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Definition of an election expense

See field: provincial, municipal

During an election period

Every expense related to an election must be paid out of the election fund, be authorized by the candidate and appear in the return of election expenses.

The Act respecting school elections stipulates that an election expense is the cost of every good or service used during the election period to:

  • promote or oppose, directly or indirectly, the election of a candidate;
  • propagate or oppose the program of a candidate;
  • approve or disapprove courses of action advocated or opposed by a candidate;
  • approve or disapprove any act done or proposed by a candidate.

The election period begins on the 44th day preceding that set for the poll and ends on polling day at the close of polling stations.

Types of election expenses

Different types of election expenses may be incurred during an election period, namely:

  • advertising;
  • goods and services;
  • rental of premises;
  • trips and meals;
  • other-than-election expenses.

Advertising expenses are generally the most frequent expenses and also those which account for the lion’s share of an election campaign budget. They require greater attention to ensure that the rules applying to such expenses set out in the Act respecting school elections are respected.

Indeed, all advertising or election material must be identified in accordance with the Act to be considered, where such is the case, in an application for reimbursement.


It is important to remember that all expenses must be accompanied with vouchers such as:

  • invoices;
  • samples of advertising material (for example, badges or posters);
  • page of the newspaper in which the advertisement appeared;
  • attestation of advertising or photograph when billboards are involved;
  • audio or video recordings when the advertising is on the radio or on television.