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New rules apply to municipal political financing

New rules are now in place for municipal political financing. They stem from the adoption by the National Assembly in June 2016 of Bill 83, which seeks to strengthen the rules on political financing. The main measures are:

Contributions

  • The maximum contribution that a voter can make to a party or a candidate is now $100. The payment of an additional contribution of $100 is allowed in a general or by-election.
  • The candidate may, for his own benefit or for the benefit of the party for which he is a candidate, pay an additional amount of $800.
  • Any contribution over $50 must be made by cheque or by credit card.

Claim of non-compliant contributions

  • We can now claim from a political entity the repayment of a contribution for which we have convincing evidence that it was made contrary to electoral laws, regardless of the date of payment of the contribution.
  • • We publish on our website the non-compliant contributions we are requesting.

Mandatory training

  • Official agents or representatives of political parties and authorized independent candidates must be trained in their roles and responsibilities for political financing and control of election expenses.

Public financing

  • From now on, an annual allowance is paid to all political parties in a municipality with a population of 20,000 or more which have obtained at least 1% of the votes in the last general election.
  • An amount of $2.50 will be provided as additional funding to authorized political parties and authorized independent candidates from a municipality with a population of 20,000 or more for each dollar raised as contribution income, up to the amounts provided during a general election year or during a by-election.

Authorization

  • A person who undertakes to stand as an independent candidate in the next general election may apply for authorization from the returning officer of his or her municipality on or after January 1 of the year preceding the year in which the election is held.

Signed statements

  • Financial reports and returns of election expenses must now include signed statements from the various stakeholders, including the party leader or authorized independent candidate, as well as the official representative or agent, as the case may be. The addition of these statements is intended, among other things, to increase the accountability of party leaders and authorized independent candidates, who are also important actors in funding and spending.