Office of the Premier

Strengthening transparency through electoral financing reform

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Office of the Premier

Strengthening transparency through electoral financing reform

Media Contacts
Stephen Smart
Press Secretary Office of the Premier 778 389-6202
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Justice 250 213-3602
Media Contacts
Stephen Smart
Press Secretary Office of the Premier 778 389-6202
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Justice 250 213-3602

Backgrounders

Amendments to the Election Act

The amendments to the Election Act will increase transparency in how parties, candidates, and constituency associations report fundraising events and contributions.

The changes apply to major political parties that raise more than $50,000 in a calendar year, candidates of major parties or who raise more than $10,000 in relation to their candidacy, and constituency associations of major parties those that raise more than $10,000 in a calendar year and those that support an independent member of the legislative assembly.

There are exemptions for smaller parties, constituency associations and independent candidates.

For fundraising functions with a ticket price greater than $100:

  • All parties, candidates and constituency associations must record and report contributions received from ticket prices and sponsorships at such functions.
  • Major reporting entities must publish information on party website within five days after the event.
    • Details include date, time and location of the function, and on whose behalf it was held.
    • Penalty if not posted on time or for the required length of time is $10,000.

Penalties for failing to report contributions in 14-day disclosure reports:

  • Late filing fee $100 if filed within 28 days of deadline.
  • Half the amount of contribution if reported after late filing period but before next annual or election financing report due.
  • Full amount of contribution if reported after next annual or election financing report due.

Federal taxpayers rebate 50% of federal election campaign expenses for political parties and rebate up to 60% of riding campaign expenses for federal candidates, which was $60.4 million in 2011. The costs to taxpayers for the 2015 federal election campaign are projected to be higher, given individual riding payments have not yet been completed, the longer campaign period and higher spending limits: http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=res&dir=rep/off/sta_2015&document=p2&lang=e

Jurisdictions that have capped contribution limits and replaced them with taxpayer-funded per vote subsidies include Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia: http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=res&dir=loi/com/arc/com2016&document=p6&lang=e#1

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