Financing Rules for Proponents
The proponent for an initiative petition is the applicant. The Chief Electoral Officer must publish a notice of initiative petition before the proponent can raise and spend funds related to the petition. Each proponent must appoint a chief financial officer (proponent cannot be their own chief financial officer). Chief financial officers are responsible for tracking and reporting all financial activities.
An initiative petition may be withdrawn at any time by the applicant or the proponent by giving a written notice to the Chief Electoral Officer. If a proponent dies, resigns, or becomes incapacitated, the proponent’s chief financial officer must deliver a written notice within 14 days with respect to the replacement proponent and replacement chief financial officer, or the petition will be withdrawn by the Chief Electoral Officer.
This page provides basic information for proponents and their chief financial officers on raising and spending funds related to an approved initiative petition. For advertising guidelines click here.
Through their chief financial officer, proponents can accept contributions during the initiative petition period, starting on the date the Chief Electoral Officer publishes a notice of initiative petition, and ending on the date the signature sheets are submitted to the Chief Electoral Officer or when the signature signing period expires, whichever is earlier.
Contributions can only be accepted from persons ordinarily resident in Alberta. Contributions can be money or in-kind donations of goods or services. The maximum a proponent can receive from any given contributor is $4,000 during the initiative petition period. The rules also apply to proponents who self-fund.
The chief financial officer is responsible for depositing contributions into the appropriate account on record with Elections Alberta, reporting contributions to Elections Alberta, and issuing official contribution receipts to contributors. Contributions made to proponents cannot be claimed for income tax credits.
Click here for more information on contributions and receipts.
A proponent, or any person acting on their behalf, can hold events and activities during the initiative petition period, to raise funds related to the initiative petition. 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 proponent’s financial report.
Click here for more information on fundraising events.
Through their chief financial officer, proponents can incur expenses during the initiative petition period, starting on the date the Chief Electoral Officer publishes a notice of initiative petition, and ending on the date the signature sheets are submitted to the Chief Electoral Officer or when the signature signing period expires, whichever is earlier.
A spending limit of $500,000 applies to “initiative petition expenses” which are any property, goods or services used, distributed or consumed to directly promote the petition during the initiative petition period. Examples include the production of initiative petition advertising; the transmission, distribution, broadcast or publication of initiative petition advertising in any media; the conduct or sponsorship of opinion surveys or other surveys or research; the payment of remuneration and expenses to or on behalf of an individual for their services as a chief financial officer or in any other capacity; securing a meeting space; and expenses for canvassers.
Other expenses that must be reported but are not subject to the spending limit include fees charged by the Chief Electoral Officer, costs for producing copies of the petition, and legal or accounting services provided for compliance with the Act.
Click here for more information on expense limits.
Through their chief financial officer, proponents must disclose their financial activities, including filing nil reports (no financial activity) if applicable, to Elections Alberta. An initiative petition expense limit report consisting of a financial statement, contribution report, expenses report, and supporting information and documentation must be filed within 30 days after the signature sheet submission date or within 30 days after the petition signing period expires, whichever is earlier, and even if the petition is withdrawn or terminated. Audited financial statements are required within 6 months after the initiative petition period if the initiative petition expenses exceed $350,000. Automatic late filing fees apply for failure to file the financial report on time.
Click here for more information on filing deadlines.
View financial information for proponents.
Online Financial System (OFS)
Authorized participants 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 report.
Contact us for access and login queries.