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Elections Calgary

Campaign finances

All candidates should check the Local Authorities Election Act for complete details on campaign finances

New for 2021


Individual contribution amount increased. A person can contribute $5,000 per candidate during the election year (January 1 to December 31). A person can contribute to as many candidates as they like.

Self-fund amount increased. Candidates can self-fund up to $10,000 per year.

Contribution limit outside the campaign period increased. A person can accept up to $5,000 per year outside the campaign period in a non-election year.

File a review engagement with disclosure statement. If more than $50,000 is received or spent, a chartered accountant must review the financial statements before submission to the municipality or school board.

Campaign surpluses no longer held in trust. Candidates may retain any surplus amount under $1,000. Any amount over $1,000 must be donated to a registered charity.  Local jurisdictions will no longer hold campaign surpluses.

Elections Calgary will notify people with a surplus held in trust from past campaigns. A surplus in trust over $1,000 can be donated to a registered charity. Candidates must send a letter with instructions to donate amounts to a registered charity before January 1, 2022. Surpluses under $1,000 may be retained by the individual.

Candidates duties during campaign


  • Issue receipts for every contribution. A receipt must include:

(a) date of contribution;

(b) name of individual contributor;

(c) address of individual contributor; and

(d) amount contributed.

  • Obtain receipts for every expense.
  • Open a campaign account at a financial institution when contributions exceed $1,000.
  • When a campaign account is opened, place all contributions into the account.
  • Use money for payment of campaign expenses only.
  • Do not accept contributions from people outside of Alberta.
  • Do not accept contributions from corporations and unincorporated organizations.
  • Do not accept contributions from trade unions and employee organizations.
  • Do not work with third parties to avoid contribution or expense limits.

After the election


After the election, all candidates are required to follow these rules:

  • Keep records of contributions and expenses for 3 years after the disclosure statement deadline.
  • File a campaign disclosure statement by March 1 after the election.
  • If you have expenses or contributions of $50,000 or more, file a review engagement with the disclosure statement.
  • Within 60 days of filing a disclosure statement, candidates can retain surplus amounts under $1,000. Amounts of $1,000 and more must be donated to a registered charity.
  • Eliminate campaign deficits 60 days after filing a disclosure statement.
  • File an amended disclosure statement within 30 days after the 60-day period showing any surplus or deficit has been dealt with according to LAEA requirements.

Note: The information on this website is provided for the convenience of reference only. Candidates are subject to further requirements in the Local Authorities Election Act. Candidates are advised to refer to the LAEA and obtain legal advice regarding the full extent of their obligations.