School Elections of November 4, 2007 - RULES ON FINANCING AND THE CONTROL OF ELECTION EXPENSES WILL BE APPLIED DURING THE SCHOOL ELECTION PERIOD



    QUEBEC CITY, Sept. 20 /CNW Telbec/ - The Chief Electoral Officer,
Me Marcel Blanchet, would like to remind the public that the rules governing
financing and the control of expenses will be applied during the election
period that begins tomorrow in the 69 Québec school boards, in view of the
general elections of November 4, 2007. During the 2003 school general
elections when these rules were applied for the first time, candidates
received a total of $1,213,150 in contributions and filed returns showing
total election expenses of $1,151,610.
    It is the Chief Electoral Officer who is responsible for applying these
rules that are outlined in the Act Respecting School Elections (ASE). In this
regard, the chief electoral officer has provided training on financing to
authorized candidates. The office of the Chief Electoral Officer also has
powers to investigate and take legal action that enable it to monitor the
application of the rules on financing and take appropriate action if they are
not respected.

    Contributions by Electors

    The Act Respecting School Elections states that candidates may solicit
and receive contributions. To do so, they first have to receive an
authorization that is granted by the returning officer of their school board.
    It is worth noting that only an elector of a school board can contribute
to an authorized candidate of the same school board and that companies, unions
and association are barred from contributing. Contributions have to be made
directly to the authorized candidate or to persons that the candidate
designates in writing to do so.
    The maximum contribution that can be made by an elector in a calendar
year to each of the approved candidates in the same school board is $1,000. A
duly completed receipt has to be issued to the donor.

    Election Expenses

    During the election period, the election expenses of authorized
candidates are subject to a maximum. The Act defines an "election expense" as
the cost of all goods and services used during the election period by
candidates to promote their election. The maximum is established from a base
amount of $2,700, plus $0.42 per person entered on the list of electors of the
electoral division concerned.
    Furthermore, within 90 days after polling day, every authorized candidate
has to file a return of election expenses and a financial report on the same
form to the director general of the school board, outlining their sources of
financing and their expenses.
    A candidate who is elected or who obtains at least 15% of the votes cast
during the election for the position in question is entitled, under certain
conditions, to the reimbursement of part of his election expenses by the
director general of the school board. Hence, the first $500 is reimbursed at
75% while any extra amount is reimbursed at 50%. However, the reimbursement
cannot exceed the amount of debts arising from the candidate's election
expenses and the amount of the candidate's personal contribution.

    Recognized Tickets

    It is worth noting that there are no political parties in school
democracy. However, candidates with a common interest may group themselves
into a ticket that has to be recognized by the returning officer of the school
board. An application to this effect may be filed with the returning officer
from the 44th day to the 35th day before polling day. The application should
be backed by the signatures of at least 10 electors of the school board who
support the application.
    Unlike a political party, a ticket is recognized only for the general
election at hand as well as for any by-election that takes place thereafter
until the next general election.
    The power to incur expenses, solicit and receive contributions or
contract loans for the election is only granted to authorized candidates and
not to the recognized ticket.
    -%SU: EDU,LAW
    -%RE: 1




For further information:

For further information: Denis Dion, Information Officer, (418)
644-3320, 1-888-870-3320, ddion@dgeq.qc.ca

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Directeur général des élections

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