A candidate is a person seeking to be elected, who has been endorsed by a party or who runs as an independent. Candidates must register with Elections Alberta, maintain up-to-date registration information and submit a financial report after the election to disclose their financial activities. Learn more about the registration and nomination process here.
This page provides basic information for candidates and their chief financial officers on raising and spending funds. Any others helping with a candidate’s campaign should also familiarize themselves with these rules. For the complete guide on candidate fundraising, spending, and reporting rules click here. For advertising guidelines click here.
Registered candidates can only accept contributions during the campaign period, starting when the Writ of Election is issued and ending 2 months after Election Day.
Candidates can only accept contributions from persons ordinarily resident in Alberta. Contributions can be money or in-kind donations of goods or services. The maximum a candidate can receive from any given contributor is $4,300, less any other contributions the person may make to registered parties, constituency associations, leadership contestants, and other candidates in the year. The rules also apply to candidates who self-fund their campaigns.
The candidate’s chief financial officer is responsible for reporting contributions to Elections Alberta and issuing official contribution receipts to contributors, which contributors can claim for non-refundable personal income tax credits on their tax return.
Click here for more information on contributions and receipts, including previous contribution limits.
A registered candidate or any person acting on the candidate’s behalf can hold events and activities during the campaign period, to raise funds for the candidate’s campaign. Examples of fundraising events include a luncheon, meet & greet, rally, golf tournament, silent auction etc. Contribution rules limit who can pay to attend events and who can donate/bid at a silent auction. All fundraising revenues and expenses must be reported on the candidate’s campaign return.
Click here for more information on fundraising events.
Registered candidates can only spend funds during the campaign period, starting when the Writ of Election is issued and ending 2 months after Election Day.
A spending limit applies during the election period from the Writ of Election until the polls close on Election Day. A registered candidate can spend a maximum of $53,100 during the election period for a general election or by-election.
The spending limit applies to “election expenses” which are any property, goods or services used, distributed or consumed during the election period, for the candidate’s promotion or for opposing others. Examples include advertising in all formats, advertising production, fundraising events and activities, polling including surveys and research, honoraria and salaries, office and technology, etc.
The following expenses are not subject to the candidate’s spending limit, even if they occur within the election period:
- candidate’s travel expenses related to the election including meals and accommodation,
- candidate’s childcare expenses,
- care for a person with a physical or mental incapacity for who the candidate normally provides such care,
- for a candidate who has a disability, additional expenses related to the disability,
- audit and financial fees necessary for compliance with the EFCDA, and
- reasonable incidental expenses incurred by or on behalf of volunteers.
Click here for more information on expense limits, including previous expense limits.
Registered candidates must disclose their financial activities, including filing nil reports (no financial activity) if applicable, to Elections Alberta by filing a campaign period return within four months after Election Day. Automatic late filing fees apply for failure to file the financial return on time.
Click here for more information on filing deadlines.
View registration and financial information for candidates.
Online Financial System (OFS)
Registered candidates and their chief financial officers are granted access to Elections Alberta’s secure Online Financial System (OFS) to report contributions, issue official contribution receipts to contributors, and submit the financial return.
Contact us for access and login queries.