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2015–16 Departmental Performance Report

Details on Transfer Payment Programs of $5 Million or More

General Information
Name of transfer payment program Reimbursements to eligible candidates and political parties (election year 201516) and subsidies to auditors of candidates (201516) and registered associations (ongoing)
Start date 1974
End date Ongoing
Fiscal year for terms and conditions 201415
Strategic Outcome An Accessible Electoral Framework That Canadians Trust and Use
Link to the organization's program(s) Regulation of Electoral Activities

Elections Canada's role is to administer the Canada Elections Act (the Act), which has three main objectives: fairness, transparency and participation.

To promote fairness and participation, the Act provides for partial reimbursement of paid election expenses and personal expenses of candidates (for by-elections and general elections), partial reimbursement of paid election expenses of registered parties (for general elections only) and a subsidy for candidate and registered association audit fees. To be eligible for partial reimbursement of election expenses, candidates must be elected or obtain at least 10% of the valid votes cast in their electoral district. Registered parties must obtain at least 2% of the valid votes cast nationally or 5% of the valid votes cast in electoral districts where the party has endorsed candidates.

A subsidy not exceeding $1,500 is sent directly to the external auditors of candidates and to auditors of qualified registered associations. To qualify for an audit subsidy, an association must have accepted contributions or incurred expenses totalling $5,000 or more during the year.

Results achieved Political entities had access to statutory payments in accordance with the law.
Comments on variances Actual spending for the reimbursements to candidates and parties for the 42nd general election exceeded planned spending as estimates were based on a 36-day election calendar. Expense limits which impact reimbursements were adjusted to account for the 78-day election calendar of the 42nd general election.
Audits completed or planned Candidate election returns were due February 19, 2016, and the audit of these returns is expected to be completed by August 31, 2017. Party election returns were due June 20, 2016. Only one return was filed in fiscal year 201516 and the audit was completed for this file. The balance of the party return audits for parties eligible for reimbursement was completed in August 2016.
Evaluations completed or planned Not applicable for 201516.
Engagement of applicants and recipients Elections Canada provided guidance material on its website and training sessions to educate its recipients.

Performance Information (dollars)
Type of transfer payment 201314
Actual spending
Actual spending
Planned spending
Total authorities available for use
Actual spending (authorities used)
Variance (201516 actual minus
201516 planned)
42nd general election
Candidates - - 30,564,934 37,901,787 37,901,787 7,336,853
Political parties - - 35,167,026 64,610,235 64,610,235 29,443,209
Candidates' auditors - - 1,418,053 1,407,924 1,407,924 (10,129)
Other general elections and by-elections
Candidates 836,143 581,958 - 204,810 204,810 204,810
Political parties 2,377 - - - - -
Candidates' auditors 32,157 26,283 - 4,494 4,494 4,494
Quarterly allowances
Allowance to eligible political parties 14,886,163 7,443,081 - - - -
Electoral district associations' auditors
Electoral district associations' auditors 697,048 741,882 1,024,428 865,182 865,182 (159,246)
Total transfer payments 16,453,888 8,793,204 68,174,441 104,994,432 104,994,432 36,819,991