Candidates Financial Statements 2018
The Municipal Elections Act, 1996 requires a candidate or third party advertiser to file a financial statement with the designated Clerk that reflects the candidate or third party advertiser election campaign finances as of December 31 in the election year. Section 88(9.1) of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 requires the Clerk to post the financial statement – auditor’s report and related documents on the municipality’s website as soon as possible after the documents are filed.
An elector, entitled to vote in the election, who believes on reasonable grounds that a candidate or third party advertiser has contravened the provisions of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 relating to campaign finances may within 90 days of the deadline to file the financial statement apply for a compliance audit of the candidate or third party advertiser election campaign finances.
The financial statement must be in the prescribed form.
For the 2018 elections, the completed financial statement must be filed with the Clerk by no later than 2:00 p.m. on Friday, March 29, 2019. The Clerk will provide candidates with a notice of the filing requirements by no later than Wednesday, February 27, 2019. The Clerk will also provide candidates with notice of the penalties relating to campaign expenses, including the consequences of failing to file a proper financial statement on time.
A candidate whose campaign was in a deficit position as of December 31, 2018, can extend his or her campaign period by providing the Clerk with written Notification of Deficit and Continuation of Campaign Period by no later than December 31, 2018. To view the prescribed Form for extending the campaign period, please check back for Notice of Extension of Campaign Period – Form 6).
A candidate who extends his/her campaign must still file a financial statement for the period ending December 31, 2018 but may continue his or her campaign for up to another six months (ending June 30, 2019) to eliminate the deficit. A candidate who has extended his or her campaign is then required to file a second financial statement reflecting his/her campaign finances as of the date the candidate eliminated his/her deficit or June 30, 2019 whichever comes first. This second statement is due by 2:00 p.m. on Friday, September 27, 2019.
Candidates/Third Party Advertisers who are unable to meet a reporting deadline may before the last day for filing the financial statement apply to the Ontario Court of Justice to extend the time to file the financial statement. The court may grant an extension of no more than 90 days.
Candidates/Third Party Advertisers are encouraged to talk to the Clerk as soon as they become aware that they will need to extend a campaign period or that they cannot meet any reporting deadline.
The key to successful financial reporting and defence of a Campaign Audit is attention to the rules around campaign finances and careful record keeping. Candidates/Third Party Advertisers should keep in mind the following:
- A candidate’s campaign period commences on the day he/she files a nomination paper with the Clerk
- A candidate's campaign period will normally end on December 31, 2018. (Exceptions are for extended campaigns, candidates who withdraw or whose nomination paper is not certified by the Clerk.)
- A candidate/third party advertiser is allowed to accept contributions or incur any expenses only during their campaign period.
- A candidate/third party advertiser is required to open a separate bank account specifically for campaign purposes. All contributions must be deposited to that bank account. With the exception of the nomination fee, all expenses must be paid for from the bank account. (This is a necessary exception as the candidate/third party cannot open the bank account until they have filed a nomination paper.)
- A candidate/third party advertiser must issue fully detailed receipts for every contribution and value every contribution regardless of its form and even if the contributor is the candidate/third party advertiser. The receipt must include the name and address of the contributor.
- A candidate/third party advertiser is required to list the name and address of every contributor who gives more than $100 total to his or her campaign in the financial statement.
- A candidate/third party advertiser must obtain a receipt for each expense incurred.
- A candidate/third party advertiser may not exceed the Campaign Expense Limit for the office for which they are a candidate/third party. The Clerk will provide the candidate/third party with notices respecting this limit.
- Candidates/third party advertisers must make themselves aware of the rules around who is eligible to contribute to their campaigns and the limits on individual and corporate contributions.
- A candidate/third party advertiser may not accept a contribution in cash excepting for a cash donation of $10 or less received at a fundraising event.
- A candidate/third party advertiser who has accepted ineligible amounts or contributions from ineligible sources must return such ineligible contributions immediately he or she becomes aware of the fact. Such returns of contributions must be carefully documented. If the candidate/third party advertiser cannot return the contribution, it must be turned over to the Clerk.
- A candidate must keep all campaign financial records until the next council or school board takes office (December, 2022).
The Municipality of Hastings Highlands is required to make all Candidate's Financial Statements available at no charge for viewing by the public on a website or in another electionic format in accordance with section 88(9.1) of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996.
Below will be a list of Financial Statements for the 2018 Municipal Election currently filed with the City Clerk as a financial requirement under the Act.