Election Finances

Candidates who file a nomination for the 2022 Municipal Election are required to file a Financial Statement no later than Friday March 31, 2023 at 2 p.m. Financial statements are public documents and are legally required to be made publicly available. A Candidate must submit a separate financial statement for each office for which they were nominated, even if they later withdrew.

The election campaign period ends for all candidates and third party advertisers on January 3, 2023.

If a candidate or third party advertiser has a deficit by this date, they can file a form with the Elections Office requesting a 6-month extension. Extensions have to be requested before the regular campaign period ends on January 3, 2023.

Once a campaign ends, a candidate or third party advertiser should close their campaign bank account and prepare their campaign financial statement.

Third party advertisers can accept donations from individual residents of Ontario, corporations that conduct business in Ontario, and trade unions that hold collective bargaining rights for Ontario employees.

Candidates and third party advertisers cannot accept donations that are:

  • From an ineligible or anonymous source
  • More than $1,200 to them, or would result in the donor giving more than $5,000 total to candidates running for Town Council or the same school board
  • From funds that do not belong to whoever gave them
  • Made outside their campaign period
  • Made in cash and greater than $25

If a candidate or third party advertiser accepts a donation that they later learn is not allowed, they must return it. If they do not know where the donation came from or how to return it, they must turn it over to the Town of East Gwillimbury.

Every candidate and third party advertiser has to file a post-election financial statement with the Elections Office outlining what they spent and received toward their campaign (even if they withdrew their registration and had no financial activity).

Financial statements are due by March 31, 2023 at 2 PM.

This statement should reflect all of their financial activity from the day they registered up to January 3, 2022.

Candidates who extend their campaign must file a financial statement by the March 31 deadline. In addition, a second financial statement is required to reflect any spending or fundraising during the campaign extension. This supplementary financial statement is due to the Elections Office by September 29, 2023 at 2 PM.

Campaign financial statements are public records and are posted publicly for the next two regular municipal election cycles.

Candidates and third party advertisers who do not file their campaign financial statement by the deadline may file their statement within 30 days, but must pay the Town a $500 late fee.

If a candidate does not file a campaign financial statement by the end of the 30-day late period (and have not applied to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice for an extension), automatic penalties apply, including:

  • Forfeiture of elected office (if applicable); and,
  • Ineligibility to run for any municipal council or school board office in Ontario for a full election cycle.

Any voter who believes that a candidate or a third party advertiser has broken a campaign finance rule may request an audit of the campaign’s financial records through the York Region Joint Compliance Audit Committee. Requests have to be made in writing to the Elections Office and outline the reasons for why the requester believes the law was broken.

After each filing deadline, the Elections Office reviews all financial statements. If it appears a donation above what the law allows has been made to a candidate, group of candidates, or third party advertiser, this is also reported to the York Region Joint Compliance Audit Committee.

The Committee will review each case of a possible campaign finance infraction and decide whether to investigate and take legal action against the candidate, third party advertiser, and/or donor.

  • January 3, 2023:
    • End of campaign period
    • Deadline to a request an extension for campaigns showing a deficit
  • March 31, 2023 at 2 PM:
    • Financial statements due
  • June 30, 2023:
    • End of extended campaign period (for campaigns that requested an extension)
  • September 29, 2023 at 2 PM:
    • Supplementary financial statements due
  • April 1 to June 29, 2023:
    • Compliance audit period for campaign financial statements
  • September 30 to December 28, 2023:
    • Compliance audit period for supplementary campaign financial statements

Compliance Audit Committee

The Municipal Elections Act, 1996 requires all municipalities to appoint a Compliance Audit Committee. The Compliance Audit Committee is responsible for considering compliance audit requests related to election campaign finances, including:

• Considering whether an application for a compliance audit filed by an elector should be granted or rejected;
• Appointing an auditor, if the application is granted;
• Receiving and considering the auditor's report and deciding whether legal proceedings should be commenced;
• Determining whether to recover the costs of conducting the compliance audit from the applicant if the auditor's report indicates there were no apparent contraventions and if there were no reasonable grounds for the application;
• Receiving and reviewing the report of the Clerk on any apparent over-contributions by contributors to candidates' and third party advertisers' campaigns.

If an eligible elector in East Gwillimbury believes on reasonable grounds that a Council candidate or registered third party advertiser has contravened the Municipal Elections Act with respect to municipal campaign finances, the elector may apply to have an audit of the candidate's campaign finances. Council candidates include all candidates who ran for the office of Mayor and/or Ward Councillor.

Compliance audit requests related to school board trustee candidates are the responsibility of the Compliance Audit Committees appointed by each school board. To request a compliance audit of a school board candidate or for more information about compliance audits of school board candidates, please contact the school board directly.

The Joint Compliance Audit Committee's term coincides with the term of Council. The Joint Compliance Audit Committee is responsible for compliance audit requests arising out of the last Municipal Elections and any By-elections for Council offices (but not school board trustees) that occur during the ensuing term of Council.

Town of East Gwillimbury
19000 Leslie Street
Sharon, ON L0G 1V0
Phone: 905-478-4282
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