Corporations and trade unions are no longer eligible to contribute to municipal election campaigns. This includes all council and school board elections. Corporations and trade unions can be third party advertisers and contribute to third party advertisers.
Contribution limit has been raised from $750 to $1200 for individual donations to any one candidate. The $5000 limit for donations to all candidates remains the same.
A candidate for an office on Municipal Council and his or her spouse shall not make contributions to the candidate’s own election campaign that, combined, for the office of Mayor exceed an amount equal to $7500 plus 20 cents for each elector entitled to vote for the office or for the office of Councillor exceed and amount equal to $5000 plus 20 cents per elector entitle to vote for the office.
A candidate who does not accept any contributions of money, or incur any expenses, is not required to open a bank account.
Every candidate will be entitled to a refund of the nomination fee if they file their campaign financial statement and, if needed, the auditor’s report by the deadline.
There is a 30-day grace period for candidates and third party advertisers who miss the deadline to file a financial statement and auditor’s report, provided that the candidate or third party advertiser pays a $500 late filing fee to the municipality.
If a candidate or third party advertiser has filed their financial statement before the deadline and then discovers an error, they can file a corrected financial statement and auditor’s report up until the filing deadline.
If an eligible voter believes that a candidate or third party advertiser has contravened an election campaign finance rule, the voter may apply for a compliance audit. Compliance Audit Committees will be required to provide brief written reasons for their decisions.
There will be a new process regarding contribution limits. The clerk who conducted the election is responsible for reviewing the contributions that are reported on the financial statements to council and trustee candidates as well as third party advertisers. If a contributor appears to have given more than the contribution limits allow, the clerk will report this to the Compliance Audit Committee. The Compliance Audit Committee will then decide whether to commence a legal proceeding against the contributor.