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Political Financing Handbook for Registered Parties and Chief Agents (EC 20231) – April 2020

14. Reimbursements

This chapter explains how a registered party becomes eligible for the reimbursement that
Elections Canada pays after a general election and how the amounts are calculated. It covers the following topics:

  • Who is eligible for a reimbursement?
  • How is the reimbursement calculated?

Who is eligible for a reimbursement?

A registered party is eligible for a partial reimbursement of paid election expenses and accessibility expenses for a general election if the following conditions are met:

  1. The Chief Electoral Officer is satisfied that the party has complied with the general election expenses reporting requirements with respect to the original return and any amended returns, even if the auditor makes a statement to the contrary in the audit report.
  2. The auditor's report does not contain a statement indicating any of the following:
    • The return does not present fairly the information contained in the financial records on which the return is based.
    • The auditor has not received all the required information from the party.
    • Based on the examination, it appears that proper accounting records have not been kept.
  3. The candidates endorsed by the party received at least:
    • 2% of the valid votes cast in the election, or
    • 5% of the valid votes cast in the electoral districts where the party endorsed a candidate

Note: The Canada Elections Act does not provide for a reimbursement of by-election expenses.

How is the reimbursement calculated?

Base amount

Eligible parties will receive a partial reimbursement of expenses reported in their general election return, calculated as follows:

  • 50% of their paid election expenses, subject to the limit
  • 90% of their paid accessibility expenses, up to a maximum of $250,000
Example

The election expenses limit for the XYZ Party of Canada in the general election is $20 million. The party's paid election expenses in the general election total $12 million, and their paid accessibility expenses total $100,000. As a result, the party will receive a reimbursement of $6,090,000 (($12 million x 50%) + ($100,000 x 90%)).

Reduction of reimbursement amount

If the registered party's election expenses exceeded the election expenses limit, the reimbursement amount is reduced as follows:

  • by one dollar for every dollar that exceeds the limit by less than 5%
  • by two dollars for every dollar that exceeds the limit by 5% or more but by less than 10%
  • by three dollars for every dollar that exceeds the limit by 10% or more but by less than 12.5%
  • by four dollars for every dollar that exceeds the limit by 12.5% or more