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Understanding political financing

Élections Québec plays two critical roles in the control of political financing and election expenses—education and control. We ensure that political parties and everyone involved know and understand the rules in place and that they are able to apply them. We also conduct audits to ensure compliance with the rules on election expenses and the financing of political entities.

What you need to know about political financing

Political financing is governed by many rules that ensure fairness, integrity and transparency.

Values, principles and characteristics of political financing

In Québec, political financing and the auditing of election expenses are subject to the principles of fairness and transparency.

Obtaining authorization

Political entities must obtain authorization to solicit and receive political contributions, incur expenses, or contract loans.

Training those responsible for financing

Anyone responsible for the financing of a political party or candidate is required to undergo training on political financing and the auditing of election expenses in provincial elections. This training is also mandatory for elections in municipalities with a population of 5,000 people or more.

Sources of financing

Political entities may use a variety of financing sources including voter contributions, political party membership fees, loans, annual allowances, and matching sums.

Rules for running a leadership campaign

Candidates must follow rules related to financing and auditing of election expenses to ensure that leadership campaigns are transparent.

Definition of election expenses

The cost of any good or service used during an election period, particularly for directly or indirectly promoting or opposing the election of a candidate or party candidates, is considered an election expense.

Rules for participating in the electoral debate

During an election period, certain rules must be respected in order to participate in the electoral debate. You may not engage in partisan activities if they incur a cost. You may, however, obtain authorization, as a private intervenor, to incur publicity expenses that relate to a matter of public interest or that advocate abstention or cancellation of the vote.

Mandatory financial reports

To ensure transparency and compliance with the rules on political financing, authorized political entities must produce financial and expense reports within the time limits prescribed by the various laws.

Provincial pre-election expenses

The Act does not regulate pre-election expenses, but we review these expenses to ensure that the activities of political entities and third parties do not undermine fairness and transparency.

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