Québec City, August 30, 2001 –– In preparation for the by-elections that will be held in the electoral divisions of Blainville, Jonquière, Labelle and Laviolette on Monday, October 1, 2001, Mr. Marcel Blanchet, Chief Electoral Officer of Québec, would like to remind electors and candidates of the main rules found in the Election Act regarding political financing and the control of election expenses.
Only electors are entitled to make political contributions, which must come from their own property. Legal persons, namely companies, unions or associations, whatever their nature, are prohibited from contributing to the financing of political parties or of independent candidates. Moreover, it is important to point out that:
– the total contributions made by the same elector to each political party and to each authorized independent candidate cannot exceed $3 000 during the same calendar year;
– under the Election Act, the solicitor must issue a receipt to the elector for every contribution.
The Election Act stipulates that election expenses must be limited and be subject to control. For these by-elections, election expenses are limited to $1.60 per elector registered on the list of electors of each of the electoral divisions in question. Moreover, all election expenses must be recorded from the day after the day on which the writ announcing the holding of by-elections is issued until the closing of polling stations on polling day.
It should also be noted that the official agent of a candidate is the only person who can incur or authorize election expenses.
Authorization of independent candidates
It is important to remember that to allow their official agent and representative to solicit or collect contributions, to contract loans and to incur expenses, independent candidates must hold an authorization from the Chief Electoral Officer.