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2016–17 Report on Plans and Priorities

Details on Transfer Payment Programs

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
Type of transfer payment Other type of transfer payment
Type of appropriation Statutory authority, as per the Canada Elections Act
Fiscal year for terms and conditions 201415
Strategic outcome An Accessible Electoral Framework That Canadians Trust and Use
Link to department's Program Alignment Architecture Regulation of Electoral Activities
Description 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 percent of the valid votes cast in their electoral district. Registered parties must obtain at least 2 percent of the valid votes cast nationally or 5 percent 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.
Expected results Political entities have access to statutory payments in accordance with the law.
Fiscal year of last completed evaluation Not applicable – Statutory payments as determined by Parliament.
Decision following the results of last evaluation Not applicable
Fiscal year of planned completion of next evaluation Not applicable
General targeted recipient groups Candidates, political parties, and auditors of candidates and registered associations.
Initiatives to engage applicants and recipients Elections Canada provides guidance material on its website and regular training sessions to educate its recipients.

Planning Information (Dollars)
Type of transfer payment 201516
Forecast spending
Planned spending
Planned spending
Planned spending
Total grants        
Total contributions        
Total other types of transfer payments 68,046,926 900,000 900,000 900,000
Total program 68,046,926 900,000 900,000 900,000

The significantly higher 201516 forecast spending is mostly explained by the reimbursements of electoral expenses and audit fees from the 42nd general election held on October 19, 2015. The reimbursement of election expenses to eligible candidates and political parties is a preliminary estimate and has not been adjusted for a longer election period.* Elections Canada will be in a position to better estimate the reimbursement once election returns have been filed.**

* The election period was 78 days. The minimum is 36 days. Recent amendments to the Canada Elections Act provided that spending limits are adjusted proportionally to campaign's length.

** Candidates' official agents must submit audited returns of their election expenses and contributions within four months of election day (by February 19, 2016), while a registered political party must submit an audited report on its election expenses within eight months of election day (by June 19, 2016).