Explanatory note

2014 Municipal Elections – City of Ottawa

Purpose of the Contribution Rebate Program

To authorize the payment of rebates to individuals who make contributions to candidates for an office on the Council of the City of Ottawa.

Authority over the program

Section 82 of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996, as amended (“the Act”) provides that a municipality may, by by-law, provide for the payment of rebates to persons who make contributions to candidates for an office on the municipal council, and may establish conditions under which such a rebate is paid.

By-law No. 2005-505, as amended by By-law No. 2013-333, authorizes the City of Ottawa Contribution Rebate Program.

Deadline for candidate registration

Candidates must register to participate in the Contribution Rebate Program by end of business day Friday, September 12, 2014 (Nomination Day). The Contribution Rebate Program Application form must be used to register for the program and must be filed in person or by Registered Mail.

Who is eligible for a rebate?

An individual who makes a contribution to a candidate for an office on the Council of the City of Ottawa during his or her campaign period is eligible for a rebate, subject to the limitations and conditions set out below.

Who is ineligible for a rebate?

The following are not eligible to receive a contribution rebate:

  • a candidate or the candidate’s spouse;
  • the dependant child of a candidate; or
  • corporations and trade unions.

Contribution eligibility

Only a contribution of money will be eligible for a campaign contribution rebate.

Receipt format

The receipt issued by the candidate shall be in the form established by the Clerk and shall be signed by or on behalf of the candidate.

Completing the rebate application

The application for a rebate shall be in the form established by the Clerk. An eligible individual who has made a campaign contribution and received the prescribed receipt from a candidate may apply to the Clerk for a campaign contribution rebate using the application form printed on the back of the receipt. Information collected on the application form is subject to the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Deadline for application

For contributions made on or before December 31, 2014, the contributor must complete and submit the application to the City Clerk and it must be received prior to 4:30 p.m. on June 25, 2015.

If the candidate's campaign period continues beyond December 31, 2014 because of a deficit, applications for contributions made between January 1, 2015 and June 30, 2015 must be received prior to 4:30 p.m., December 24, 2015.

Filing of financial statement and auditor’s report, and filing of supplementary financial statement and auditor’s report

Notwithstanding subsection 78(5) of the Act, a candidate for an office on the municipal council who wishes to have contributions to his or her campaign eligible for a rebate shall file a financial statement and an auditor’s report and any required supplementary audited financial statements.

The audited financial statement and auditor’s report filed under subsection 78(1) or 78(2) of the Act shall include a copy of the receipts issued for all contributions. It shall also include an auditor’s statement that the auditor has verified all contributions against a bank statement for the campaign account.

Duties of Clerk

The Clerk will provide notice of the terms and conditions of the Contribution Rebate Program to each candidate.

For the purposes of processing applications for contribution rebates, the Clerk will examine the receipt filed by the applicant and the copy filed by the candidate to ensure consistency.

Payment conditions

The Clerk shall arrange for the payment of a rebate to the applicant if the following conditions are met:

  • the application is received within the eligible filing period;
  • the receipt issued by the candidate and the application made by the applicant are both made in the form established by the Clerk;
  • the Clerk is satisfied that the receipt filed by the applicant and the copy filed by the candidate are consistent;
  • the candidate has filed the documents required to participate in the program, including an audited financial statement and auditor’s report and an auditor’s statement, by the relevant filing date including any required supplementary audited financial statements;
  • that no such document shows on its face that the candidate has incurred expenses exceeding what is permitted under section 76 of the Act;
  • the candidate has paid any surplus in accordance with section 79 of the Act within the time period stipulated by that section;
  • the time for an application for a compliance audit under section 81 of the Act has expired with no request for a compliance audit;
  • in the case of a contribution made after December 31, 2014 to a candidate whose campaign period continues beyond that date, the time for an application under section 81 of the Act has expired; and
  • the candidate has complied with the provisions of By-law No. 2005-505, as amended by By-law No. 2013-333.

Rebate calculation

  • If the contribution by an individual to a candidate is $25 or less there is no rebate for that contribution.
  • If the contribution by an individual to a candidate is equal to or greater than $25.01 and not more than $100, the rebate is 50% of the total contribution.
  • If the contribution by an individual to a candidate is greater than $100, the rebate is $50 plus 25% of the amount by which the contribution exceeds $100 to a maximum rebate of $75.
  • If an individual makes more than one contribution to a candidate, the same criteria apply, using the sum of the contributions to compute the rebate.
  • If an individual makes a contribution to more than one candidate, the same criteria apply, using the sum of the contributions to compute the rebate, provided that no single contribution is less than $25.01.

The maximum rebate to an individual shall not exceed $75.

Sample calculations

Total Contribution

Rebate

$25.00 or less

$0

$25.01

$12.51

$50.00

$25.00

$100.00

$50.00

$150.00

$62.50

$200.00 - $750

$75.00

*Note: The Act specifies a contribution limit of $750 to any one candidate. An individual may make contributions to more than one candidate, resulting in total contributions in excess of $750. The rebate to the individual making such contributions is limited to a single payment maximum of $75. A contributor is limited to a maximum of $5,000 in total contributions to candidates running for office on the same council.