Contribution Rebate Program

Program Overview

Section 88.11 of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 (the “MEA”), provides that a municipality may pass a by-law to allow for the payment of rebates to individuals who contribute to candidates for office of mayor or councillor, and may establish conditions under which such a rebate is paid.

Contribution Rebate Program

For the purposes of the contribution rebate program:

  • “Individual” means an individual residing in the Province of Ontario; and
  • “Participating candidate” means a candidate for an office on the municipal council who has submitted a completed application form to the Clerk for the purpose of participating in the contribution rebate program and who meets the requirements of By-law No. 2018-33.

By-law No. 2018-33 authorizes the establishment of the City of Ottawa’s Contribution Rebate Program. It allows for the payment of rebates to individuals who contribute to participating candidates running for municipal council.

Registered third parties and school board trustees are not eligible to participate in the contribution rebate program.

Campaign Contributions to Candidates for Municipal Office

Campaign contributions to candidates for municipal office are any money, goods or services given to the candidate for use in their campaign, including money and goods they contribute to their own campaign.

The total value of contributions from an individual cannot exceed $1,200. An individual may not contribute more than a total of $5,000 to two or more candidates for offices on the same municipal council.

Note: Municipal campaign contributions are not eligible for federal income tax purposes.

Candidates for municipal office can accept contributions from:

  • Individuals who are normally residents of Ontario; and
  • The candidate and their spouse. (Note: If a candidate’s spouse is not usually a resident of Ontario, they can still contribute to their spouse’s campaign.)

Candidates for municipal office cannot accept contributions from:

  • Corporations;
  • Trade unions;
  • An individual who is not normally a resident of Ontario;
  • A federal political party, constituency association, or a registered candidate in a federal election;
  • A provincial political party, constituency association, or a registered candidate or leadership contestant; and
  • A federal or provincial government, a municipality or a school board.

Contribution Rebate Program Eligibility

Campaign contributions from individuals are only eligible for a rebate if both the contributor and participating candidate meet the requirements of By-law No. 2018-33.

The following are not eligible to receive a contribution rebate:

  • A candidate or the candidate’s spouse; or
  • The dependent child of a candidate.

Only a contribution of money accepted by the participating candidate during their campaign period will be eligible for the payment of a rebate. A contribution of money includes cash, a cheque or money order.

A minimum contribution of $25.01 is required to be eligible for the payment of a rebate. See the Contribution Rebate Calculations section for more information on the eligible rebate amounts a contributor may receive.

Participating in the Contribution Rebate Program

To participate in the contribution rebate program, candidates for mayor and councillor must fill out a Contribution Rebate Program Application form, and comply with the provisions of By-law No. 2018-33.

The Contribution Rebate Program Application form is provided to candidates when they file their nomination. Candidates may apply to participate in the program at any time between the time they file their nomination and Nomination Day (July 27, 2018).

Please note, individuals who make contributions to candidates are eligible for a rebate only once the candidate has applied for the contribution rebate program.

The Contribution Rebate Program Application form must be filed in person at the Elections Office, or by registered mail. If candidates submit a completed application via registered mail, they will receive a confirmation of receipt from the Elections Office.

The Contribution Rebate Program Application form must be filed and received no later than July 27, 2018, at 2 pm for a candidate to participate in the program. See the Contact the Elections Office section for information on where to submit the application form.

Complying with the Contribution Rebate Program

Participation in the contribution rebate program requires candidates to meet the requirements of By-law No. 2018-33.

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

  • Submit a completed Contribution Rebate Program Application form within the filing period;
  • Issue a receipt, in the form prescribed by the Clerk, for each contribution made under the rebate program;
  • File a financial statement and auditor’s report, including copies of receipts for all contributions, by the relevant filing date including any required supplementary audited financial statements;
  • Have an auditor confirm 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; and
  • Pass the deadline for an application for a compliance audit under section 88.33 of the MEA, with no request for a compliance audit.

The Clerk will review the receipt filed by the contributor and the copy of the receipt filed by the participating candidate to ensure consistency. The 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.

Consult By-law No. 2018-33 for a comprehensive list of the conditions required for the payment of a rebate.

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 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.

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

  • Photocopy both sides of the pink copy of the contribution rebate receipt;
  • Re-sign the new photocopies;
  • Indicate “reissued” on the photocopies;
  • Have the contributors fill out the new photocopies and submit them to the Elections Office; and
  • Provide the Elections Office with a list of which receipts, including the receipt numbers, were reissued.

Contributors Applying for a Contribution Rebate

An individual who has made a campaign contribution and received the prescribed receipt from a participating candidate may apply to the Clerk for a rebate using the Application for the Payment of a Contribution Rebate form printed on the back of the prescribed receipt. 

To receive a rebate for contributions made on or before December 31, 2018, the contributor must submit a completed Application for the Payment of a Contribution Rebate form to the Clerk and it must be received no later than 2 pm on May 28, 2019.

If a candidate has extended their campaign, contributions made between January 1, 2019, and July 2, 2019, are eligible for a rebate. Contributors must submit a completed Application for the Payment of a Contribution Rebate form to the Clerk and it must be received no later than 2 pm on November 29, 2019.

Contribution rebates will not be issued until the participating candidate’s campaign period has ended, and the provisions of the by-law have been met.

Contribution Rebate Calculations

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; and
  • The maximum rebate to an individual may not exceed $75.

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 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

Contact the Elections Office

For more information on the City of Ottawa’s contribution rebate program, you can contact the Elections Office at:

Telephone: 613-580-2660
Fax: 613-580-2661
E-mail: elections@ottawa.ca
Mailing Address: 1221 Cyrville Road, Unit B, Ottawa, ON K1J 7S8

Disclaimer

By-laws contained in this section have been prepared for reference purposes only. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of this information; however it is not to be used in place of actual by-laws.

Actual by-laws can be obtained at the following locations:

City Archives
James Bartleman Centre
100 Tallwood Dr. (Corner of Woodroffe)
Ottawa, Ontario
tel.: 613-580-2857
fax : 613-580-2614
e-mail: archives@ottawa.ca

Ottawa Public Library
120 Metcalfe, Ottawa Room
613-580-2940

Contribution Rebate Program By-law

BY-LAW NO. 2018-33

A by-law of the City of Ottawa to authorize the payment of rebates to individuals who make contributions to candidates for office on the municipal council and to repeal By-Law No. 2017-375 to correct typographical errors.

WHEREAS subsection 88.11(1) 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 individuals who make contributions to candidates for office on municipal council;

THEREFORE the Council of the City of Ottawa enacts as follows:

  1. In this by-law,
    “individual” means an individual residing in the Province of Ontario.
    “participating candidate” means a candidate for an office on the municipal council who has submitted a completed application form to the City Clerk for the purpose of participating in the Contribution Rebate Program and who meets the requirements of this by-law.
  2. The payment of rebates to individuals who make contributions to participating candidates for an office on the municipal council is authorized provided such candidate has submitted a completed application form in person at the Municipal Elections Office or to the City Clerk, by 2 pm on nomination day, using the form established for that purpose by the City Clerk, and that the requirements of this by-law are met. Contributions to candidates for school board Trustee are not eligible for the payment of rebates. Contributions to registered third parties in relation to the election in the municipality are also not eligible for the payment of rebates.
  3. Subject to Section 6, an individual, who makes a contribution to a participating candidate for an office on the council of the City of Ottawa during a municipal election or by-election, may apply to the City Clerk for payment of a rebate on or after the date the receipt is issued by the participating candidate who accepted the contribution.
  4. Despite Section 88.15 of the Act:
    1. only a contribution of money accepted by the participating candidate will  be eligible for the payment of a rebate;
    2. a contribution of services and goods are not eligible for the payment of a rebate;
    3. a candidate’s contribution of inventory from a prior election is not eligible for the payment of a rebate.
  5. An individual must submit the original, signed version of the form established by the City Clerk, which must be received by the Municipal Elections Office or the City Clerk on or before 2 pm, on the date that is 60 days after the filing deadline for the financial statement for the participating candidate, unless the participating candidate’s campaign period is extended under paragraphs 4 or 5 of subsection 88.24(1) of the Act. If a participating candidate’s campaign period is extended, the individual application for a contribution rebate for the extended period shall be made on or before 2 pm on the date that is 60 days after the filing deadline for the supplementary financial statement for the participating candidate.
  6. The individual’s application for the payment of a rebate shall be in the form established for that purpose by the City Clerk.
  7. The individual’s application for the payment of a rebate shall include:
    1. a receipt issued by the participating candidate who accepted the contribution;
    2. the receipt shall be in the prescribed receipt form approved by the City Clerk; and
    3. the receipt must be signed by or on behalf of the candidate.
  8. A participating candidate shall:
    1. comply with subsections 88.25(1) to (7) inclusive of the Act;
    2. include with the documents filed under subsection 88.25(1) or (7) of the Act, as the case may be, a copy of the receipt issued for each  contribution;
    3. submit an auditor’s report and an auditor’s statement, regardless of whether the total contributions received and total expenses incurred in the election campaign up to the end of the relevant period are each equal to  or less than $10,000;
    4. submit an additional form, one established for that purpose by the City Clerk, upon which the auditor confirms that he or she has verified all contributions against a bank statement for the campaign account; and
    5. Notwithstanding 88.25(8) of the Act, all financial statements submitted must be audited and include an auditor’s report.
  9. Despite Sections 2, 3 and 4 of this by-law, a candidate for an office on municipal council, a spouse of a candidate or any dependant child of a candidate or a candidate’s spouse are not eligible to receive a rebate for any contribution of money made to any participating candidate.
  10. The City Clerk shall review the receipt filed by the applicant seeking payment of a rebate and the copy filed by the participating candidate to determine consistency and may request further information from the applicant or participating candidate in order to determine whether a payment of a rebate may be made in accordance with the requirements of this by-law.
  11. The City Clerk shall pay the applicant the rebate in accordance with Sections 12 and 13 if the following conditions are met to the satisfaction of the  City Clerk:
    1. the application complies with Sections 6, 7 and 8 inclusive;
    2. the participating candidate has complied with Section 9;
    3. the receipt filed by the applicant and the copy filed by the participating candidate are consistent;
    4. the  participating  candidate  has filed  the  documents required by Section 88.25 of the Act by the relevant filing date and that no such document shows on its face that the candidate has incurred expenses exceeding what is permitted under Section 88.20 of the Act;
    5. the participating candidate has paid any surplus in accordance with the provisions of Section 88.32 of the Act within the time period stipulated in that Section;
    6. the participating candidate has filed an auditor’s report as required by Section 88.25 of the Act, and auditor’s statement, in the form established for that purpose by the City Clerk, stating that the auditor has verified all contributions against a bank statement for the campaign account;
    7. in the case of a contribution made to a participating candidate during an election campaign period as defined in subsection 88.24(1) of the Act, the time for an application for a compliance audit under Section 88.33 of the Act has expired, any proceedings in relation to a compliance audit have been completed, and the compliance audit committee or prosecutor decides not to commence legal proceedings and the candidate is not otherwise convicted of an offence with respect to an alleged contravention of the MEA; and
    8. in the case of a contribution made to a participating candidate during an election campaign period that is extended pursuant to paragraph (4) of subsection 88.24(1) of the Act, the time for an application under Section 88.33 of the Act has expired, any proceedings in relation to a compliance audit have been completed and the compliance audit committee or prosecutor decides not to commence legal proceedings and the participating candidate is not otherwise convicted of an offence with respect to an alleged contravention of the MEA.
  12. Subject to Section 13, the rebate to an eligible individual shall be calculated as follows:
    1. a minimum contribution of $25.01 is required to be eligible for a rebate;
    2. if the contribution is $25.01 but not more than $100, the rebate is 50% of the contribution;
    3. if the contribution is $100.01 but not more than $200, the rebate is $50 plus 25% of the amount by which the contribution exceeds $100; and
    4. the maximum rebate to an individual shall not exceed $75.
  13. An individual who makes contributions to more than one participating candidate may apply for the payment of a rebate in respect of each contribution but is not entitled to receive total rebates amounting to more than the following maximums:
    1. a minimum contribution to each candidate is required to be $25.01;
    2. if the total of the applicant’s contributions to all participating candidates is not more than $100, the rebate is 50% of the total contributions;
    3. if the total of the individual’s contributions to all candidates is more than $100.01 but not more than $200, the rebate is $50 plus 25% of the amount by which the total contributions exceed $100.01; and
    4. the maximum rebate to an individual shall not exceed $75.
  14. By-law No. 2017-375 entitled “A by-law of the City of Ottawa to authorize the payment of rebates to individuals who make contributions to candidates for office on the municipal council and to repeal By-law No. 2005-505 as amended", is repealed
  15. By-law No. 2005-505 entitled “A by-law of the City of Ottawa to authorize the payment of rebates to individuals who make contributions to candidates for office on the municipal council” as amended, is repealed.

ENACTED AND PASSED this 14th day of February 2018.