Voter Learning Centre Campaign Financing

Campaign Financing

Campaign Financing 101 – What Counts As A Campaign Contribution?

The Local Elections Campaign Financing Act defines campaign contributions as anything from money donated by individuals, property including office space and services provided. All of those count as campaign contributions, assuming that nothing is given back in return. Campaign contributions also include membership fees and a candidate’s own money used to finance their own campaign.

However, if someone volunteers for a campaign, that is not defined as a campaign contribution. If someone publishes an editorial, a column, a news article or any related sort of media to a legitimate publication or radio or television program, that is not considered a campaign contribution.

Financial Agents For Candidates And Elector Organizations

Every candidate MUST have a financial agent. This is common in elections at every level of government. A candidate may appoint a financial agent and if they don’t, they themselves will be the financial agent.

The financial agent must setup a campaign bank account for their candidate and that all campaign contributions and transfers are going into that account. The same applies to elector organizations (electoral groups, civic groups and political parties). Elector organizations must appoint an individual to be their financial agent and must do so before spending money on their campaign or accepting campaign contributions.

All campaign contributions must go through the financial agent and the individual candidate or elector organization cannot accept them.

Campaign Financing FAQ – How Much Can Someone Contribute To A Candidate?

There are no restrictions on how much an individual can donate to a campaign. However, anonymous donations (ones where the individual or group is not specified) are limited to $50. Full information of the campaign contribution and the contributor must be logged by the financial agent.