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Characteristics of the election financing

What is a contribution?

Under the Election Act, the term contribution means any donation of money to a candidate for political purposes. Any money provided, service rendered or goods furnished by the candidate in view of his own election is also considered as a contribution.

Prohibition for legal persons

It is strictly forbidden for legal persons (for example, companies, corporations, unions, etc.) to give financial contributions to a candidate (section 513.1.1).

When an offense is committed with regards to the provisions relating to contributions, legal proceedings may be instituted, resulting in stiff penalties including:

  • for a first offence, a fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than $20,000 in the case of a natural person;
  • for a first offence, a fine of not less than $10,000 nor more than $50,000 in the case of a legal person;
  • loss of the right to:
    • hold office and vote for elected representatives;
    • exercise election rights; and
    • conclude a public contract (in French only).

Contributions of $100 or more

Every donation of money of $100 or more provided by a natural person must be made by cheque or other order of payment signed by the person who makes the gift and drawn from the person's account in a financial institution having an office in Québec and be made payable to the candidate.

In the case of a ticket recognized by the returning officer, the gift cannot be made in the name of the ticket and consequently the contributor will have to specify to whom he is giving the gift while respecting the limits stipulated in the Act (section 513.1.2).

Contribution limit

The total financial contribution provided by a natural person may not exceed $300 per candidate. In addition, a candidate may contribute sums of money for the candidate's own benefit, the total of which may not exceed  $700. Consequently, the candidate will be able to provide, for his own benefit, sums of money totalling no more than $1,000 (section 513.1.1).

Tax credit

Regardless of the contribution, no contribution receipt is issued to the contributor and thus no tax credit is granted.

Disclosure of certain election contributions

Every person who is a candidate at an election for the office of member of the council of a municipality to which Divisions II to IX of Chapter XIII do not apply (municipalities with a population of under 5,000) shall, within 90 days after the polling day fixed for that election, transmit to the treasurer of the municipality a list of the natural persons who, to promote the election of the candidate, contributed a sum of $100 or more, or contributed two or more sums amounting to $100 or more (form DGE-1038) (section 513.1).

All contributions of at least $100 received up to polling day must be noted on the list.

A copy of the list must be tabled (section 2 of form DGE-1038) by the treasurer of the municipality before the municipal council at the next regular meeting to be held after the expiry of the 90-day period following the vote. The original report will be sent to the Directeur général des élections by the treasurer of the municipality, in the same mailing, no more than 120 days following the vote (section 513.2).

The report must be produced according to the enclosed model. The following guidelines will help the candidate to complete it.

The candidate can also download an electronic version of the report in Excel format:

For further information

For any further questions, the candidate is invited first to contact the treasurer of his municipality.

Support is also provided by the office of the Directeur général des élections:

Service de la coordination et de la vérification en financement politique

Quebec City region: 418-646-8754
Elsewhere in Québec, toll-free: 1-866-225-4087
Email: financement-municipal-5000@dgeq.qc.ca

Financing and election expenses (Less than 5,000 inh.)