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.
This chapter explains the rules and procedures for accepting and sending transfers. It covers the following topics:
- What is a transfer?
- What cannot be transferred?
- Administering transfers sent to and by the campaign
- Rules for independent candidates
What is a transfer?
A transfer is a provision of funds, property or services between specified political entities of the same political affiliation. Where specifically permitted under the Canada Elections Act, a transfer is not considered to be a contribution, and contribution rules therefore do not apply.
|Monetary transfer||Non-monetary transfer|
|A monetary transfer is a transfer of funds.||A non-monetary transfer is a transfer of property or services. The amount of a non-monetary transfer is the commercial value of the property or service.
Unlike non-monetary contributions, a non-monetary transfer has to be reported even if its commercial value is $200 or less.
Transfers are permitted only between related political entities (registered party, electoral district association, candidate and leadership or nomination contestant) of the same political affiliation.
However, not all types of entities are authorized to provide all types of transfers. For a quick reference guide to eligible and ineligible transfers, see the Transfers—types and rules table in Chapter 1, Reference Tables and Timelines.
Note: If an invoice requiring payment is prepared by one political entity and sent to its related political entity, together with a third party vendor invoice representing the commercial value of the goods or services provided, this is not a transfer but a sale of goods or services from one entity to another.
Transfers of expenses are prohibited
It is important to differentiate between the candidate's electoral campaign expenses and the expenses of the candidate's registered party. The Canada Elections Act specifies separate expenses limits for the registered party and each of its candidates. The Act prohibits the transfer of expenses without accompanying property or services. Each entity has to report the expenses it incurred for property and services it used during the electoral campaign.
Transfers sent to the candidate's campaign
The following transfers may be accepted by the candidate's campaign:
- property, services or funds from the registered party or any registered association of the registered party
- funds from a nomination contestant who participated in the nomination contest in the same electoral district, including funds from the candidate's own nomination campaign
Note: Transfers may not be accepted from provincial parties or provincial electoral district associations. Transfers from a registered provincial division of a federal registered party are considered transfers from the registered party.
Transfers before an election
The registered party or registered association may transfer funds, property or services to the candidate before the election is called provided the following conditions are met:
- the candidate has appointed an official agent
- the candidate has appointed an auditor
- in the case of monetary transfers, the official agent has opened a campaign bank account
Transfers after an election
No registered party, registered association or nomination contestant may transfer funds to a candidate after election day, except to pay claims or loans related to the candidate's electoral campaign.
Therefore, it is important to verify whether a transfer is needed before accepting it.
Transfers sent by the candidate's campaign
The following transfers may be sent by the candidate's campaign:
- property, services or funds to their own nomination contestant campaign for the same election
- property, services or funds to a registered electoral district association of the same party or to the registered party
- Clara won a nomination contest and has started her election campaign. Her official agent transfers funds to Clara's earlier nomination campaign to pay some outstanding nomination campaign expenses.
- The candidate's campaign purchases 1,000 signs for the election. During the election period, 900 signs are installed. After election day, 100 unused and 750 recovered signs are transferred to the registered association. The commercial value of the 850 transferred signs is calculated, and the amount is reported as a transfer to the association.
An independent candidate may not send or receive any transfers. Any property, services or funds received by an independent candidate, including their own funds, are governed by the rules for contributions and loans.