Municipal elections of November 3, 2013 - 160 political parties and 2,345 authorized independent candidates must file a return of election expenses

November 28, 2013

Quebec City, November 28, 2013 - Following the November 3, 2013 municipal elections, official agents of the 160 political parties having run at least one candidate and 2,345 authorized independent candidates from 184 Quebec municipalities subject to the rules governing the financing and control of election expenses must file a return of election expenses. The treasurers of these municipalities will audit all 2,505 returns, drawing up a balance sheet for some 4,089 candidates, whether authorized independent candidates or from political parties, who incurred expenses during the most recent elections.

Reimbursing election expenses

As stipulated in the Act respecting elections and referendums in municipalities (AERM), all official agents of political parties and authorized independent candidates must, within 90 days after polling day, file a financial return with the treasurer concerning expenses incurred during the election period. These returns of election expenses must specify and identify the cost of any goods or services used during an election period to promote or oppose, directly or indirectly, the election of a candidate or the candidates of a party .

Once the returns are filed, the municipal treasurer will also be able to proceed to reimburse the election expenses of 3,322 eligible candidates. The Act stipulates that the treasurer shall reimburse an amount equal to 70% of the election expenses reported in the return of election expenses and incurred and paid in accordance with the Act if the candidate is elected or obtains at least 15% of the votes cast.

In the 184 municipalities for which the rules governing the financing and control of election expenses apply, 4,089 candidates must file a financial report concerning their election expenses, compared to 3,553 for the general election of 2009. A total of 81.2% of the 2013 candidates are eligible to receive a partial reimbursement of their election expenses, a slight decline compared to the election of 2009, when 85.2% of all candidates were eligible for such a reimbursement.

It should be noted that in 2009, out of $12.7 M in total expenses, municipal treasurers paid out $5.5 M in reimbursements of election expenses, when the AERM provided for a reimbursement of 50% rather than 70%.


Thousands of lists of contributors to be examined

The official representative of an authorized independent candidate must also file a financial report within 90 days after polling day, as is the case for the return of election expenses. The report must include a general statement of revenues and expenditures, as well as a list of contributors having contributed  $100 or more. It should be noted that candidates from municipalities having a population of under 5,000 are not required to file a financial report but do have to provide the municipal treasurer, within 90 days after polling day, with a  list of contributors having contributed  $100 or more.

Official representatives of authorized political parties have until April 1, 2014 to forward their financial report.

It should be pointed out that the Chief Electoral Officer’s staff directs and supervises the treasurers’ audits and reimbursements will only be provided once the treasurers’ work has been reviewed.

Returns of election expenses, financial reports, and lists of contributors will be accessible to residents of the various  municipalities after the deadline for filing reports and returns has expired. Lists of contributors and summaries of expenses will then be made available on the Chief Electoral Officer’s website as well.

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Categories : Municipal, Municipal financing, DGE