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Information for third parties

Information for Third Parties - 2020 Cumberland By-election

Campaign Finances

An individual, corporation, or trade union cannot raise or spend any money on third party advertisements that will appear during an election in the City of Ottawa until they have registered as a third party and opened a bank account exclusively for the purposes of the election campaign.

Registered third parties are responsible for keeping records of the financial activities related to their campaign and are required to keep these records until November 15, 2022, when the next council or school board takes office.


Campaign contributions are any money, goods or services that are given to a registered third party for use in their campaign, including money and goods that a third party contributes to their own campaign. Registered third parties must issue a receipt for every contribution they receive. The receipt should show who made the contribution, the date, and the value of the contribution.

The following persons and entities may make a contribution to a registered third party:

  • Any person who is a resident of Ontario.
  • A corporation that carries on business in Ontario.
  • A trade union that holds bargaining rights for employees in Ontario.
  • The registered third party and, in the case of an individual, his or her spouse.

The following persons and entities shall not make a contribution to a registered third party:

  • A federal political party registered under the Canada Elections Act (Canada) or any federal constituency association or registered candidate at a federal election endorsed by that party.
  • A provincial political party, constituency association, registered candidate or leadership contestant registered under the Election Finances Act
  • The Crown in right of Canada or Ontario, a municipality or a local board. 

Contributors may contribute a total of $1,200 to a registered third party in relation to third party advertisements that appear during an election in the City of Ottawa. The maximum total amount that a contributor can give to third parties registered in the City of Ottawa is $5,000.

Contributions greater than $25 may not be made in cash. All contributions above $25 must be made by cheque, money order, or by a method that clearly shows where the funds come from.

Registered third parties are required to inform each of their contributors of these contribution limits.

Contribution Rebate Program

Registered third parties are not eligible to participate in the Contribution Rebate Program.

Election Compliance Audit Committee

The Election Compliance Audit Committee reviews applications for compliance audits of the election campaign finances of candidates and registered third-party advertisers and considers report(s) from the City Clerk on apparent contraventions of contribution limits. This page includes information on the Committee as well as Committee hearings and decisions.

Learn More