All candidates (including acclaimed or withdrawn candidates) are required to file a financial statement using the prescribed form. It is good practice for campaigns to review the Financial Statement form prior to incurring any contributions or expenses, and arrange their accounts, spreadsheets, and ledgers according to the various categories that are required to be reported on the form. Candidates, whose campaign contributions and total expenses exceed $10,000.00 are required to file an auditor’s report with their financial statement that has been prepared by an auditor licensed under the Public Accounting Act. Financial statements are due in the Clerk’s Office at the Municipal Office (5941 Highway 89, Harriston ON) between January 3, 2023 and 2:00 p.m. on March 31, 2023.
Complete and signed financial statements may be filed electronically to email@example.com during the prescribed filing period (January 3, 2023-March 31, 2023). The date of the electronic submission shall be the official date received. The original identical paper copy of the financial statements must be delivered to the Clerk’s Office within 10 days following the electronic submission.
There is a 30-day grace period for late filings of Financial Statements until May 1, 2023 at 2:00 p.m., however there is a late filing fee of $500.00 The $500.00 late filing fee is the property of the municipality.
Candidates seeking advice on completing their financial statements should consult:
- The Municipal Elections Act (section 88)
- The Ministry of Municipal Affairs Candidates Guide (page 30 of the 2018 Guide. 2022 Guide not available yet)
- External advice (accountant, auditor, lawyer)
- Your Previous Campaign’s Financial Statement (if applicable)
The Municipal Clerk’s Office may assist candidates by showing ‘where’ to find assistance, not ‘how’ to complete your financial statement. It is ultimately the candidate’s responsibility to submit a financial statement that is to the best of their knowledge, true and correct. The Municipal Clerk’s Office may review the final financial statement for completion, not accuracy.
Failure to submit a financial statement will find the candidate in default of the Municipal Elections Act. Penalties include:
- The candidate forfeits the office to which he or she was elected and the office shall be deemed to be vacant; and
- Until the next regular election has taken place, the candidate is ineligible to be elected or appointed to any office to which the Municipal Election Act applies.
If a candidate fails to file a required financial statement or auditor’s report (or any other document required under Section 78 or 79.1 of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996), fails to pay over a surplus or exceeds the spending limit for the office, the candidate forfeits any office to which he or she was elected and the office is deemed to be vacant. The penalties will take effect on the deadline for the filing of the documents. If the candidate applies to the Ontario Court of Justice for an extension of the time to file the financial statement and fails to file the documents by the date established by the Court, the penalties will take effect at the end of the period of extension.
Sections 91 and 92 of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 set out penalties with respect to violations under the Act as follows:
91. (1) If a person is convicted of a corrupt practice under this Act, or of an offence under the Criminal Code (Canada) in connection with an act or omission that relates to an election to which this Act applies, then, in addition to any other penalty provided for in this Act,
(a) Any office to which the person was elected is forfeited and becomes vacant; and
(b) The person is ineligible to be nominated for, or elected or appointed to, any office until the next two regular elections have taken place after the election to which the offence relates.
(2) However, if the presiding judge finds that the person committed the corrupt practice or offence under the Criminal Code (Canada) without any intent of causing or contributing to a false outcome of the election, clause (1) (b) does not apply.
92.(3) If the expenses incurred by or on behalf of a candidate exceed the amount determined for the office under section 76, the candidate is liable to a fine equal to the excess, in addition to any other penalty provided for in this Act.
92.(5) A candidate is guilty of an offence and, on conviction, in addition to any other penalty that may be imposed under this Act, is subject to the penalties described in subsection 80(2) if he or she,
(a) Files a document under section 78 or 79.1 that is incorrect or otherwise does not comply with that section; or
(b) Incurs expenses that exceed what is permitted under section 76
Note: The entire Financial Report is considered a public document. These documents may be inspected by any person upon request at the Office of the Clerk during normal office hours, and are also available online. Any person may make extracts from the documents and is entitled to copies of the documents upon payment for their preparation, at such rates as the Clerk may determine. Clerks are required to make the documents available electronically, at no cost to the requester.
All financial reports are posted on the Municipal website. This includes a listing of the names and address of all contributors. You may wish to consider advising contributors that their personal information will be public and displayed on the Municipal web site after the election. The information remains on the website until after the next municipal election.