Status of Political Financing Files from the 43rd General Election – CEO Appearance on the Special Report of the Chief Electoral Officer: Administering an Election during the COVID-19 Pandemic
- In response to COVID-19, Elections Canada focused on providing political entities as much flexibility as possible to allow them to comply with the Canada Elections Act.
- These changes include providing sufficient time to entities to file their returns.
- Reimbursements will be issued to eligible political entities by the end of October 2020.
- Although we are still aiming to complete audits of candidate returns within 12 months, work in this context has been challenging.
*Note prepared with data as of October 19, 2020*
- To date, Elections Canada has received the majority of returns from the 43rd general election:
- We have received:
- 91% of candidate returns
- 76% of party electoral returns (16 of 21 registered parties)
- 93% of third party returns
- Ahead of the 43rd general election, Elections Canada made changes to its audit process to adopt a risk-based methodology. Only a subset of returns will be selected for a full audit, based on risk factors (including the overall money spent during the campaign).
- In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have:
- Facilitated deadline extensions for candidates and third parties. The Chief Electoral Officer reconsidered extensions from February 21, 2020, for those entities who had already requested and received approval for a deadline extension, to June 30, 2020.
- Implemented a mechanism, under way from August 2020 to the end of October 2020, to accelerate reimbursements to eligible campaigns when audits will not have been completed before the end of October 2020.
- Recommended to Electoral District Associations (EDAs) expecting delays due to COVID-19 to apply for an extension ahead of the annual filing deadline. Extensions were granted to July 31, 2020.
- Adjusted our business processes for EDAs, including a simplified process to request an extension and an alternative to a signature for the annual update to the Registry.
- These adjustments have been communicated to political entities on our website, on social media and through regular channels.