Amendments to the Election Finances Act

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Bill 254, Protecting Ontario Elections Act (the “Act”) has changed the amount of contributions that can be made to political parties, constituency associations, and party and non-party candidates in Ontario. Individual contribution limits are now $3,000 per year. 

Everyone must remember that contributions can only be made by persons individually and not by corporations or trade unions. Moreover, individuals may only contribute funds that actually belong to the person. 

The rules about political contribution contributions are set out in Sections 16, 18 and 19 of the Act:

Maximum contributions Section 18:

Registered parties 

The contributions that a person makes to any one registered party shall not exceed, in a calendar year, $3,300 plus $25 for each calendar year that has begun on or after January 1, 2022. 

Constituency associations, nomination contestants 

The contributions that a person makes to registered constituency associations and registered nomination contestants of any one registered party or to the constituency association of any independent member shall not exceed, in a calendar year, $3,300 plus $25 for each calendar year that has begun on or after January 1, 2022. 

Candidates of party 

The contributions that a person makes to registered candidates of any one registered party shall not exceed, in a campaign period, $3,300 plus $25 for each calendar year that has begun on or after January 1, 2022.

Non-party candidates 

The contributions that a person makes to all registered candidates not endorsed by a registered party shall not exceed, in a campaign period, $3,300 plus $25 for each calendar year that has begun on or after January 1, 2022.

Leadership contestants 

The contributions that a person makes to any one registered leadership contestant of a registered party shall not exceed, in a calendar year that falls during a leadership contest period or during which the contestant is required to be registered by virtue of subsection 14 (2.1) of the Act, $3,300 plus $25 for each calendar year that has begun on or after January 1, 2022. 

Contributions: Who may contribute

Section 16 (1) Contributions to parties, constituency associations, nomination contestants, candidates and leadership contestants registered under this Act may be made only by persons individually. 2016, c. 22, s. 10 (1).

Section 19 (1) No person shall contribute to any political party, constituency association, nomination contestant, candidate or leadership contestant registered under this Act,

(a)  funds that do not actually belong to the person; or

(b)  any funds that have been given or furnished by any person or group of persons or by a corporation or trade union for the purpose of making a contribution. 2016, c. 22, s. 13 (1).