Effective immediately, ENS is launching an amnesty period to individuals, corporations, unions and municipalities that come forward and report similar instances to the breaches of the Elections Act as described in the Report into the Investigation of the Municipality of the County of Richmond.
We understand that some organizations such as corporations, unions or municipalities reimburse the purchase price of ticket for employees or members attending corporate, service organization, and charity events on the grounds that their attendance often fosters mutually beneficial community and corporate stewardship.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, political fundraisers must be treated differently for the following reasons:
Political financing rules ensure the public knows who, through their financial contributions, may have an influence on various political agendas.
There are limits on who can contribute to a candidate or a party and how much they can contribute in any given year.
Personal provincial income taxes are forgone in the form of tax receipts to those who either donate money or purchased tickets to political fund raising events.
Because these are deemed to be personal donations, no individual or organization may reimburse directly or indirectly for a contribution made by an individual.
The rules governing political contributions are set out in Sections 234 to 258 of the Act. However, based on the evidence found in the investigation into officials with the Municipality of the County of Richmond, some individuals and organizations such as corporations, unions or municipalities are not fully aware of the particular rules governing political contributions and the limitations as set out in the Act.
Associated with the recent investigation, ENS is taking advantage of this opportunity to educate and inform the public-at-large about the rules governing political financing in Nova Scotia. This also presents an opportunity for individuals, corporations, unions or municipalities who may have unwittingly been involved in a past event under similar circumstances. Effective immediately, ENS is launching an amnesty period. This is an opportunity for individuals, corporations, unions and municipalities to come forward to report similar breaches of the Act. The amnesty period will expire at the end of this fiscal year, March 31, 2017.
For more information about the Amnesty period, visit electionsnovascotia.ca or contact Dorothy Rice at ENS at 902-424-8584.
Have I breached the Act?
The Elections Act is the legislation that defines every area of Elections Nova Scotia’s rules and mandate, including running fair and inclusive elections and financial and process reporting steps in between. The Act that specifically addresses political contributions beginning at section 234. If you think your organization may have breached this Act by unknowingly contributing to a political party or by paying for tickets to attend a political fundraising event, there has never been a better time than this amnesty period to come forward and report it to Elections Nova Scotia.
What will happen if I report a breach during this amnesty period?
Once you have filed a report about the circumstances you believe are in breach of the Act, Elections Nova Scotia will review your report and get back to you. If a breach of the Act has occurred, ENS will discuss the next steps. In some instances, repayment of all or part of contributions may be required. If the breach is similar to the breaches associated with the the Municipality of the County of Richmond, then ENS will likely keep the matter confidential. However, in some but not all circumstances, or if the matter is more significant, then the matter may be made public if the Chief Electoral Officer believes that it is in the public interest to report on the outcome of an investigation.
How do I report a suspected breach of the Act?
Reporting a suspected breach of the Elections Act is possible by simply completing the online form, Report an Issue. You, and others named in your report on the breach will be contacted by Elections Nova Scotia.
Report an Issue
Report on the Investigation into Breaches of the Elections Act in the Municipality of the County of Richmond
Information for Candidates and Official Agents
Information for Electoral District Associations
Information for Third Parties
Information for Registered Parties