 29) of respondents reported that it was very easy, and over four in ten (13 out of 29) reported that it was somewhat easy. A fifth of the financial agents (6 out of 29) said it was difficult to figure out how to submit the form (see Figure 4).

Figure 4: Ease of figuring out how to submit the Electoral Campaign Return to Elections Canada

Q5: How easy or difficult was it to figure out how to submit the Electoral Campaign Return to Elections Canada? Base: All respondents (n=29)

Figure 4: Ease of figuring out how to submit the Electoral Campaign Return to Elections Canada

Text version of "Figure 4: Ease of figuring out how to submit the Electoral Campaign Return to Elections Canada"

The stacked horizontal bar chart above displays the respondents' reported level of ease of figuring out how to submit the Electoral Campaign Return to Elections Canada. The breakdown is as follows:

  • Very difficult: 2
  • Somewhat difficult: 4
  • Somewhat easy: 13
  • Very easy: 10
  • BTM2: 6
  • TOP2: 23

Burden of Completing the Electoral Campaign Return

Most financial agents found the Electoral Campaign Return somewhat burdensome to complete and submit. Over half the financial agents (17 out of 29) disagreed with the statement, "Completing and submitting the Electoral Campaign Return did not require very much work." Four in ten (12 out of 29) financial agents strongly disagreed with the statement, while one in six (5 out of 29) somewhat disagreed. About four in ten financial agents (12 out of 29) agreed that completing and submitting the return did not require very much work (see Figure 5).

Figure 5: Level of agreement with "Completing and submitting the Electoral Campaign Return did not require very much work"

Q6: Please rate your level of agreement or disagreement with the following statement: Completing and submitting the Electoral Campaign Return did not require very much work. Base: All respondents (n=29)

Figure 5: Level of agreement with 'Completing and submitting the Electoral Campaign Return did not require very much work'

Text version of "Figure 5: Level of agreement with 'Completing and submitting the Electoral Campaign Return did not require very much work'"

The stacked horizontal bar chart above displays the respondents' reported level of agreement with the statement, "Completing and submitting the Electoral Campaign Return did not require very much work." The breakdown is as follows:

  • Strongly disagree: 12
  • Somewhat disagree: 5
  • Somewhat agree: 11
  • Strongly agree: 1
  • BTM2: 17
  • TOP2: 12

In addition to the amount of work required to complete and submit the Electoral Campaign Return, the majority of financial agents also found the overall return process challenging. Over half the financial agents (16 out of 29) said that the overall process of completing and submitting the return was difficult. Almost a third of the respondents (9 out of 29) found the process very difficult, and nearly a quarter (7 out of 29) said that the process was somewhat difficult. Over four in ten (13 out of 29) said it was a somewhat easy process. None of the financial agents reported that the process was very easy (see Figure 6).

Figure 6: Overall ease of completing and submitting the Electoral Campaign Return

Q7: Overall, would you say that the process of completing and submitting the Electoral Campaign Return was … Base: All respondents (n=29)

Figure 6: Overall ease of completing and submitting the Electoral Campaign Return

Text version of "Figure 6: Overall ease of completing and submitting the Electoral Campaign Return"

The stacked horizontal bar chart above displays the respondents' reported level of overall ease of completing and submitting the Electoral Campaign Return. The breakdown is as follows:

  • Very difficult: 9
  • Somewhat difficult: 7
  • Somewhat easy: 13
  • BTM2: 16

Those who said that, overall, the process of completing and submitting the return was difficult were asked an open-ended follow-up question about what made it difficult.

Although 16 respondents were asked this question, there were 22 mentions in total as respondents were able to mention more than one type of difficulty in their response. The most common response was that the financial agents had to do manual calculations due to the PDF format of the return (6 out of 16) (see Figure 7).

Figure 7: Difficulties faced when completing and submitting the Electoral Campaign Return

Q8: What was difficult about completing and submitting the Electoral Campaign Return? (Open-ended)

Base: Respondents who said the overall process of completing and submitting the Electoral Campaign Return was "very difficult" or "somewhat difficult" (n=16)

Figure 7: Difficulties faced when completing and submitting the Electoral Campaign Return

Text version of "Figure 7: Difficulties faced when completing and submitting the Electoral Campaign Return"

The horizontal bar chart above displays the number of respondents who called various aspects of completing and submitting the Electoral Campaign Return "difficult." Respondents could name multiple difficulties. The breakdown is as *follows:

  • Had to do manual calculations: 6
  • Could not get clarification on reporting requirements: 3
  • Difficulties obtaining new version of form: 2
  • Difficulties determining correct categories: 2
  • Difficulties saving or updating documents: 2
  • Other difficulties with form functionality: 2
  • Difficulties determining whether to include particular expenses: 2
  • Difficulties tracking contributors and their contributions: 1
  • Had to incur additional costs: 1
  • Information was difficult to find: 1

Ease of Extending the Electoral Campaign Return Filing Deadline

While the Electoral Campaign Return is due within four months of election day, third parties can request an extension. Financial agents were asked whether their third party submitted a request to extend the filing deadline for their return. Almost two thirds (19 out of 29) reported that they did not submit a request for the deadline extension. Only two in ten financial agents (6 out of 29) submitted a request, and one in ten (3 out of 29) said they were not aware that their third party could request an extension (see Figure 8).

Figure 8: Submission of a request to extend the filing deadline for the Electoral Campaign Return

Q9: Did your third party submit a request to extend the filing deadline for the Electoral Campaign Return?

Base: All respondents (n=29)

Figure 8: Submission of a request to extend the filing deadline for the Electoral Campaign Return

Text version of "Figure 8: Submission of a request to extend the filing deadline for the Electoral Campaign Return"

The pie chart above displays the number of respondents whose third party submitted a request to extend the filing deadline for the Electoral Campaign Return. The breakdown is as follows:

  • Yes: 6
  • No: 19
  • I was not aware that we could request an extension: 3
  • Don't know: 1

Six financial agents who stated that their third party submitted a request to extend the filing deadline for the Electoral Campaign Return were asked whether it was easy or difficult to find the extension request form on the Elections Canada website. The majority (5 out of 6) reported that it was easy, with two thirds (4 out of 6) saying it was very easy. One out of six financial agents found it somewhat easy, while one out of six found it somewhat difficult (see Figure 9).

Figure 9: Ease of finding the extension request form on the Elections Canada website

Q10: How easy or difficult was it to find the extension request form on the Elections Canada website? Base: Respondents who said their third party submitted a request to extend the filing deadline for the Electoral Campaign Return (n=6)

Figure 9: Ease of finding the extension request form on the Elections Canada website

Text version of "Figure 9: Ease of finding the extension request form on the Elections Canada website"

The stacked horizontal bar chart above displays the respondents' reported level of ease of finding the extension request form on the Elections Canada website. The breakdown is as follows:

  • Somewhat difficult: 1
  • Somewhat easy: 1
  • Very easy: 4
  • TOP2: 5

Those six financial agents were also asked how easy or difficult it was to figure out how to fill out the extension request form. Most of them (5 out of 6) reported that it was easy, with a third (2 out of 6) saying it was very easy and half (3 out of 6) saying it was somewhat easy. One respondent found it somewhat difficult (see Figure 10).

Figure 10: Ease of figuring out how to fill out the extension request form

Q11: How easy or difficult was it to figure out how to fill out the extension request form? Base: Respondents who said their third party submitted a request to extend the filing deadline for the Electoral Campaign Return (n=6)

Figure 10: Ease of figuring out how to fill out the extension request form

Text version of "Figure 10: Ease of figuring out how to fill out the extension request form"

The stacked horizontal bar chart above displays the respondents' reported level of ease of figuring out how to fill out the extension request form. The breakdown is as follows:

  • Somewhat difficult: 1
  • Somewhat easy: 3
  • Very easy: 2
  • TOP2: 5

The same six financial agents were also asked how easy or difficult it was to figure out by what date they were required to submit the extension request. Again, most of them (5 out of 6) reported that it was easy, with half the financial agents (3 out of 6) saying it was very easy and a third (2 out of 6) saying it was somewhat easy. One respondent found it somewhat difficult (see Figure 11).

Figure 11: Ease of figuring out by what date the third party had to submit the extension request

Q12: How easy or difficult was it to figure out by what date your third party had to submit the extension request? Base: Respondents who said their third party submitted a request to extend the filing deadline for the Electoral Campaign Return (n=6)

Figure 11: Ease of figuring out by what date the third party had to submit the extension request

Text version of "Figure 11: Ease of figuring out by what date the third party had to submit the extension request"

The stacked horizontal bar chart above displays the respondents' reported level of ease of figuring out by what date the third party had to submit the extension request. The breakdown is as follows:

  • Somewhat difficult: 1
  • Somewhat easy: 2
  • Very easy: 3
  • TOP2: 5

Ease of Filing an Auditor's Report

If a third party spends $10,000 or more on regulated activities, they must appoint an auditor. Financial agents were asked whether their third party was required to file an auditor's report with the Electoral Campaign Return. Six in ten (18 out of 29) said that they were required to file an auditor's report, while nearly three in ten (8 out of 29) reported that an auditor's report was not required for their third party. One in ten (3 out of 29) did not know whether an auditor's report was required (see Figure 12).

Figure 12: Requirement to file an auditor's report with the Electoral Campaign Return

Q13: Was your third party required to file an auditor's report with the Electoral Campaign Return? Base: All respondents (n=29)

Figure 12: Requirement to file an auditor's report with the Electoral Campaign Return

Text version of "Figure 12: Requirement to file an auditor's report with the Electoral Campaign Return"

The pie chart above displays the number of respondents whose third party was required to file an auditor's report with the Electoral Campaign Return. The breakdown is as follows:

  • Yes: 18
  • No: 8
  • Don't know: 3

Six in ten financial agents (18 out of 29) stated that it was easy to figure out whether an auditor's report was required with their return, with a third (10 out of 29) finding it somewhat easy and over a fourth (8 out of 29) finding it very easy. Four in ten financial agents (11 out of 29) found it difficult to figure out whether an auditor's report was required in their situation (see Figure 13).

Figure 13: Ease of figuring out whether an auditor's report was required with the Electoral Campaign Return

Q14: How easy or difficult was it to figure out whether an auditor's report was required with the Electoral Campaign Return? Base: All respondents (n=29)

Figure 13: Ease of figuring out whether an auditor's report was required with the Electoral Campaign Return

Text version of "Figure 13: Ease of figuring out whether an auditor's report was required with the Electoral Campaign Return"

The stacked horizontal bar chart above displays the respondents' reported level of ease of figuring out whether an auditor's report was required with the Electoral Campaign Return. The breakdown is as follows:

  • Very difficult: 1
  • Somewhat difficult: 10
  • Somewhat easy: 10
  • Very easy: 8
  • BTM2: 11
  • TOP2: 18

Ease of Hiring an Auditor

Most financial agents said their third party found it easy to hire an auditor. Those who said their third party was required to file an auditor's report with their return were asked how easy or difficult it was to hire an auditor for this purpose. Eight in ten financial agents (15 out of 18) found it easy, with half of them (9 out of 18) saying it was very easy and a third (6 out of 18) saying it was somewhat easy. One in six (3 out of 18) said that hiring an auditor was somewhat difficult (see Figure 14).

Figure 14: Ease of hiring an auditor

Q15: How easy or difficult was it for your third party to hire an auditor? Base: Respondents who said their third party was required to file an auditor's report with the Electoral Campaign Return (n=18)

Figure 14: Ease of hiring an auditor

Text version of "Figure 14: Ease of hiring an auditor"

The stacked horizontal bar chart above displays the respondents' reported level of ease of hiring an auditor. The breakdown is as follows:

  • Somewhat difficult: 3
  • Somewhat easy: 6
  • Very easy: 9
  • TOP2: 15

Three financial agents who said that hiring an auditor was somewhat difficult were asked an open-ended follow-up question about what made it difficult. There were four responses since financial agents had the option to mention more than one difficulty. Two financial agents stated that the auditors were not knowledgeable about third party audit requirements (e.g. in terms of auditing reports, unfamiliar with regulations, etc.). Another difficulty reported by one financial agent was conflict of interest (e.g. any auditors they tried to hire were also being used by Elections Canada), and another said the cost of hiring an auditor was prohibitive.

Elections Canada's Products and Services

In Wave 1, financial agents had been asked whether they had used various products and services that Elections Canada provided for third parties. Here, they were asked again whether they had used four1 of these products and services in the time since they had responded to the last survey: the Political Financing Handbook for Third Parties, Financial Agents and Auditors, the "New Requirements for Third Parties" document, the Political Financing videos and the Political Entities Support Network 1-800 number.

As in Wave 1, the most commonly used product was the Political Financing Handbook for Third Parties, Financial Agents and Auditors, with over half the financial agents (16 out of 29) saying they used this product (see Figure 15). The least used product or service was the Political Financing videos (3 out of 29).

Figure 15: Elections Canada products and services used by third parties

WAVE 1/Q21A-F: Did you use any of the following Elections Canada products and services? Base: All respondents (n=55)

WAVE 2/Q17A-D: In the time since you responded to the last survey, did you use any of the following Elections Canada products and services? Base: All respondents (n=29)

Figure 15: Elections Canada products and services used by third parties

Text version of "Figure 15: Elections Canada products and services used by third parties"

A series of stacked horizontal bar charts above display the number of respondents who used various Elections Canada products and services, in Wave 1 and in Wave 2.

The results for Wave 1 include six products and services including the following:

  • The breakdown for the Political Financing Handbook for Third Parties, Financial Agents and Auditors is as follows:
    • Yes: 47
    • No: 3
    • I was not aware of this product: 3
    • Don't know: 2
  • The breakdown for the "New Requirements for Third Parties" document is as follows:
    • Yes: 30
    • No: 5
    • I was not aware of this product: 12
    • Don't know: 8
  • The breakdown for the Third Party Roadmap is as follows:
    • Yes: 27
    • No: 9
    • I was not aware of this product: 13
    • Don't know: 6
  • The breakdown for the Political Entities Support Network 1-800 # is as follows:
    • Yes: 23
    • No: 13
    • I was not aware of this product: 15
    • Don't know: 4
  • The breakdown for the Political Financing videos is as follows:
    • Yes: 8
    • No: 23
    • I was not aware of this product: 21
    • Don't know: 3
  • The breakdown for the Webex information session for third parties is as follows:
    • Yes: 4
    • No: 21
    • I was not aware of this product: 24
    • Don't know: 6

The results for Wave 2 include four products and services including the following:

  • The breakdown for the Political Financing Handbook for Third Parties, Financial Agents and Auditors is as follows:
    • Yes: 16
    • No: 11
    • Don't know: 2
  • The breakdown for the "New Requirements for Third Parties" document is as follows:
    • Yes: 14
    • No: 10
    • I was not aware of this product: 3
    • Don't know: 2
  • The breakdown for the Political Entities Support Network 1-800 # is as follows:
    • Yes: 6
    • No: 16
    • I was not aware of this product: 5
    • Don't know: 2
  • The breakdown for the Political Financing videos is as follows:
    • Yes: 3
    • No: 18
    • I was not aware of this product: 7
    • Don't know: 1

Helpfulness of Elections Canada's Products and Services

Financial agents who stated that their third party had used a given product or service were then asked to rate its level of helpfulness.

Similar to Wave 1, the Political Financing Handbook for Third Parties, Financial Agents and Auditors was found helpful by most of the financial agents who used it, with eight in ten financial agents (13 out of 16) saying this product was helpful. One in ten financial agents (2 out of 16) said that it was very helpful, and nearly seven in ten (11 out of 16) said it was somewhat helpful. About two in ten (3 out of 16) said the handbook was not very helpful (see Figure 16).

Figure 16: Helpfulness of the Political Financing Handbook for Third Parties, Financial Agents and Auditors

WAVE 1/Q22: Would you say that Elections Canada's Political Financing Handbook for Third Parties, Financial Agents and Auditors was … Base: Respondents who used this product (n=47)

WAVE 2/Q18: Since the last survey, would you say that Elections Canada's Political Financing Handbook for Third Parties, Financial Agents and Auditors was … Base: Respondents who used this product (n=16)

Figure 16: Helpfulness of the Political Financing Handbook for Third Parties, Financial Agents and Auditors

Text version of "Figure 16: Helpfulness of the Political Financing Handbook for Third Parties, Financial Agents and Auditors"

Two stacked horizontal bar charts above display how helpful respondents found the Political Financing Handbook for Third Parties, Financial Agents and Auditors to be in Wave 1 and in Wave 2.

The breakdown for Wave 1 is as follows:

  • Not helpful at all: 1
  • Not very helpful: 4
  • Somewhat helpful: 32
  • Very helpful: 10
  • BTM2: 5
  • TOP2: 42

The breakdown for Wave 2 is as follows:

  • Not very helpful: 3
  • Somewhat helpful: 11
  • Very helpful: 2
  • TOP2: 13

Like Wave 1, the "New Requirements for Third Parties" document was the second most widely used product. Almost eight in ten financial agents (11 out of 14) who used this product said they found it somewhat helpful. Two in ten financial agents (3 out of 14) said this document was not helpful (see Figure 17).

Figure 17: Helpfulness of the "New Requirements for Third Parties" document

WAVE 1/Q24: Would you say that Elections Canada's document, entitled "New Requirements for Third Parties," was …

Base: Respondents who used this product (n=30)

WAVE 2/Q19: Since the last survey, would you say that Elections Canada's document, entitled "New Requirements for Third Parties," was … Base: Respondents who used this product (n=14)

Figure 17: Helpfulness of the 'New Requirements for Third Parties' document

Text version of "Figure 17: Helpfulness of the 'New Requirements for Third Parties' document"

Two stacked horizontal bar charts above display the level of helpfulness respondents found the "New Requirements for Third Parties" document to be in Wave 1 and in Wave 2.

The breakdown for Wave 1 is as follows:

  • Don't know: 1
  • Not helpful at all: 1
  • Not very helpful: 7
  • Somewhat helpful: 17
  • Very helpful: 4
  • BTM2: 8
  • TOP2: 21

The breakdown for Wave 2 is as follows:

  • Not helpful at all: 1
  • Not very helpful: 2
  • Somewhat helpful: 11
  • BTM2: 3

Only three financial agents reported they had used the Political Financing videos on the Elections Canada website. Two of them found this service somewhat helpful, while one of them said it was not very helpful. In Wave 1, almost four in ten financial agents (3 out of 8) had found the service helpful, whereas over half (5 out of 8) had said this service was not helpful (see Figure 18).

Figure 18: Helpfulness of Political Financing videos

WAVE 1/Q25: Would you say that the Political Financing videos on Elections Canada's website were …

Base: Respondents who used this product (n=8)

WAVE 2/Q20: Since the last survey, would you say that the Political Financing videos on Elections Canada's website were …

Base: Respondents who used this product (n=3)

Figure 18: Helpfulness of Political Financing videos

Text version of "Figure 18: Helpfulness of Political Financing videos"

Two stacked horizontal bar charts above display the level of helpfulness respondents found the Political Financing videos on Elections Canada's website to be, in Wave 1 and in Wave 2.

The breakdown for Wave 1 is as follows:

  • Not helpful at all: 1
  • Not very helpful: 4
  • Somewhat helpful: 2
  • Very helpful: 1
  • BTM2: 5
  • TOP2: 3

The breakdown for Wave 2 is as follows:

  • Not very helpful: 1
  • Somewhat helpful: 2

Two in ten financial agents (6 out of 29) contacted Elections Canada through the 1-800 number for political entities, and of those who did, half (3 out of 6) said it was helpful. This is similar to Wave 1, where a little over half (12 out of 23) had found it helpful (see Figure 19).

Figure 19: Helpfulness of Political Entities Support Network (1-800 number)

WAVE 1/Q27: Would you say that contacting Elections Canada through the 1-800 number for political entities was … Base: Respondents who used this product (n=23)

WAVE 2/Q21: Since the last survey, would you say that contacting Elections Canada through the 1-800 number for political entities was … Base: Respondents who used this product (n=6)

Figure 19: Helpfulness of Political Entities Support Network (1-800 number)

Text version of "Figure 19: Helpfulness of Political Entities Support Network (1-800 number)"

Two stacked horizontal bar charts above display the level of helpfulness respondents found the 1-800 number for political entities to be when contacting Elections Canada in Wave 1 and in Wave 2.

The breakdown for Wave 1 is as follows:

  • Not helpful at all: 4
  • Not very helpful: 7
  • Somewhat helpful: 9
  • Very helpful: 3
  • BTM2: 11
  • TOP2: 12

The breakdown for Wave 2 is as follows:

  • Not helpful at all: 2
  • Not very helpful: 1
  • Somewhat helpful: 2
  • Very helpful: 1
  • BTM2: 3
  • TOP2: 3

Contacting Elections Canada

While the Political Entities Support Network is one way for financial agents to get in touch with Elections Canada, some also contacted the agency directly, by phone or email. Just under four in ten financial agents (11 out of 29) reported contacting Elections Canada in another way – either by phone or email.

Of the six financial agents who used the Political Entities Support Network 1-800 number, most (5 out of 6) also contacted Elections Canada directly in another way; only one of the six did not do so (see Figure 20). Among that group, all five opted to contact Elections Canada by email, and two of those five reported that they contacted the agency by phone as well as email.

Figure 20: Ways of contacting Elections Canada, aside from using the 1-800 number for political entities

Q22: Aside from using the 1-800 number for political entities, did you contact Elections Canada in any other ways? [select all that apply] Base: Respondents who used the 1-800 number for political entities (n=6)

Figure 20: Ways of contacting Elections Canada, aside from using the 1-800 number for political entities

Text version of "Figure 20: Ways of contacting Elections Canada, aside from using the 1-800 number for political entities"

The horizontal bar chart above displays the number of respondents who contacted Elections Canada in any other ways aside from using the 1-800 number for political entities. The breakdown is as follows:

  • Yes, by email: 5
  • Yes, by phone: 2
  • No: 1

Respondents who did not use the Political Entities Support Network 1-800 number were also asked whether they had contacted Elections Canada in another way since the last survey. One quarter (6 out of 23) reported that they contacted Elections Canada by email, but none reported phoning the agency. Almost seven in ten of those respondents (16 out of 23) reported that they had not tried to contact Elections Canada since the last survey (see Figure 21).

Figure 21: Contacting Elections Canada for any reason since the last survey

Q23: Since the last survey, did you contact Elections Canada for any reason? [select all that apply]

Base: Respondents who did not use the 1-800 number for political entities (n=23)

Figure 21: Contacting Elections Canada for any reason since the last survey

Text version of "Figure 21: Contacting Elections Canada for any reason since the last survey"

The pie chart above displays the number of respondents who contacted Elections Canada by phone (aside from the 1-800 number) or email since the last survey. The breakdown is as follows:

  • Yes, by email: 6
  • No: 16
  • Don't know: 1

The two financial agents who said they had contacted Elections Canada directly by phone since the last survey were asked how satisfied they were with the help they received from the call. Both said that they were very unsatisfied with the help they received.

When asked why they were not satisfied, both respondents reported that the "representative could not answer the questions." Other reasons reported were that they were "promised a call back and never received one" and that they "received different answers from different representatives."

The 11 respondents who had contacted Elections Canada by email since the last survey were asked how satisfied they were with the help they received following the email. Four in five (9 out of 11) said they were satisfied with the help they received, with almost one in ten (1 out of 11) being very satisfied and over seven in ten (8 out of 11) being somewhat satisfied. One in five (2 out of 11) said they were unsatisfied (see Figure 22).

The two financial agents who were unsatisfied with the help they received by email were asked what caused them to be unsatisfied. "Not gaining knowledge based on questions asked" and "No follow-up email" were two reasons they gave.

Figure 22: Satisfaction with help received following contact by email

Q26: How satisfied were you with the help you received following that email?

Base: Respondents who said they had contacted Elections Canada by email since the last survey (n=11)

Figure 22: Satisfaction with help received following contact by email

Text version of "Figure 22: Satisfaction with help received following contact by email"

The stacked horizontal bar chart above displays the respondents' reported level of satisfaction with the help they received following contact by email. The breakdown is as follows:

  • Very unsatisfied: 1
  • Somewhat unsatisfied: 1
  • Somewhat satisfied: 8
  • Very satisfied: 1
  • BTM2: 2
  • TOP2: 9

Other Products, Services or Sources

In Wave 1, financial agents were asked whether there were any other kinds of products or services that would have made the Electoral Campaign Return process easier. Here, they were asked whether they had any new ideas to share about products or services since the last survey.2

While there were 29 mentions, the majority of respondents said either that there were no other products or services that would have made the process easier or that they did not know (23 out of 29). Only a few products or services were mentioned, and the most common response provided was a request for more clarity about the rules and regulations for future electoral campaigns (see Figure 23). In Wave 1, a similar response about having clearer or unambiguous information was the second most common response.

Figure 23: Other products or services that would have made the process easier

Q28: In the time since you responded to the last survey, is there any other kind of product or service that would have made the process easier for you? If so, what kind? (Open-ended) Base: All respondents (n=29)

Figure 23: Other products or services that would have made the process easier

Text version of "Figure 23: Other products or services that would have made the process easier"

The horizontal bar chart above displays the number of respondents who named various other products or services that would have made the process easier for them. The breakdown is as follows:

  • More clarity on compliance/rules/regulations for future electoral campaigns (e.g. provide webinars, use less ambiguous language, etc.): 3
  • Have audits required for expenses that exceed a certain amount (e.g. greater than $200,000): 1
  • Website should be more user-friendly: 1
  • Improve submission process (e.g. have returns available in Excel): 1
  • None: 11
  • Don't know: 12

All financial agents were asked whether they would be interested in providing feedback as Elections Canada developed new products and services for registered third parties. Three in ten financial agents (9 out of 29) said they would be interested, whereas about half (14 out of 29) said they would not be interested (see Figure 24). Two in ten (6 out of 29) stated that they did not know.

Figure 24: Interest in providing feedback as Elections Canada develops new products and services for registered third parties

Q29: Would you be interested in providing feedback as Elections Canada develops new products and services for registered third parties? Base: All respondents (n=29)

Figure 24: Interest in providing feedback as Elections Canada develops new products and services for registered third parties

Text version of "Figure 24: Interest in providing feedback as Elections Canada develops new products and services for registered third parties"

The pie chart above displays the number of respondents who would be interested in providing feedback as Elections Canada develops new products and services for registered third parties. The breakdown is as follows:

  • Yes: 9
  • No: 14
  • Don't know: 6

In Wave 1, financial agents were asked whether they consulted other sources aside from Elections Canada to understand the provisions of the Canada Elections Act as they related to third parties and how they applied to the financial agents' situation. Here, they were asked whether they had consulted another such source in the time since the last survey.

One quarter of the financial agents (7 out of 29) said that they had consulted other sources since the last survey, while seven in ten (21 out of 29) said they had not, and one said they did not know (see Figure 25). In Wave 1, six in ten (33 out of 55) financial agents said that they did consult other sources, nearly four in ten (21 out of 55) said they did not, and one said they did not know.

Figure 25: Consulting other sources aside from Elections Canada to understand the provisions of the Canada Elections Act

WAVE 1/Q38: Did you consult any other sources aside from Elections Canada to understand the provisions of the Canada Elections Act as they relate to third parties and how they applied in your situation? Base: All respondents (n=55)

WAVE 2/Q30: In the previous survey we asked you about consulting other sources aside from Elections Canada. Since the last survey, did you consult any other sources aside from Elections Canada to understand the provisions of the Canada Elections Act as they relate to third parties and how they applied in your situation? Base: All respondents (n=29)

Figure 25: Consulting other sources aside from Elections Canada to understand the provisions of the Canada Elections Act

Text version of "Figure 25: Consulting other sources aside from Elections Canada to understand the provisions of the Canada Elections Act"

Two stacked horizontal bar charts above display the number of respondents who said they did or did not consult with other sources aside from Elections Canada to understand the provisions of the Canada Elections Act as they relate to *third parties and how they applied in their situation in Wave 1 and in Wave 2.

The breakdown for Wave 1 is as follows:

  • Yes: 33
  • No: 21
  • Don't know: 1

The breakdown for Wave 2 is as follows:

  • Yes: 7
  • No: 21
  • Don't know: 1

The financial agents who said that they did consult other sources aside from Elections Canada were asked what sources they consulted.

In Wave 1, there were 38 mentions provided by the financial agents since they had the option to mention more than one source. Most financial agents (22 out of 33) mentioned that they consulted a lawyer or legal counsel. Here, there were nine mentions provided by seven financial agents. Similar to Wave 1, most financial agents (4 out of 7) mentioned that they consulted a lawyer (see Figure 26).

Figure 26: Other sources financial agents consulted aside from Elections Canada

WAVE 1/Q39: What sources did you consult? Base: Respondents who said they consulted other sources to understand the provisions of the Canada Elections Act (n=33)

WAVE 2/Q31: What sources did you consult? Base: Respondents who said they consulted other sources to understand the provisions of the Canada Elections Act (n=7)

Figure 26: Other sources financial agents consulted aside from Elections Canada

Text version of "Figure 26: Other sources financial agents consulted aside from Elections Canada"

Two sets of horizontal bar charts above display the number of respondents who named other sources they consulted with aside from Elections Canada in Wave 1 and in Wave 2. Respondents could mention more than one source.

The breakdown for Wave 1 is as follows:

  • Lawyer/legal counsel: 22
  • Auditor: 4
  • People with prior experience (i.e. registering as a third party): 3
  • Information exchange with other NGOs: 2
  • Other: 7

The breakdown for Wave 2 is as follows:

  • Lawyer: 4
  • Auditor: 2
  • Tax agent: 1
  • Accountant: 1
  • Other business associations: 1

Reporting Regulated Activities

Ease of Determining Regulated Activities

As in Wave 1, financial agents were asked to state their level of agreement (or disagreement) with various statements related to regulated activities.

Almost seven in ten financial agents (20 out of 29) disagreed with the statement, "It was clear which of my third party's activities were regulated under the Canada Elections Act," with nearly five in ten (13 out of 29) saying they somewhat disagreed and over two in ten (7 out of 29) saying they strongly disagreed (see Figure 27). This was similar to Wave 1, when over six in ten (34 out of 55) had said they disagreed with the statement.

In contrast, almost three in ten (8 out of 29) said they agreed with the statement; one fourth (7 out of 29) said they somewhat agreed, and only one agent said they strongly agreed (see Figure 27). Again, this was similar to Wave 1, where almost four in ten (21 out of 55) had said they agreed with this statement.

Figure 27: Level of agreement with "It was clear which of my third party's activities were regulated under the Canada Elections Act"

WAVE 1/Q40: Please rate your level of agreement or disagreement with the following statement: It was clear which of my third party's activities were regulated under the Canada Elections Act. Base: All respondents (n=55)

WAVE 2/Q32: Please rate your level of agreement or disagreement with the following statement: It was clear which of my third party's activities were regulated under the Canada Elections Act. Base: All respondents (n=29)

Figure 27: Level of agreement with 'It was clear which of my third party's activities were regulated under the Canada Elections Act'

Text version of "Figure 27: Level of agreement with 'It was clear which of my third party's activities were regulated under the Canada Elections Act'"

Two stacked horizontal bar charts above display the respondents' reported level of agreement with the idea that it was clear which of their third party's activities were regulated under the Canada Elections Act in Wave 1 and in Wave 2.

The breakdown for Wave 1 is as follows:

  • Strongly disagree: 17
  • Somewhat disagree: 17
  • Somewhat agree: 11
  • Strongly agree: 10
  • BTM2: 34
  • TOP2: 21

The breakdown for Wave 2 is as follows:

  • Don't know: 1
  • Strongly disagree: 7
  • Somewhat disagree: 13
  • Somewhat agree: 7
  • Strongly agree: 1
  • BTM2: 20
  • TOP2: 8

When asked about their level of agreement with the statement, "Reporting my third party's regulated spending under the right category (e.g. partisan activity, election survey, election advertising) was easy," six in ten financial agents (18 out of 29) said that they disagreed with the statement, with three in ten (9 out of 29) saying they somewhat disagreed and another three in ten (9 out of 29) saying they strongly disagreed. This is similar to Wave 1, where almost six in ten (30 out of 55) had said that they disagreed (see Figure 28).

The same was true for the inverse: just shy of four in ten financial agents (11 out of 29) said they agreed that it was easy to report their third party's regulated spending under the right category. This was about the same proportion as in Wave 1, where just over four in ten (24 out of 55) had agreed with the statement (see Figure 28).

Figure 28: Level of agreement with "Reporting my third party's regulated spending under the right category was easy"

WAVE 1/Q41: Please rate your level of agreement or disagreement with the following statement: Reporting my third party's regulated spending under the right category (e.g. partisan activity, election survey, election advertising) was easy.

Base: All respondents (n=55)

WAVE 2/Q33: Please rate your level of agreement or disagreement with the following statement: Reporting my third party's regulated spending under the right category (e.g. partisan activity, election survey, election advertising) was easy.

Base: All respondents (n=29)

Figure 28: Level of agreement with 'Reporting my third party's regulated spending under the right category was easy'

Text version of "Figure 28: Level of agreement with 'Reporting my third party's regulated spending under the right category was easy'"

Two stacked horizontal bar charts above display the respondents' reported level of agreement with the idea that reporting their third party's regulated spending under the right category was easy in Wave 1 and in Wave 2.

The breakdown for Wave 1 is as follows:

  • Don't know: 1
  • Strongly disagree: 11
  • Somewhat disagree: 19
  • Somewhat agree: 20
  • Strongly agree: 4
  • BTM2: 30
  • TOP2: 24

The breakdown for Wave 2 is as follows:

  • Strongly disagree: 9
  • Somewhat disagree: 9
  • Somewhat agree: 10
  • Strongly agree: 1
  • BTM2: 18
  • TOP2: 11

Other Comments

At the end of the survey, financial agents were again asked whether they would like to provide any other comments regarding their experience as a registered third party since the last survey. Most did not have any additional comments to add, but those who did could mention more than one item.

Among the seven financial agents who added a comment, the most common remarks were a perceived bias against small organizations (3 out of 29), the need to create more categories or sub-categories for third parties (2 out of 29) and difficulties interpreting the requirements of the Canada Elections Act (2 out of 29). Other comments included a perceived threat to free speech (1 out of 29), the need for more knowledgeable representatives (1 out of 29) and the need to make forms more user-friendly (1 out of 29) (see Figure 29). In Wave 1, the most common remark had been that the process was burdensome (16 out of 54).3

Figure 29: Additional comments regarding third party experience

Q34: Thinking of the time since the last survey, is there anything else not covered here that you would like to share about your experience as a registered third party? (Open-ended) Base: All respondents (n=29)

Figure 29: Additional comments regarding third party experience

Text version of "Figure 29: Additional comments regarding third-party experience"

The horizontal bar chart above displays the number of respondents who had additional comments to share about their experience as a registered third party. Respondents could mention more than one comment. The breakdown is as follows:

  • Biased against small organizations (e.g. charity/non-profit organizations, etc.): 3
  • Create more categories/sub-categories for third parties: 2
  • Difficult to interpret (e.g. the guides, in terms of responsibilities, what is considered as partisan/non-partisan activities, etc.): 2
  • Threat to free speech (e.g. desire to talk about non-partisan message during election, etc.): 1
  • Have more knowledgeable representatives: 1
  • Forms should be more user-friendly: 1
  • None: 20
  • Don't know: 2

Footnotes

1 No Webex sessions were offered following Wave 1, and the Third Party Roadmap does not include information on the Electoral Campaign Return, so these items were not included in the Wave 2 questionnaire.

2 Please refer to the Wave 1 report for more information about products and services reported in the last wave.

3 Please refer to the Wave 1 report for more comments provided in the last wave.