Necessity of obtaining an authorization
The independent candidate must obtain an authorization to solicit or collect contributions, incur election expenses or contract loans.
Who grants the authorization?
This authorization may be granted by the Directeur général des élections du Québec (DGEQ) to every elector who undertakes to run as an independent candidate, from the expiry of a period of three years after the reception of the list of candidates declared elected at the last general election or, in the case of a by-election, from the day on which the position becomes vacant.
The authorization may also be granted by the returning officer in the case where an application for authorization is made during the election period.
How does one obtain an authorization?
To submit an application for authorization, you must complete the appropriate form and send it to the Directeur général des élections du Québec or, during an election period, to the returning officer of your electoral division.
A candidate who wishes to obtain an authorization must provide the following information:
- his name, the address of his domicile and his telephone number;
- the name of the electoral division in which he is a candidate;
- the address to which must be sent the communications that are intended for him;
- the address where are kept the books and accounts related to the funds that he will obtain as a candidate, the expenses that he will incur and the loans that he will contract;
- the name, address and telephone number of his official representative.
The independent candidate must make sure that the information concerning him is updated in the Registre des entités politiques autorisées du Québec (Register of authorized political entities of Québec) (REPAQ).
Independent candidates and financing
The independent candidate can:
- solicit or collect contributions if he is expressly authorized to do so by his official representative;
- participate financially in his campaign by making a contribution to his official representative. However, this contribution must be made while respecting the annual limit ($1,000 per entity) and his official representative must complete a contribution slip and have the declaration by the elector signed by the candidate;
- lend money for his campaign or stand surety for it.
- contract loans: only the official representative can do so;
- incur election expenses: only his official agent can do so. However, he may incur "personal" expenses;
- pay an election expense himself: only his official agent can do so.
Role of the official representative and the official agent
The official representative of an authorized independent candidate must be the same person as the official agent. Each of these two roles is of capital importance in a candidate's election campaign.
The role of the official representative consists of:
- solicit and collect contributions;
- ensuring that contribution slips are completed and that a declaration has been signed by every donor;
- ensuring the compliance of contributions;
- cashing the revenue of activities collected during political activities and demonstrations;
- contracting loans;
- paying on an annual basis the interest on the loans;
- filing the financial report and, where applicable, the additional financial report.
As for the official agent, his role consists of:
- incurring or authorizing election expenses;
- authorizing an advertising agency to incur or order election expenses;
- making sure that every payment of election expenses is justified by an invoice and that the regular price is paid;
- making sure that all publicity bears his name and title of official agent;
- making sure that the limit on election expenses is respected;
- assuming all responsibilities regarding all election expenses;
- filing the return of election expenses.
Expiry of the authorization
The authorization given to an independent candidate who was not elected expires not later than December 31st of the year that follows the year of the election.
The authorization of an independent candidate who was elected expires when he ceases to sit in the National Assembly as an independent candidate, unless he runs again as an independent candidate.