Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation
DISTRICT 3 Rainbow

Election Financing

Laws in Ontario have changed significantly with respect to election financing. Unions, and all other organizations, are completely banned from supporting political parties, candidates and riding associations with money or any other material or in-kind donation. This includes paying for time-release for members to work on a campaign, lending furniture, or even donating extra pencils. Unions may continue to spend whatever monies they choose to engage their members in the election process.

There are also changes to third party advertising. According to Elections Ontario, “a third party is any person or entity that is not a political party, candidate or constituency association, and that engages in political advertising. Third parties include corporations, partnerships, unincorporated businesses and associations, and many other groups.” OSSTF/FEESO’s Provincial Office will be registering as a third party. 

Individuals may continue to donate directly to political parties, candidates and riding associations. The chart below outlines the new individual limits.

In addition, political parties will receive a per vote allowance of $2.71 for every vote received in the previous general election. Each constituency will divide $25,000 annually amongst the contending parties based on the previous election’s results. This means that you should absolutely vote, even in a riding where the party has no chance of winning!

Another incentive for personally contributing is that you can receive a tax credit. The amount of the credit depends on how much you give but the maximum is $1,354. The rate for the credit is: 75% on the first $406 of donations in 2018; 50% on the portion of your donation between $406 and $1,354 in 2018; and 33.33% on the portion between $1,354 and $3,081 in 2018. For more information about this tax credit and how to apply, visit the Ontario Ministry of Finance website linked below.

The following websites have even more information about what is discussed on this page.

Elections Ontario - Eligible Contributions

Elections Ontario - Third Parties

Ontario Ministry of Finance - Political Contribution Tax Credit for Individuals

Elections Canada - Political Financing

Ministry of Municipal Affairs - 2018 Guide for third party advertisers