What you Should Know About Disclosure Requirements

Campaign Disclosure Requirements & Campaign Contributions

A campaign disclosure statement must be filed with the municipality on or before March 1 following a general election. Where the campaign was for a by-election, the statement must be filed within 120 days after the by-election.

The campaign disclosure statement is filed on a prescribed form that includes information about campaign contributions received, other sources of funding, campaign expenditures, and the Campaign surplus or deficit.

A candidate whose campaign is entirely self-funded by no more than $10,000 in a campaign period is not required to file a campaign disclosure statement.

A candidate who incurs a deficit in campaign finances must clear that deficit and file an amended disclosure statement showing funds received to eliminate the deficit if they do not run in the next general election.

Municipal candidates are required to donate all surplus municipal campaign funds to a charity or to the municipality if they do not run in the next general election.

Campaign Contributions

"Campaign Contribution" means any money personal property, real property or service that is provided to or for the benefit of a candidate or the candidate's election campaign without fair market value compensation for the candidate but does include services provided by a volunteer who voluntarily performs the services and received no compensation, directly or indirectly, in relation to the services or time spent providing the services.

See Section 147.1(1)(a) Local Authorities Election Act

You may accept contributions, subject to the dollar limits set by law, from any Alberta resident or an eligible corporation, employee organization or union operating in Alberta up to $5,000 in any year.  Corporations, unions and employee organizations are defined in the legislation.

You may not accept contributions from:

  • People who do not reside in Alberta
  • "anonymous" contributions - all contributors must be identified and a receipt issued for the contribution
  • A corporation that does not carry on business in Alberta
  • A municipality
  • A non-profit organization that received grants or property from this municipality after the last election
  • A provincially owned or operated corporation as defined in the Financial Administration Act, R.S.A. 2000, c.F-12
  • The management body of a housing authority
  • Metis settlement
  • School board
  • Trade union which does not hold bargaining rights in Alberta
  • An employee organization which is not resident in Alberta

Warning:

Contributions accepted in contravention of these rules must be repaid to the contributor. If the contributor cannot be located, the value of the contribution must immediately paid to the municipality. A letter explaining why the contribution is being sent to the municipality should accompany the contribution.

A candidate must open a bank account in the name of the candidate or in the name of the campaign as soon as possible after the amount of contributions from any person, corporation, trade union or employee organization exceeds $5,000 in the aggregate or the total amount of contributions from any person, corporation, trade union or employee organization in combination with any money paid by the candidate out of the candidate's own funds first exceeds $5,000 in the aggregate.

Receipts must be issued for every contribution received and be obtained for every expense throughout the duration of the campaign. It is important to note that contributions of real property and personal property, goods and services have a value.

All campaign records of contributions and expenses should be kept for a minimum of 2 years following an election.

Limitations on Contributions

Any person, corporation, employee organization or union may donate up to $5,000 to your campaign per calendar year during the campaign period, but cannot make contributions retroactively. You may contribute $10,000 to your own campaign during the entire campaign period. The campaign period for the 2017 General Election run from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2017.

Anonymous & Ineligible Contributions

If you receive an anonymous contribution, you must return the contribution to the contributor immediately (if the identity is known) or pay the total contribution to the municipality.

Allowable Election Expenses:

The following expenses are not deemed to be a contravention of the Local Authorities Election Act:

  • Your personal expenses
  • Expenses related to setting up a campaign office and organization
  • Printing and advertising expenses
  • Transportation expenses