Political Financing Handbook for Candidates and Official Agents (EC 20155) – February 2018
Note: This handbook is to be used for elections called before June 13, 2019. For later elections, please use the November 2019 version of the handbook.
10. Other Electoral Campaign Expenses
This chapter discusses electoral campaign expenses other than election expenses or the candidate's personal expenses and provides examples of typical expenses in this category. It covers the following topics:
- What are "other" electoral campaign expenses?
- Compensation paid to the candidate
- Expenses for ticketed fundraising events
- Unused inventory
- Interest on loans before and after the election period
- Cost of preparing reports
What are "other" electoral campaign expenses?
Certain electoral campaign expenses that are reasonably incurred as an incidence of the election are not to be included as election expenses or the candidate's personal expenses and are not subject to the expenses limit. These expenses are called "other" electoral campaign expenses.
Expenses before or after the election
An expense for property or a service used before the calling of the election is an electoral campaign expense only to the extent that it was reasonably incurred as an incidence of the election. A purpose test should be applied to determine whether or not a pre-writ expense is an electoral campaign expense: if the candidate was not planning to participate in a future election, would the expense have been incurred?
An expense for property or a service used after election day is an electoral campaign expense only to the extent that it is reasonably serving some purpose related to the election.
- The campaign rents an office on March 1, a month before the election is called. The rental agreement is for three months and the rent is $300 a month. The election period is 37 days, starting from April 1. The portion of the rent that has to be recorded as an other electoral campaign expense is $532.26. That is the amount remaining after the election expense, $367.74, is subtracted from the rent total.
Calculation: $900 – ($300 + (7 / 31 x $300)) = $532.26
- After election day, the candidate invites the volunteers of his campaign to a thank-you party. Although the event is outside the election period, the expense incurred is an incidence of the election. Accordingly, the expenses have to be reported as other electoral campaign expenses.
Typical "other" expenses
Compensation paid to the candidate to replace revenue
Compensation may be paid to the candidate from the campaign bank account to replace revenue forgone by the candidate during the election period.
It is advisable to include a written contract or other documentation with the candidate's return about any compensation paid because, in the absence of evidence, the payment of salaries may be considered an inappropriate use of campaign funds that would need to be returned.
Expenses for ticketed fundraising events
When a ticketed fundraising event is held during an election period, most expenses incurred by the candidate are other electoral campaign expenses, because fundraising expenses are excluded from the election expense definition. For details, see Chapter 6, Fundraising.
Note: Expenses associated with the production and distribution of advertising and promotional materials related to a fundraising activity are election expenses to the extent that the advertising and promotional materials are used during the election period.
The campaign holds a ticketed fundraising dinner during the election period. The expenses incurred for the venue rental, food, drinks and entertainment are other electoral campaign expenses. The expenses incurred to promote the event are election expenses.
Any inventory or asset that was never used during the election period and remains on hand after election day is not an election expense, but an other electoral campaign expense. The unused inventory should be sold at commercial value, or transferred to the registered association or the registered party.
During the election period, 900 signs are installed and 100 signs are not used. The purchase price of the 100 unused signs is reported as an other electoral campaign expense.
Interest on loans before and after the election period
Interest on loans payable before and after the election period is an other electoral campaign expense.
Cost of preparing reports
Expenses associated with fulfilling the various reporting obligations set out in the Canada Elections Act are other electoral campaign expenses.
The cost of a courier service used two months after election day to send the candidate's return has to be reported as an other electoral campaign expense.