Municipal election contribution and spending limits in Ontario

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| Published , updated February 1, 2024

Contribution limits

The maximum total value of all contributions a candidate can accept from an individual is $1,200 ($2,500 in the City of Toronto), and an individual cannot give more than a total of $5,000 to candidates of a single council or board.

A contributor shall not make contributions exceeding a total of $1,200 to any one candidate in an election.

A contributor shall not make contributions exceeding a total of $5,000 to two or more candidates for office on the same council or local board.

Section 88.9 of the Municipal Elections Act

Cash donations of $25 or less are not considered to be contributions and therefore you are not required to keep track of who gave them to you, but you must still report the total amount of these donations.

Contributions over $25 must be made by cheque, money order or by a method that clearly shows where the funds came from (such as certain debit, credit or electronic transfer transactions).

Contributions to own campaign

The maximum a candidate or their spouse can contribute to their own campaign is:

  • Head of council: Lesser of $7,500 + $0.20 per elector or $25,000
  • Councillor: Lesser of $5,000 + $0.20 per elector or $25,000

Spending limits

As per Section 88.9.1, the general spending limit is calculated as:

  • Head of council: Lesser of $7,500 + $0.20 per elector, or $25,000
  • Councillor: Lesser of $5,000 + $0.20 per elector, or $25,000

There is a separate spending limit for parties and other expressions of appreciation after the polls close which is 10% of the general spending limit.

When is an auditor review required?

If your contributions, expenses or both exceed $10,000, you must have an auditor review your financial statement and provide a report.

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