With many observers predicting a provincial election in Ontario before summer 2014, candidates are actively seeking campaign funding. Locals, Area Councils, Executive Board members and staff may be approached directly by candidates. It is important to note that there is a legal limit to the amount that each OPSEU local may contribute. Committees of the union and Area Councils are NOT eligible to make contributions.
The following FAQ is for the information of OPSEU locals that are considering making campaign contributions.
Can my local make a financial campaign contribution?
YES, subject to the limits below.
How much can my local contribute to a candidate’s campaign?
In each year, any person, corporation or local trade union may contribute up to $9,975 to any provincial party. Also, you may contribute up to $1,330 to any constituency association, but the total contribution to all constituency associations of the same party must not exceed $6,550. This means the maximum annual political contribution allowed in a non-election year is $16,625 to each registered party and its constituency associations.
During an election you may make extra contributions. At election time, you may give up to an additional $9,975 to any provincial party and up to $1,330 to any candidate so long as the total contribution to all candidates of the same party does not exceed $6,650.
Here is a chart from Elections Ontario that outlines the contribution maximums:
To Provincial Party
To Constituency Association
Extra During a Campaign Period
How May Contributions Be Given?
Contributions must be authorized by a duly approved motion of the Local Executive and must be made by a cheque drawn on a financial institution account in the Local’s name, by a money order signed by the contributor or by a credit card embossed with the contributor's name. You must not contribute money that you are not legally authorized to donate and you may not give anonymously. The chief financial officer (CFO) of the party, constituency association or candidate to whom you are contributing must keep accurate records of the sources of all contributions. The CFO must know the name and address of the Local Union.
Besides money, you might also want to contribute goods or services. Donations of goods or services for which you would ordinarily be paid, count as political contributions. These are valued at their fair market value. If you give a discount on goods or services sold to an association, candidate, leadership contestant or party, then the discount is considered a contribution. However, you have the choice of declaring the total of your donated goods or services, if valued at $100 or less, not to be a contribution.
How much can I contribute as an individual?
You may claim a maximum tax credit for political contributions of up to $1,330 a year. You will reach this limit when your eligible political contributions total $3,026. For example, annually you may claim 75 per cent of the first $399 of your political contribution in the year; plus 50 per cent of the next $931; plus 33 1⁄3 per cent of an amount exceeding $1,330, but not more than $3,026.
Up to $399
75% of contribution
$399 to $1,330
$299.75 plus 50% of the amount over $399
More than $1,330
$764.75 plus 33% of the amount
For more information about tax credits, please visit: http://www.rev.gov.on.ca/en/credit/pctc/