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Political Financing Handbook for Registered Parties and Chief Agents (EC 20231) – June 2021

About This Document

Introduction to the handbook

This handbook is designed to help eligible and registered parties, chief agents and registered agents in the financial administration of the registered party.

This document is a general guideline issued pursuant to section 16.1 of the Canada Elections Act. It is provided for information and is not intended to replace the Act.

Elections Canada will review the contents of this handbook on a regular basis and make updates as required.

Note: The term "individual" used in this handbook refers to a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

What's new in this release?

Release Where Title Summary
June 2021 All n/a New contribution limits for 2021 updated in tables and examples.
Chapter 1 Role and appointment process—auditor Added a reminder to ask auditors about their eligibility under provincial or territorial rules.
Chapter 2 Volunteer labour Updated example to clarify that volunteers can be on unpaid leave or earned paid leave.
Activities conducted by others in coordination with the party may be contributions New content added, as per OGI 2021-01, Participating in Third Party Campaign-Style Events During Pre-election and Election Periods.
Chapter 5 Regulated fundraising events New content added on virtual events, as per OGI 2020-06, Regulated Fundraising Events.
Chapter 6 Who can incur expenses? Added a definition of what it means to incur an expense.
Chapter 7 What is partisan advertising? Clarified that a letter addressed to a named elector is not advertising.
What qualifies as partisan advertising on the Internet?

Clarified that boosting content originally posted for free is advertising.

New content on when a social media influencer's posts are advertising.

Chapter 8 What qualifies as election advertising on the Internet?

Clarified that boosting content originally posted for free is advertising.

New content on when a social media influencer's posts are advertising.

Mass text messaging New section on telecommunications rules for text messages.
Rental of a temporary party office Added example of installation expenses and prorated expenses.
Party leader's travel expenses

New position that return trips after the election period may be election expenses.

Clarified that certain security-related expenses are not election expenses.

Campaign workers and related expenses

New details on election expenses related to campaign workers.

New position that return trips after the election period may be election expenses.

High-profile campaigners and invited guests New section on election expenses related to participation of high-profile campaigners.
Replacement or repair of damaged property New section on excluding some expenses for damaged property from election expenses.
Chapter 11 What is collusion for the purpose of influencing a third party's regulated activities? New content added, as per OGI 2021-01, Participating in Third Party Campaign-Style Events During Pre-election and Election Periods.
Chapter 12 What is a directed contribution? Updated position to state that processing fees charged by the party are leadership campaign expenses rather than transfers.
Chapter 13 Requesting a filing deadline extension Content added on requesting an extension from a judge.

Contact information

Internet elections.ca
Telephone Political Entities Support Network
1-800-486-6563

Regular Hours
Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Eastern time)

Elections Canada General Enquiries
1-800-463-6868
Fax Political Financing
1-888-523-9333 (toll-free)
1-819-939-1803
Mail Elections Canada
30 Victoria Street
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0M6
Email General Enquiries
info@elections.ca

Political Financing Enquiries
political.financing@elections.ca

Electronic Financial Return (EFR)—Enquiries and Submissions
efr-rfe@elections.ca