A contribution refers to any gift of money to a party or to an independent candidate, any service rendered or goods furnished free of charge, for political purposes. Any money, goods or service furnished by the candidate himself in view of his election is also considered a contribution.
The contributor must sign, on the contribution receipt, a declaration stating that his contribution is made out of his own property, voluntarily, without compensation or consideration and that it cannot be reimbursed in any way.¹
Legal persons (companies, unions, etc.) are strictly forbidden from making contributions.
When an offence is committed with respect to the provisions related to contributions, legal proceedings may be instituted and may lead to harsh penalties that can take the following forms:
Contributions of over $100 must be made by means of a cheque, other payment order signed by the elector, a credit card or a transfer of funds to an account held by the official representative. For a contribution made by credit card or transfer of funds, the elector must sign a form produced by the official representative.
The official representative of an authorized political party must transmit to the treasurer of the municipality each quarter, namely in January, April, July and October, the copy of the receipt intended for the treasurer and for the Chief Electoral Officer, for those receipts issued during a quarter.
For every contribution, the elector must receive a receipt and his contribution of money may result in a tax credit. The maximum tax credit can reach $155 (85 % of the first segment of $50 and 75 % of the second segment of $150).
The total contributions, in the form of money and goods and services, cannot exceed, during the same fiscal year (calendar year), for the same elector, the sum of $300 to each party and to each authorized independent candidate. However, from June 21, 2013, the maximum allowed by the Act will be $300 to each authorized party and independent candidates.
During the fiscal year of an election, a candidate of an authorized party or an authorized independent candidate may also pay contributions or sums of money for the candidate's own benefit or that of the party for which the candidate is running, the total of which may not exceed $700.
¹ In addition, the name of the employer of the contributor is now required on the contribution receipt.