The Fine Print

Contribution Rebate Program
Program Overview

Section 88.11 of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 (link is external) (the “MEA”), provides that a municipality may pass a by-law to allow for the payment of rebates to individuals who contribute to candidates for office of mayor or councillor, and may establish conditions under which such a rebate is paid.

Contribution Rebate Program

For the purposes of the contribution rebate program:

“Individual” means an individual residing in the Province of Ontario; and
“Participating candidate” means a candidate for an office on the municipal council who has submitted a completed application form to the Clerk for the purpose of participating in the contribution rebate program and who meets the requirements of By-law No. 2018-33.
By-law No. 2018-33 authorizes the establishment of the City of Ottawa’s Contribution Rebate Program. It allows for the payment of rebates to individuals who contribute to participating candidates running for municipal council.

Registered third parties and school board trustees are not eligible to participate in the contribution rebate program.

Campaign Contributions to Candidates for Municipal Office

Campaign contributions to candidates for municipal office are any money, goods or services given to the candidate for use in their campaign, including money and goods they contribute to their own campaign.

The total value of contributions from an individual cannot exceed $1,200. An individual may not contribute more than a total of $5,000 to two or more candidates for offices on the same municipal council.

Note: Municipal campaign contributions are not eligible for federal income tax purposes.

Candidates for municipal office can accept contributions from:

Individuals who are normally residents of Ontario; and
The candidate and their spouse. (Note: If a candidate’s spouse is not usually a resident of Ontario, they can still contribute to their spouse’s campaign.)

Candidates for municipal office cannot accept contributions from:

Corporations;
Trade unions;
An individual who is not normally a resident of Ontario;
A federal political party, constituency association, or a registered candidate in a federal election;
A provincial political party, constituency association, or a registered candidate or leadership contestant; and
A federal or provincial government, a municipality or a school board.
Contribution Rebate Program Eligibility

Campaign contributions from individuals are only eligible for a rebate if both the contributor and participating candidate meet the requirements of By-law No. 2018-33.

The following are not eligible to receive a contribution rebate:

A candidate or the candidate’s spouse; or
The dependent child of a candidate.
Only a contribution of money accepted by the participating candidate during their campaign period will be eligible for the payment of a rebate. A contribution of money includes cash, a cheque or money order.

A minimum contribution of $25.01 is required to be eligible for the payment of a rebate. See the Contribution Rebate Calculations section for more information on the eligible rebate amounts a contributor may receive.

Contribution Rebate Calculations

The following formula is used to calculate rebates to individuals who have contributed to participating candidates:

If the contribution by an individual to a candidate is $25 or less, there is no rebate for that contribution;
If the contribution by an individual to a candidate is equal to or greater than $25.01 and not more than $100, the rebate is 50% of the total contribution;
If the contribution by an individual to a candidate is greater than $100, the rebate is $50 plus 25% of the amount by which the contribution exceeds $100; and
The maximum rebate to an individual may not exceed $75.
If an individual makes more than one contribution to a single candidate, the formula noted above also applies. The rebate will be calculated using the sum of the contributions. For example, if an individual contributes $10, five different times to candidate X resulting in a total amount of $50, the individual is eligible for a rebate for their $50 contribution to candidate X.

The same formula applies if an individual makes a contribution to more than one candidate. The rebate will be calculated using the sum of the contributions, provided that no single contribution is less than $25.01. For example, if an individual contributes $20 to candidate X, and $50 to candidate Y, only the $50 contribution to candidate Y is eligible for a rebate.

Sample Rebate Calculations
Total Contribution Rebate
$25.00 or less $0
$25.01 $12.51
$50.00 $25.00
$100.00 $50.00
$150.00 $62.50
$200.00 - $1,200.00
$75.00

Contact the Elections Office

For more information on the City of Ottawa’s contribution rebate program, you can contact the Elections Office at:

Telephone: 613-580-2660
Fax: 613-580-2661
E-mail: elections@ottawa.ca (link sends e-mail)
Mailing Address: 1221 Cyrville Road, Unit B, Ottawa, ON K1J 7S8

Disclaimer

By-laws contained in this section have been prepared for reference purposes only. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of this information; however it is not to be used in place of actual by-laws.

Actual by-laws can be obtained at the following locations:

City Archives
James Bartleman Centre
100 Tallwood Dr. (Corner of Woodroffe)
Ottawa, Ontario
tel.: 613-580-2857
fax : 613-580-2614
e-mail: archives@ottawa.ca (link sends e-mail)

Ottawa Public Library
120 Metcalfe, Ottawa Room
613-580-2940

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.