Expense Limits

The Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act (EFCDA) applies limits on the amount that registered political participants can spend during an electoral event.  Penalties apply for over-spending or attempting to evade spending limits.

Political participants are not subject to spending limits outside of an election period.

Spending limits apply to election expenses, which are the use, distribution, or consumption of property, goods, or services for the participant’s promotion or for opposing other participants. Examples of election expenses include advertising in all formats, advertising production, events, polling including surveys and research, honoraria and salaries, office and technology etc.

Limits per political participant are summarized below.

Terms used:

  • Writ Day is the date a Writ of Election is issued by the Chief Electoral Officer
  • Date of Official Call is the start date of a contest held by a political party
  • Order Issue Date is the date an Order is issued by the Lieutenant Governor
Participant Election Expense Limit Limit Applies To
Political Party $2,121,368 General Election Period – Writ Day to Election Day
$24,396 per electoral division By-Election Period – Writ Day to Election Day
$106,068 per Senate candidate Senate Election Period – Writ Day to Election Day
Constituency Association N/A – but must report election expenses incurred on behalf of a candidate or party, which count toward the party’s or candidate’s expense limit N/A
Candidate $53,034 Election Period – Writ Day to Election Day
Senate Candidate $530,342 Senate Election Period – Writ Day to Election Day
Nomination Contestant $10,607 Nomination Contest Period – Date of Official Call to Selection Date
Leadership Contestant N/A – no expense limit Leadership Contest Period – Date of Official Call to Vote Date
Political TPA N/A – cannot advertise during an election Political Advertising Period – N/A
Election TPA General Election Limit
$159,103 from December 1st to the day before writ‑day plus $150,103 from writ day to election day
Election Advertising Period – December 1 to the day before Writ Day (“Pre-Writ Period”) plus Writ Day to Election Day (“Election Period”)
By-Election Limit
$3,182 per electoral division
Election Advertising Period – Writ Day to Election Day
Senate TPA $31,821 Senate election held in conjunction with a municipal election – Senate election advertising period starts on May 1st and ends on Election Day.
Senate election held in conjunction with a provincial election, or on a date fixed by an order in council – Senate election advertising period commences at the beginning of the campaign period for that election and ends on Election Day.
Referendum TPA $530,342 Referendum Advertising Period – Order Issue date to Election Day

Previous Limits

  • Terms used:

    • Writ Day is the date a Writ of Election is issued by the Chief Electoral Officer
    • Date of Official Call is the start date of a contest held by a political party
    • Order Issue Date is the date an Order is issued by the Lieutenant Governor
    Participant Election Expense Limit Limit Applies To
    Political Party $2,000,000 General Election Period – Writ Day to Election Day
    $23,000 per electoral division By-Election Period – Writ Day to Election Day
    $100,000 per senatorial candidate Senate Election Period – Writ Day to Election Day
    Constituency Association N/A – but must report election expenses incurred on behalf of a candidate or party, which count toward the party’s or candidate’s expense limit N/A
    Candidate $50,000 Election Period – Writ Day to Election Day
    Senate Candidate $500,000 Senate Election Period – Writ Day to Election Day
    Nomination Contestant $10,000 Nomination Contest Period – Date of Official Call to Selection Date
    Leadership Contestant N/A – no expense limit Leadership Contest Period – Date of Official Call to Vote Date
    Political TPA N/A – cannot advertise during an election Political Advertising Period – N/A
    Election TPA General Election Limit
    $150,000 from December 1st to the day before writ‑day plus $150,000 from writ‑day to election day
    Election Advertising Period – December 1 to the day before Writ Day (“Pre-Writ Period”) plus Election Advertising Period – Writ Day to Election Day (“Election Period”)
    By-Election
    $3,000 per electoral division
    Election Advertising Period – Writ Day to Election Day
    Senate TPA $30,000 Senate Election Advertising Period – Senate Election held alongside General Election under Local Authorities Election Act, May 1 – Election Day
    Referendum TPA $500,000 Referendum Advertising Period – Referendum held alongside General Election under Election Act, or as a stand-alone referendum – Order Issue date to Election Day – or – Referendum held alongside General Election under Local Authorities Election Act – Order Issue Date to Election Day