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Independent candidate

See field: municipal

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 Chief Electoral Officer to any elector who undertakes to run as an independent candidate from the expiry of a period of three years after receipt of the list of candidates declared elected at the last general election or, in the case of a by-election, from the date on which the seat 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?

Before the election period, to apply for authorization, you must complete the form provided for this purpose (PDF) and send it to the Chief Electoral Officer.

During an election period, this form is available with the returning officer of your electoral division.

Information required

An independent candidate who would like to obtain an authorization must provide the following information:

  • his name, address of domicile and telephone number;
  • the name of the electoral division where he is a candidate;
  • the address to which communication intended for him shall be addressed;
  • the address where the books and accounts regarding the funds he receives as a candidate, his expenses and loans that he takes out will be kept;
  • the name, address and telephone number of his official representative.

The independent candidate must ensure that information concerning him in the Register of authorized political entities of Québec is kept up to date.

Independent candidates and financing

The independent candidate may:

  • solicit or receive contributions if he is expressly authorized to do so by his official representative;
  • participate financially in his campaign by making one or more contributions to his official representative, up to a maximum annual amount of $100, which amount can be increased by an additional $100 during a by-election or in a general election year. The candidate must remit a copy of the contribution slip duly completed and signed by himself to his official representative;
  • lend money for his campaign or become surety for it, up to a maximum amount of $25,000.

He cannot:

  • contract loans: only his official representative may do so;
  • incur election expenses: only his official agent may do so. However, he may incur �personal� expenses;
  • pay an election expense himself: only his official agent may do so.

Role of the official representative and the official agent

The official representative of an authorized independent candidate has to be the same person as the official agent. Each of these two roles is of great importance in the election campaign of a candidate.

The role of the official representative consists of:

  • soliciting and collecting contributions;
  • making sure that a contribution slip is adequately completed for each contribution and that it is sent to the Chief Electoral Officer;
  • ensuring that contributions comply with the provisions of the Election Act;
  • cashing the activity revenues collected during political activities or rallies;
  • contracting loans;
  • paying the interest on loans annually;
  • filing the financial report and, where applicable, the additional financial report.

As the official agent, his role consists of:

  • incurring or authorizing election expenses;
  • authorizing a publicity agency to incur or order election expenses;
  • making sure that every payment of election expenses is supported by an invoice and that the going market price is paid;
  • making sure that all advertising contains his name and his title of official agent;
  • making sure that the limit on election expenses is respected;
  • assuming all responsibilities with respect to all election expenses;
  • filing the return of election expenses.

Expiry of the authorization

The authorization granted to an independent candidate who is not elected expires latest December 31st of the year following the year of the election.

The authorization of an independent candidate who is elected expires when the candidate loses his seat at the National Assembly as an independent Member, unless he runs again as an independent candidate.