Political Financing Handbook for Registered Parties and Chief Agents (EC 20231) – June 2021
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 party
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 from individuals not in the business of providing that property or service, 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 the original supplier 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 registered party
Only the chief agent and authorized registered agents can accept transfers on the registered party's behalf. The following transfers may be accepted by a registered party:
- property, services or funds from any registered association of the registered party
- property, services or funds from a candidate of the registered party
- funds from a nomination contestant of the registered party
- funds from a leadership contestant of the registered party
Note: Transfers may not be accepted from provincial parties or electoral district associations of provincial parties. Transfers from a registered provincial division of a federal registered party are considered transfers from the registered party.
After election day, a candidate's campaign transfers 100 unused signs and 750 recovered signs to the registered party. The commercial value of the 850 signs is calculated by the candidate's campaign, and the registered party reports the amount as a non-monetary transfer from the candidate.
Transfers sent by the registered party
Only the chief agent and authorized registered agents can send transfers on the registered party's behalf.
The registered party may transfer funds to the following political entities:
- an electoral district association of the registered party, whether the association is
registered or not
- a leadership contestant who is receiving directed contributions from the party (these can be sent after the contestant has registered with Elections Canada)
- a candidate of the registered party
The registered party may transfer property or services to the following political entities:
- an electoral district association of the registered party, whether the association is registered or not
- a nomination contestant, if the non-monetary transfer is offered equally to all contestants
- a leadership contestant, if the non-monetary transfer is offered equally to all contestants
- a candidate of the registered party
For transfers to a candidate, the following should be kept in mind:
- before an election is called, transfers from the party to a candidate are allowed as long as:
- the candidate has appointed an official agent
- in the case of monetary transfers, the official agent has opened a campaign bank account
- after the election period, monetary transfers from the party to a candidate are allowed only to pay claims and loans related to the candidate's campaign
The registered party purchases signs and transfers them to a candidate's campaign. The party sends a copy of the original supplier invoice to the candidate's campaign and reports the commercial value of the signs as a non-monetary transfer. The candidate's official agent reports the same commercial value as an electoral campaign expense and as a non-monetary transfer from the registered party.