Contribution Rebate Program

On this page

What is the Contribution Rebate Program?

City Council passed By-law No. 2022-76 to authorize the City of Ottawa’s Contribution Rebate Program. Under the program, individuals may receive a portion of their monetary contribution back. The amount a contributor is eligible to receive is based on the total amount of money they contributed to all candidates participating in the program.

Only candidates for Mayor or City Councillor are eligible to participate in the Contribution Rebate Program. Third party advertisers and candidates for School Board Trustees are not eligible to participate in the Contribution Rebate Program.

Campaign contributions from individuals are only eligible for a rebate if both the contributor and participating candidate meet the requirements of By-law No. 2022-76

The following contributions are not eligible to receive a contribution rebate:

  • Contributions of goods or services;
  • Contributions of inventory from a prior election; and
  • Contributions made by a candidate, a candidate's spouse, or a candidate's child to any candidate’s campaign.

Contribution rebates for the 2022 Municipal Elections

There are currently no opportunities to apply for a contribution rebate. The contribution rebate application period for the 2022 Municipal Elections closed at 2 pm on November 28, 2023.

When will rebates for the 2022 Municipal Elections be issued?

The Elections Office is reviewing the rebate applications to ensure that the contributor and candidate are compliant with the requirements of the Contribution Rebate Program.

It is anticipated that rebates will be issued to eligible contributors in February 2024 once all compliance audit deadlines have passed and any Election Compliance Audit Application proceedings or prosecutions have ended for the 2022 Municipal Elections.

Information for participating candidates

Participation in the Contribution Rebate Program requires both the candidate and contributor to meet the requirements of By-law No. 2022-76

Candidates may apply to participate in the program at any time between the time they file their nomination and Nomination Day during a municipal election. Contributions made before a candidate applies for the Contribution Rebate Program are not eligible for a rebate.

Issuing contribution rebate receipts

  • Participating candidates must issue a receipt to a contributor for every contribution received.
  • The receipt is required to be in the form established by the City Clerk, signed by a candidate or their agent, and should include the name of the contributor, the date the contribution is accepted, and its value.
  • If a candidate receives a cheque from a joint-personal account, the receipt must be issued only to the person who signed the cheque. The contribution can only come from one person.

Candidates are required to list the names and addresses of every contributor who gives more than $100 total to their campaign on their financial statement.

Candidates should keep a record of the names and addresses of every contributor, regardless of the value of their contribution, because the same contributor may make multiple contributions that end up totalling more than $100.

Reissuing lost contribution rebate receipts

If an eligible contributor has lost their receipt, candidates are required to complete the following steps to ensure they receive a rebate:

  1. Photocopy both sides of the pink copy of the contribution rebate receipt.
  2. Re-sign the new photocopies.
  3. Write “reissued” on the photocopies.
  4. Have the contributors fill out the new photocopies and submit them to the Elections Office.
  5. Provide the Elections Office with a list of receipts, including the receipt numbers, that were reissued.

Information for contributors

Participation in the Contribution Rebate Program requires both the candidate and contributor to meet the requirements of By-law No. 2022-76.

Contributors are only eligible for the payment of a rebate if the participating candidate:

  • Submits a completed Contribution Rebate Program Application form within the filing period.
  • Issues a receipt, in the form prescribed by the City Clerk, for each contribution made under the rebate program.
  • Files an initial financial statement and auditor’s report, including copies of receipts for all contributions, by the relevant filing date.
  • Files a supplementary financial statement and auditors report (if the candidate extended their campaign due to a deficit), including copies of receipts for all contributions, by the relevant filing date.
  • Submits confirmation from an auditor that the candidate has not exceeded their spending limit.
  • Paid any surplus in accordance with Section 88.32 of the MEA, within the time period stipulated by that section.
  • Had no request for a compliance audit in accordance with Section 88.33 of the MEA, during the application period.
  • In the event of a compliance audit in accordance with Section 88.33 of the MEA, the compliance audit committee or prosecutor decide not to commence legal proceedings, or a compliance audit has been completed.
  • Is not otherwise convicted of an offense with respect to an alleged contravention of the MEA.

Contributors are only eligible for the payment of a rebate if they:

  • Have not been identified by the City Clerk as appearing to have made contributions exceeding what is permitted under Section 88.9 or 88.13 of the MEA.
  • In the event of any proceedings in relation to the City Clerk’s review of contributions to candidates or third party advertisers on financial statements, the compliance audit committee or prosecutor decide not to commence legal proceedings.
  • Are not otherwise convicted of an offense with respect to an alleged contravention of the MEA.

The City Clerk will review the receipt filed by the contributor and the copy of the receipt filed by the participating candidate to ensure consistency. The City Clerk may also request further information from the contributor or participating candidate to determine whether a rebate may be issued in accordance with the by-law.

Contribution rebate amount and formula

The following formula is used to calculate rebates to individuals who have contributed to participating candidates:

  • 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.
  • The maximum rebate to an individual may not exceed $75, except for candidates who withdraw their nomination in accordance with the Act, in such circumstance, the rebate to an individual is 75% up to a maximum of $900.00.

If an individual makes more than one contribution to a single candidate, the formula noted above also applies. The rebate will be calculated using the sum of the contributions. For example, if an individual contributes $10, five different times to candidate X resulting in a total amount of $50, the individual is eligible for a rebate for their $50 contribution to candidate X.

The same formula applies if an individual makes a contribution to more than one candidate. The rebate will be calculated using the sum of the contributions, provided that no single contribution is less than $25.01. For example, if an individual contributes $20 to candidate X, and $50 to candidate Y, only the $50 contribution to candidate Y is eligible for a rebate.

Sample rebate calculations
Total contribution Total rebate
$25.00 or less $0
$25.01 $12.51
$50.00 $25.00
$100.00 $50.00
$150.00 $62.50
$200.00 - $1,200.00 $75.00