Campaign Contributions & Disclosure

The Campaign Period for the 2021 municipal general election extends from January 1 to December 31, 2021.

All nominated candidates are required to submit Campaign Disclosure Statement and Financial Statement (Form 26) (PDF) by March 1, 2022.

Contents


Definition of a Campaign Expense

As per section 147.1(1) of the Local Authorities Election Act, a campaign expense means any expense incurred by a candidate, or non-monetary contribution received by a candidate that is used to directly promote or oppose a candidate during a campaign period.

This may include:

  • The production of advertising or promotional material.
  • The distribution, broadcast or publication of advertising or promotional material in any media or by any other means during a campaign period, including by the use of a capital asset.
  • The payment of remuneration and expenses to or on behalf of a person for the person’s services as a chief financial officer or in any other capacity.
  • Securing a meeting place.
  • The conduct of election surveys or other surveys or research during a campaign period.
  • The production of a review engagement (as defined in the Chartered Professional Accountants Act) for expenses or contributions of $50,000 or more.

Campaign Contribution Limits

  • A candidate must be nominated before incurring any campaign expenses or accepting contributions.
  • An individual Albertan may contribution up to $5,000 per candidate for both municipal and school board trustee candidates during the campaign period.
  • A candidate may contribute up to $10,000 to their own campaign during the campaign period.
  • A person may accept up to $5,000 in the aggregate, per year, outside of the campaign period.
  • A person may contribute up to $10,000 per year, outside of the campaign period.
  • The donation portion of fundraising contributions are now subject to contribution limits and disclosure requirements.

Candidate Duties During the Campaign Period

  • Issue receipts for every contribution. A receipt must include:
    • Date of contribution
    • Name of individual contributor
    • Address of individual contributor
    • Amount contributed
  • Obtain receipts for every expense.
  • Open a campaign account at a financial institution when contributions exceed $1,000.
  • When a campaign account is opened, place all contributions into the account.
  • Use money for payment of campaign expenses only.
  • Do not accept contributions from people outside of Alberta.
  • Do not accept contributions from corporations and unincorporated organizations.
  • Do not accept contributions from trade unions and employee organizations.
  • Do not work with third parties to avoid contribution or expense limits.

General Information

  • Candidates must be nominated before incurring any campaign expenses or accepting contributions.
  • The donation portion of fundraising contributions are now subject to contribution limits and disclosure requirements.
  • Candidates will not be permitted to carry over campaign surpluses.
  • Surpluses greater than $1,000 must have an amount donated to charity that will result in the surplus being less than $1,000.
  • Surpluses less than $1,000 may be retained by the candidate or be donated to a registered charity.
  • If a candidate’s disclosure statement shows a deficit, the deficit must be eliminated within 60 days after filing the disclosure statement.
  • Candidates must open a dedicated campaign bank account when contributions reach $1,000 and must include monies contributed by the candidate for their campaign.
  • Candidates must disclose names and addresses of all donations exceeding $50.
  • Financial disclosure statements are now required for all self-funded campaigns of any amount.
  • Candidates who spend $50,000 or more are required to file a review engagement, as defined under the Chartered Professional Accountants Act, with their campaign disclosure statements.
  • Anonymous and unauthorized contributions should be returned to the contributor if the contributor’s identify can be established or if the contributor’s identify cannot be established, pay an amount equivalent to the contribution to a registered charity or to Rocky View County.

Enforcement

Complaints regarding elections finances or contribution disclosures as per Part 5.1 of the Local Authorities Election Act, can be made directly to the Alberta Election Commissioner.


After the Election

After the election, all candidates are required to follow these rules:

  • File Form 26 – Campaign Disclosure Statement and Financial Statement (PDF) by March 1, 2022.
  • Keep records of contributions and expenses for three years after the disclosure statement deadline.
  • Candidates that have expenses or contributions of $50,000 or more, a review engagement as defined in the Chartered Professional Accountants Act is filed with the disclosure statement.
  • Within 60 days of filing a disclosure statement, candidates can retain surplus amounts under $1,000. Amounts of $1,000 and more must be donated to a registered charity.
  • Eliminate campaign deficits 60 days after filing a disclosure statement.
  • File an amended disclosure statement within 30 days after the 60-day period, showing that any surplus or deficit has been dealt with according to Local Authorities Election Act requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can someone run as a candidate if the person does not own property in Rocky View County?

Yes. Land ownership is a not an eligibility requirement to be a candidate.

Do self-funded candidates need to file a disclosure statement?

Yes. Section 147.4 of the Local Authorities Election Act requires that candidates file campaign disclosure statements. All candidates are required to file disclosure statements regardless of whether or not they were self-funded.

Can surplus funds be donated to a society or does it have to be a registered charity?

Section 147.5 of the Local Authorities Election Act states that campaign surpluses greater than $1,000 must be donated to a registered charity (or a portion must be donated to result in the surplus being less than $1,000).

Registered charity is defined under section 1(t.4) of the Local Authorities Election Act and means a registered charity within the meaning of subsection 248(1) of the Income Tax Act (Canada).

If self-funded candidates are spending zero dollars on campaigning, what is the trigger for filing nomination papers early?

Candidates must be nominated before incurring any campaign expenses or accepting contributions. However, a person may accept up to $5,000 in the aggregate or contribute up to $10,000, per year, outside of the campaign period.

Candidates must be aware that section 147.1(1)(a) of the Local Authorities Election Act defines campaign expenses as any expense incurred (including a non-monetary contribution received) by a candidate to the extent that the property or service is use to directly promote or oppose a candidate during a campaign period.

If an individual does not intend to spend any money, or accept contributions (either monetary or in-kind), the decision to file nomination papers is the choice of the candidate.

Would a candidate personally get the tax receipt from the charity if surplus funds were required to be donated?

The Local Authorities Election Act does not provide details regarding tax receipts from donating a campaign surplus to a registered charity. Candidates can contact their accountant or the Canadian Revenue Agency to obtain more information.

Can a campaign surplus be donated to the municipality?

Section 147.5 of the Local Authorities Election Act states that surplus funds are to be donated to a registered charity as defined by the Income Tax Act. The only instances where a surplus may become the property of the local jurisdiction is for surplus funds currently held in-trust and if the candidate does not dispose of those funds or provide instructions prior to January 1, 2022 (section 147.51).

Do contributors who donate to a candidate eligible for a tax receipt?

There is no provision under the Local Authorities Election Act for a candidate to provide a tax receipt to a contributor.

Can surplus funds, currently held in-trust from previous elections, be returned to contributors?

Section 147.5 of the Local Authorities Election Act requires surplus funds to be donated to a registered charity as defined under the Income Tax Act. If, on September 1, 2020, an amount is held in trust with the County is greater than $1,000, you must donate an amount to a registered charity that will result in the surplus being less than $1,000 prior to January 1, 2022.

If you show a surplus of less than $1,000, you may retain the surplus or donate it to a registered charity.

If the County does not receive direction on or before January 1, 2022, the money will become the property of the County.


Disclaimer: The information on this website is provided for the convenience of reference only. Candidates are subject to further requirements in the Local Authorities Election Act. Candidates are advised to refer to the Act and obtain legal advice regarding the full extent of their obligations.

Contact

403.230.1401
elections@rockyview.ca

262075 Rocky View Point
Rocky View County, AB
T4A 0X2