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.
The campaign period for a registered third party begins on the day their Notice of Registration is filed and ends on November 19, 2020. On this date, the registered third party's campaign is automatically closed. Registered third parties cannot accept any contributions or incur any expenses after the end of the campaign period.
If at the end of the campaign period a registered third party’s campaign expenses are greater than their campaign income, their campaign will be in deficit. The registered third party may take action to extend their campaign in order to do some additional fundraising.
If a registered third party’s campaign has a surplus, the registered third party must pay the surplus to the City Clerk when filing their financial statement.
Extending a campaign
If a registered third party has a deficit at the end of the campaign period, they can extend their campaign for an additional six months to attempt to erase the deficit.
To extend a campaign, a registered third party must:
A campaign period will continue until the earliest of the following:
- the deficit is erased;
- the registered third party notifies the City Clerk in writing they are no longer accepting any contributions; or
- six months from the 45th day after voting day (May 19, 2021).
Registered third parties that extend their campaign must submit two financial statements by the statutory deadline dates:
- Filing of Financial Statements - December 21, 2020, at 2 pm
- Supplementary Financial Filing - June 18, 2021, at 2 pm
Registered third parties are responsible for filing a complete and accurate financial statement by December 21, 2020, at 2 pm. The statement covers the period from the day the registered third party filed their Notice of Registration until November 19, 2020.
All registered third parties must file their financial statements, in person at the Elections Office, during regular office hours. Financial statements may not be faxed, mailed, or emailed, as an original signature is required. If an agent is filing the financial statement, the forms must be fully completed by the individual or by a representative of the corporation or trade union, as the case may be, prior to filing.
The individual filing the financial statement will be required to present proof of identity.
A registered third party must notify the Clerk, in writing, of any Court extension by 2 pm on December 21, 2020. Penalties will commence at 2:01 pm on December 21, 2020.
Supplementary Financial Statements
The final date for registered third parties, who extended their campaign, to file their supplementary financial statement is June 18, 2021, at 2 pm. The statement covers the period from the day the registered third parties filed their Notice of Registration until May 19, 2021.
A registered third party must notify the Clerk, in writing, of any Court extension by 2 pm on June 18, 2021. Penalties will commence at 2:01 pm on June 18, 2021.
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.