A candidate is a person seeking to be elected, who may be 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.
A registered candidate can only accept contributions from persons ordinarily resident in Alberta and only during a campaign period for an election. Contributions can be money or in-kind donations of goods or services.
The maximum a candidate can receive is $4,243 aggregate (less any other contributions the person may make to other political participants in a calendar year) per person during the campaign period. Candidates who spend their own funds for their candidacy can claim a contribution up to the $4,243 maximum; any amounts over the maximum must be reimbursed to the candidate by their campaign.
The candidate’s chief financial officer is responsible for issuing official contribution receipts for contributions received (including contributions by the candidate), which contributors can claim for non-refundable personal income tax credits on their tax return.
Click here for more information on contributions and tax receipts.
A registered candidate or any person acting on the candidate’s behalf can hold an event during the campaign period only, to raise funds for their campaign. Examples of fundraising events include a luncheon, meet & greet, car rally, golf tournament, silent auction etc. Rules apply on who can pay to attend or who can donate/bid at a silent auction.
Click here for more information on fundraising events.
A registered candidate for an MLA election can spend a maximum of $53,034 during the election period for a general election or by-election.
The following expenses are subject to the candidate’s spending limit if they are used, distributed or consumed in the election period:
- production of advertising or promotional material,
- distribution, broadcast, or publication of advertising or promotional material in any media or by any other means,
- paying someone for their work or services as a CFO or in any other capacity,
- meeting, office or event space, and
- conduct of election surveys or other surveys or research.
These expenses are never 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.
Candidates must disclose their financial activities to Elections Alberta by filing a campaign period return within four months after Election Day. The campaign period return includes:
- a financial statement,
- detailed list of all contributions received including contributor names, addresses and amounts contributed,
- detailed list of all expenses including expenses subject to the spending limit, and
- supporting information and documents relating to the campaign return.
Click here for more information on filing deadlines.
View registration and financial information for candidates.
Online Financial System (OFS)
Registered candidates are granted access to Elections Alberta’s secure Online Financial System (OFS) to enter and submit financial reports.
Contact us for access and login queries.