Canada Elections Act

Part 18

Division 4

Financial Administration of Candidates

Powers, Duties and Functions of Official Agent

Duty of official agent

436. The official agent of a candidate is responsible for administering the candidate's financial transactions for his or her electoral campaign and for reporting on those transactions in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

Bank account

437. (1) An official agent of a candidate shall open, for the sole purpose of the candidate's electoral campaign, a separate bank account in a Canadian financial institution as defined in section 2 of the Bank Act, or in an authorized foreign bank as defined in that section, that is not subject to the restrictions and requirements referred to in subsection 524(2) of that Act.

Account holder name

(2) The account must name the account holder as follows: "(name of official agent), official agent".

Payments and receipts

(3) All financial transactions of the candidate in relation to an electoral campaign that involve the payment or receipt of money are to be paid from or deposited to the account.

Closure of bank account

(4) After the election or the withdrawal or death of the candidate, the official agent of a candidate shall close the account once any unpaid claim or surplus of electoral funds has been dealt with in accordance with this Act.

Final statement of bank account

(5) The official agent shall, on closing the account, provide the Chief Electoral Officer with the final statement of the account.

S.C. 2003, c. 19, s. 41.

438. (1) [Repealed]

Prohibition – accepting contributions

(2) No person, other than an official agent of a candidate, shall accept contributions to the candidate's electoral campaign.

Prohibition – issuing tax receipts

(3) No person, other than an official agent of a candidate, shall provide official receipts to contributors of monetary contributions to a candidate for the purpose of subsection 127(3) of the Income Tax Act.

Prohibition – paying electoral expenses

(4) No person or entity, other than the official agent of a candidate, shall pay expenses in relation to the candidate's electoral campaign except for petty expenses referred to in section 411 and the candidate's personal expenses.

Prohibition – incurring electoral expenses

(5) No person or entity, other than a candidate, his or her official agent or a person authorized under paragraph 446(c) to enter into contracts, shall incur expenses in relation to the candidate's electoral campaign.

Prohibition – candidate's personal expenses

(6) No person, other than a candidate or his or her official agent, shall pay the candidate's personal expenses.

Exception

(7) Subsection (4) or (5), as the case may be, does not apply to a registered agent of a registered party who pays or incurs expenses in relation to the electoral campaign of the leader of the registered party.

S.C. 2003, c. 19, s. 42.

Notice of Nomination Meeting

Limits on expenses

439. (1) The amount that may be spent on providing notice of meetings that are to be held during an election period for the principal purpose of nominating a candidate for an election in an electoral district cannot be more than 1% of the maximum election expenses

Prohibition on official agents, candidates and authorized persons

(2) No candidate, official agent of a candidate or person who is authorized under paragraph 446(c) to enter into contracts shall incur or cause to be incurred expenses on account of notices referred to in subsection (1) that are in excess of the amount determined under that subsection.

Election Expenses Limit

Maximum election expenses allowed

440. The election expenses limit that is allowed for a candidate's election expenses in an electoral district is the product of the base amount for an electoral district determined under section 441 and the inflation adjustment factor referred to in section 414 as of the day of the issue of the writ.

Base amount of candidate's election expenses

441. (1) The base amount of a candidate's election expenses in an electoral district is the higher of

Death of candidate of registered party

(2) If a candidate for an electoral district whose nomination was endorsed by a registered party dies in the period beginning at 2:00 p.m. on the 5th day before the closing day for nominations and ending on polling day, the base amount for that electoral district is increased by 50%.

Calculation using preliminary lists of electors

(3) The amount referred to in paragraph (1)(a) is the aggregate of the following amounts, based on the number of the electors on the preliminary lists of electors:

Fewer electors than average – general election

(4) If the number of electors on the preliminary lists of electors for the electoral district is less than the average number of electors on all preliminary lists of electors in a general election, then, in making a calculation under subsection (3), the number of electors is deemed to be half-way between the number on the preliminary lists of electors for the electoral district and that average number.

Fewer electors than average – by-election

(5) In the case of a by-election, if the number of electors on the preliminary lists of electors for the electoral district is less than the average number of electors on all revised lists of electors in the immediately preceding general election, then, in making a calculation under subsection (3), the number of electors is deemed to be half-way between the number on the preliminary lists of electors for the electoral district and that average number.

Districts with lower population density

(6) If the number of electors per square kilometre, calculated on the basis of the preliminary lists of electors for the electoral district, is less than 10, the amount calculated under subsection (3) is increased by the lesser of $0.31 per square kilometre and 25% of that amount.

Calculation using revised list of electors

(7) The amount referred to in paragraph (1)(b) is the aggregate of the following amounts, based on the number of the electors on the revised lists of electors:

Fewer electors than average – general election

(8) If the number of electors on the revised lists of electors for the electoral district is less than the average number of electors on all revised lists of electors in a general election, then, in making a calculation under subsection (7), the number of electors is deemed to be half-way between the number on the revised lists of electors for the electoral district and that average number.

Fewer electors than average – by-election

(9) In the case of a by-election, if the number of electors on the revised lists of electors for the electoral district is less than the average number of electors on all revised lists of electors in the immediately preceding general election, then, in making a calculation under subsection (7), the number of electors is deemed to be half-way between the number on the revised lists of electors for the electoral district and that average number.

Districts with lower population density

(10) If the number of electors per square kilometre, calculated on the basis of the revised lists of electors for the electoral district, is less than 10, the amount calculated under subsection (7) is increased by the lesser of $0.31 per square kilometre and 25% of that amount.

S.C. 2001, c. 21, s. 22.

Estimated expenses

442. (1) On November 15 in each year, the Chief Electoral Officer shall calculate the maximum amount referred to in section 440 for each electoral district, based on the lists of electors in the Register of Electors, as if an election were then to be held.

Availability of estimates

(2) The maximum amount for an electoral district must be sent

Maximum amount not guaranteed

(3) The maximum amount calculated under subsection (1) is an estimate and, as such, may be increased or decreased for an electoral district in the subsequent election period.

Exception

(4) This section does not apply if November 15 falls during an election period or if the vote at a general election was held during the six months before that date.

S.C. 2007, c. 21, s. 34.

Prohibition – expenses more than maximum

443. (1) No candidate, official agent of a candidate or person authorized under paragraph 446(c) to enter into contracts shall incur election expenses in an amount that is more than the election expenses limit calculated under section 440.

Prohibition – collusion

(2) No candidate, official agent of the candidate, person authorized under paragraph 446(c) to enter into contracts or third party, within the meaning given that expression by section 349, shall collude with each other for the purpose of circumventing the election expenses limit calculated under section 440.

Recovery of Claims

Claim for payment

444. (1) A person who has a claim to be paid for an expense in relation to an electoral campaign shall send the invoice or other document evidencing the claim to

Bar to recovery

(2) A claimant is barred from recovery of a claim to be paid if the invoice or other document evidencing the claim is sent more than three months after

Deceased claimant

(3) If a claimant dies before the end of the three-month period, a new three-month period begins, for the purposes of subsection (1), on the day on which the claimant's legal representative becomes entitled to act for the claimant.

Payment within four months

445. (1) A claim for electoral campaign expenses that has been sent in accordance with section 444 must be paid within four months after

Exceptions

(2) The requirement to pay a claim within four months does not apply to a claim in respect of which

Unenforceable contracts

446. A contract involving an expense in relation to a candidate's electoral campaign is not enforceable against the candidate unless entered into by

Irregular claims or payments – Chief Electoral Officer

447. (1) On the written application of a person with a claim to be paid for a candidate's electoral campaign expense or of the candidate's official agent or the candidate in relation to such a claim, the Chief Electoral Officer may, on being satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for so doing, in writing authorize the payment, through the candidate's official agent, of the amount claimed if

Conditions

(2) The Chief Electoral Officer may impose any term or condition that he or she considers appropriate on a payment authorized under subsection (1).

Irregular claims and payments – judge

448. On the application of a person with a claim to be paid for a candidate's electoral campaign expense or on the application of the candidate's official agent or the candidate, as the case may be, a judge who is competent to conduct a recount may, on being satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for so doing, by order authorize the payment, through the candidate's official agent, of the amount claimed if

The applicant shall notify the Chief Electoral Officer that the application has been made.

Proceedings to recover payment

449. (1) A person who has sent a claim in accordance with section 444 may commence proceedings in a court of competent jurisdiction to recover any unpaid amount

Payment deemed properly made

(2) An amount paid by an official agent of a candidate as a result of proceedings referred to in subsection (1) is deemed to have been paid in accordance with this Act.

Deemed contributions

450. (1) An unpaid claim mentioned in a return referred to in subsection 451(1) that, on the day that is 18 months after polling day for the election to which the return relates, remains unpaid, in whole or in part, is deemed to be a contribution of the unpaid amount to the candidate made as of the day on which the expense was incurred.

When no deemed contribution

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to an unpaid claim that, on the day referred to in that subsection,

Notice by candidate

(3) A candidate or an official agent who believes that any of paragraphs (2)(a) to (d) applies to a liability to pay an amount shall so notify the Chief Electoral Officer before the day referred to in subsection (1).

Publication of deemed contributions

(4) As soon as practicable after the day referred to in subsection (1), the Chief Electoral Officer shall, in any manner that he or she considers appropriate, publish the list of claims that are deemed under subsection (1) to be contributions.

S.C. 2003, c. 19, s. 43.

Return on Financing and Expenses in an Electoral Campaign

Electoral campaign return of candidate

451. (1) The official agent of a candidate shall provide the Chief Electoral Officer with the following in respect of an election:

Contents of return

(2) The electoral campaign return shall include the following in respect of the candidate:

Supporting documents

(2.1) Together with the electoral campaign return, the official agent of a candidate shall provide to the Chief Electoral Officer documents evidencing expenses set out in the return, including bank statements, deposit slips, cancelled cheques and the candidate's written statement concerning personal expenses referred to in subsection 456(1).

Order for additional supporting documents

(2.2) If the Chief Electoral Officer is of the opinion that the documents provided under subsection (2.1) are not sufficient, the Chief Electoral Officer may require the official agent to provide by a specified date any additional documents that are necessary to comply with that subsection.

Loans

(3) For the purpose of subsection (2), other than paragraph (2)(k), a contribution includes a loan.

Period for providing documents

(4) The documents referred to in subsection (1) must be provided to the Chief Electoral Officer within four months after

Declaration of candidate

(5) A candidate shall, within four months after polling day, send to his or her official agent the declaration referred to in paragraph (1)(e).

Death of candidate

(6) If a candidate dies without having sent the declaration within the period referred to in subsection (5)

S.C. 2003, c. 19, s. 44; S.C. 2006, c. 9, s. 52.

When contributions forwarded to Receiver General

452. An official agent of a candidate shall, without delay, pay an amount of money equal to the value of a contribution that the candidate received to the Chief Electoral Officer, who shall forward it to the Receiver General, if the name of the contributor of a contribution of more than $20, or the name or the address of the contributor having made contributions of a total amount of more than $200, is not known.

S.C. 2003, c. 19, s. 45; S.C. 2006, c. 9, s. 53.

Auditor's report on return on election expenses

453. (1) As soon as practicable after an election, the auditor of a candidate shall report to the candidate's official agent on the electoral campaign return referred to in paragraph 451(1)(a) and shall, in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards, make any examination that will enable the auditor to give an opinion in the report as to whether the return presents fairly the information contained in the financial records on which it is based.

Checklist

(2) The auditor's report shall include a completed checklist for audits in the prescribed form.

Statement

(3) The auditor's report shall include any statement that the auditor considers necessary if

Right of access

(4) The auditor shall have access at any reasonable time to all documents of the candidate, and may require the candidate and his or her official agent to provide any information or explanation that, in the auditor's opinion, is necessary to enable the auditor to prepare the report.

Ineligible to prepare report

(5) A person referred to in subsection 85(2) who is a partner or an associate of an auditor of a candidate or who is an employee of that auditor, or of the firm in which that auditor is a partner or associate, may not participate, other than in the manner referred to in subsection (4), in the preparation of the auditor's report.

S.C. 2003, c. 19, s. 46.

Extended period for candidates outside Canada

454. (1) Despite subsection 451(4), a candidate who is outside Canada when the other documents referred to in subsection 451(1) are provided shall, within 14 days after returning to Canada, provide the Chief Electoral Officer with the candidate's declaration concerning his or her electoral campaign return referred to in paragraph 451(1)(e).

No extended period for official agent

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to excuse a candidate's official agent from complying with his or her obligations under this Act to prepare the return on the candidate's election expenses and make a declaration concerning it referred to in paragraph 451(1)(d).

Updating financial reporting documents

455. (1) After the four-month period referred to in subsection 451(4), the candidate's official agent shall provide the Chief Electoral Officer with an updated version of any document referred to in subsection 451(1) that relates to a claim involving

When no update for audit required

(2) If the matters dealt with in the updated versions of the documents have been subject to an audit under section 453, an updated version of the auditor's report need not be provided.

Period for providing update

(3) The candidate's official agent shall provide an updated version of a document referred to in subsection (1) within 30 days after making a payment that is dealt with in the updated version.

S.C. 2004, c. 24, s. 19.

Statement of personal expenses

456. (1) A candidate shall, within three months after polling day, send to his or her official agent a written statement in the prescribed form that

Death of candidate

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a candidate who dies without having sent the written statement referred to in that subsection before the end of the three-month period mentioned in it.

Corrections and Extended Reporting Periods

Minor corrections – Chief Electoral Officer

457. (1) The Chief Electoral Officer may correct a document referred to in subsection 451(1) or 455(1), if the correction does not materially affect its substance.

Corrections at request of Chief Electoral Officer

(2) The Chief Electoral Officer may in writing request the candidate or his or her official agent to correct, within a specified period, a document referred to in subsection 451(1) or 455(1).

Extension or correction – Chief Electoral Officer

458. (1) The Chief Electoral Officer, on the written application of a candidate or his or her official agent, may authorize

Deadline

(2) An application may be made

Grounds

(3) The Chief Electoral Officer may not authorize an extension or correction unless he or she is satisfied by the evidence submitted by the applicant that the circumstances giving rise to the application arose by reason of

Extension or correction – judge

459. (1) A candidate or his or her official agent may apply to a judge who is competent to conduct a recount for an order

The applicant shall notify the Chief Electoral Officer of the application.

Deadline

(2) An application may be made

Grounds

(3) A judge may not grant an order unless he or she is satisfied that the circumstances giving rise to the application arose by reason of one of the factors referred to in paragraphs 458(3)(a) to (d).

Contents of order

(4) An order under subsection (1) may require that the applicant satisfy any condition that the judge considers necessary for carrying out the purposes of this Act.

Refusal or failure of official agent

460. (1) A judge dealing with an application under section 459 or 461 who is satisfied that a candidate or an official agent has not provided the documents referred to in subsection 451(1) in accordance with this Act because of a refusal by, or a failure of, the official agent or a predecessor of the official agent shall, by order served personally, require the official agent or that predecessor to appear before the judge.

Show cause orders

(2) The judge shall, unless the official agent or predecessor on his or her appearance shows cause why an order should not be issued, order in writing that he or she

Recourse of candidate for fault of official agent

461. A candidate may apply to a judge who is competent to conduct a recount for an order that relieves the candidate from any liability or consequence under this or any other Act in relation to an act or omission of the candidate's official agent, if the candidate establishes that

The candidate or his or her official agent shall notify the Chief Electoral Officer that the application has been made.

S.C. 2003, c. 19, s. 47.

Destruction of documents – judge

462. (1) A candidate or his or her official agent may apply to a judge who is competent to conduct a recount for an order relieving the official agent from the obligation to provide a document referred to in subsection 451(1) or 455(1). The candidate or official agent shall notify the Chief Electoral Officer that the application has been made.

Grounds

(2) The judge may not grant the order unless he or she is satisfied that the applicant cannot provide the documents because of their destruction by an act of God or a superior force, including a flood, fire or other disaster.

Date of relief

(3) For the purposes of this Act, the applicant is relieved from the obligation referred to in subsection (1) on the date of the order.

Prohibition – false, misleading or incomplete returns

463. (1) No candidate and no official agent of a candidate shall provide the Chief Electoral Officer with a document referred to in subsection 451(1) or 455(1) that

Membership in House of Commons suspended

(2) An elected candidate who fails to provide a document as required by section 451 or 455 or fails to make a correction as requested under subsection 457(2) or authorized by 458(1) shall not continue to sit or vote as a member until they are provided or made, as the case may be.

Reimbursement of Election Expenses and Personal Expenses

Reimbursement – first instalment

464. (1) Without delay after receipt of a return of the writ for an electoral district, the Chief Electoral Officer shall provide the Receiver General with a certificate that sets out

Payment of partial reimbursement

(2) On receipt of the certificate, the Receiver General shall pay the amount set out in it out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund to the official agent of any candidate named in the certificate as partial reimbursement for the candidate's election expenses and personal expenses. The payment may be made to the person designated by the official agent.

Return of excess payment

(3) An official agent of a candidate shall without delay return to the Receiver General any amount received by him or her under subsection (2) that is more than 60% of the total of

S.C. 2003, c. 19, s. 48.

Reimbursement – final instalment

465. (1) On receipt of the documents referred to in subsection 451(1), or an update of them under subsection 455(1), 458(1) or 459(1), from a candidate named in a certificate referred to in subsection 464(1), the Chief Electoral Officer shall provide the Receiver General with a certificate that

Calculation of reimbursement

(2) The amount referred to in paragraph (1)(d) is the lesser of

Payment of final instalment

(3) On receipt of the certificate, the Receiver General shall pay the amount set out in it out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund to the official agent of the candidate. The payment may be made to the person designated by the official agent.

S.C. 2003, c. 19, s. 49.

Audit fee

466. On receipt of the documents referred to in subsection 451(1) and, if applicable, those referred to in subsection 455(1), including the auditor's report, and a copy of the auditor's invoice for that report, the Chief Electoral Officer shall provide the Receiver General with a certificate that sets out the greater of

S.C. 2003, c. 19, s. 50; S.C. 2007, c. 21, s. 35.

Payment

467. On receipt of the certificate, the Receiver General shall pay the amount set out in it to the auditor out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

S.C. 2001, c. 21, s. 23; S.C. 2003, c. 19, s. 50.

Return of deposit

468. (1) The Chief Electoral Officer shall provide the Receiver General with a certificate that lists the names of

Payment

(2) On receipt of the certificate, the Receiver General shall pay out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund the amount of each listed candidate's nomination deposit to his or her official agent. The payment may be made to the person designated by the official agent.

No official agent acting at candidate's death

(3) If there is no official agent in the case described in paragraph (1)(b), the Chief Electoral Officer may return the nomination deposit to any person that he or she considers appropriate.

Forfeit to Her Majesty

(4) Any nomination deposit that is not returned under this section is forfeited to Her Majesty in right of Canada.

S.C. 2003, c. 19, s. 51.

Death of candidate

469. If a candidate who was endorsed by a registered party dies in the period beginning at 2:00 p.m. on the 5th day before the closing day for nominations and ending on polling day,

S.C. 2003, c. 19, s. 52.

Withdrawal of writ

470. (1) This Part applies, with the following modifications, to electoral campaign expenses of candidates in an electoral district in which a writ is withdrawn under section 59 or deemed to be withdrawn under section 551:

No reimbursement

(2) Despite subsection (1), a candidate is not entitled to reimbursement for election expenses or personal expenses if

S.C. 2003, c. 19, s. 53.

Surplus of Electoral Funds

Surplus of electoral funds

471. (1) The surplus amount of electoral funds that a candidate receives for an election is the amount by which the candidate's electoral revenues referred to in subsection (2) are more than the total of the candidate's electoral campaign expenses paid by his or her official agent and the transfers referred to in subsection (3).

Electoral revenues

(2) The electoral revenues of a candidate include any amount that represents

Transfers

(3) A transfer made by a candidate is a transfer of

S.C. 2003, c. 19, s. 54.

Notice of assessment and estimate of surplus electoral funds

472. (1) If the Chief Electoral Officer estimates that a candidate has a surplus of electoral funds, the Chief Electoral Officer shall issue a notice of the estimated amount of the surplus to the candidate's official agent.

Notice of surplus by official agent

(2) An official agent of a candidate who has a surplus of electoral funds but has not received a notice of estimated surplus under subsection (1) shall dispose of that estimated surplus within 60 days after, as the case may be,

Period for disposal of surplus electoral funds

473. (1) An official agent of a candidate shall dispose of a surplus of electoral funds within 60 days after receiving the notice of estimated surplus.

Remittance of surplus

(2) Surplus electoral funds must be transferred

S.C. 2003, c. 19, s. 55.

Notice of disposal of surplus

474. (1) An official agent of a candidate shall, within seven days after disposing of a candidate's surplus electoral funds, notify the Chief Electoral Officer in the prescribed form of the amount and date of the disposal and to whom the surplus was transferred.

Publication

(2) As soon as practicable after the disposal of a candidate's surplus electoral funds, the Chief Electoral Officer shall, in any manner that he or she considers appropriate, publish a notice referred to in subsection (1).

Requisition for repayment

475. (1) An official agent who has disposed of a candidate's surplus electoral funds under paragraph 473(2)(b) and must subsequently pay an electoral campaign expense of the candidate may apply to the Chief Electoral Officer for repayment in an amount that is not more than the lesser of the amount of the subsequent payment and the amount of the surplus electoral funds.

Repayment

(2) On receipt of a request for payment from the Chief Electoral Officer in relation to an application, the Receiver General shall pay the amount specified in the application to the official agent out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

Prohibition – transfer of contributions

476. No registered agent of a registered party, financial agent of a registered association or financial agent of a nomination contestant shall transfer funds to a candidate after polling day except to pay claims related to the candidate's electoral campaign.

S.C. 2003, c. 19, s. 56.

Supply and Use of Forms

Prescribed forms – Income Tax Act

477. A candidate and his or her official agent shall use the prescribed forms for official receipts to contributors for the purpose of subsection 127(3) of the Income Tax Act.

Provision of forms to candidates

478. (1) A returning officer shall provide each candidate in his or her electoral district with a reasonable number of copies of each form requested by the candidate or by his or her official agent.

Return of unused forms

(2) A candidate and his or her official agent shall return any unused forms referred to in section 477 within a month after polling day.

Designated forms

(3) The Chief Electoral Officer may, from among forms that are to be provided under subsection (1), designate those that may only be provided to the official agent of a candidate whose nomination has been confirmed under subsection 71(1).



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