Municipal Election Campaign Finance Reform

The members of CivicCamp’s Governance Group have established a set of principles for City politicians to follow when receiving campaign contributions and declaring their financial interests.

The Governance Group began looking into campaign finance in February 2010.  After an extensive review of laws and policies, it developed the principles that were subsequently shared with and approved by the membership of CivicCamp.

CivicCamp Campaign Finance Reform Policy

  1. Campaign contribution limits from individuals and organizations and any subsidiaries thereof: $2,000 limit for aldermanic campaigns and $3,500 for mayoral.
  2. Total limits on spending at $0.75 per ward resident for aldermanic and mayoral campaigns.  Population figures to be determined by the most recent City of Calgary census data.
  3. Campaign surplus options: a) to be given to the City of Calgary to fund voter awareness and campaign monitoring and compliance efforts; or b) donated to a registered charity.
  4. Immediate disclosure of contributions: a) Within two business days of the contribution it shall be posted on the candidate’s website. No contributions will be allowed during the final two days of the election campaign. b) No anonymous contributions or contributions from numbered companies shall be permitted.
  5. Calendar year limit: Contributions are only to be solicited and received during the calendar year of the election.
  6. Tax consequences: Create tax parity between contributions from individuals and contributions from organizations for municipal elections.

CivicCamp Financial Disclosure Policy

  1. A mandatory registry will be established of all financial interests (assets and liabilities) including real estate holdings, of candidates for municipal office and the Mayor, aldermen, and immediate family members.

We encourage candidates to adopt and adhere to these principles and – if elected to Council – to vote for passage of campaign finance and financial disclosure bylaws for Calgary.  The campaign funding limits provided here are targets for the 2010 election based on a “business as usual” approach to campaign financing.  We believe Calgary deserves better and recommend that, in developing a campaign finance bylaw, Council review the funding limits to identify ways in which they can be lowered, thus encouraging greater, more equitable, and less costly competition among candidates.

Download pdf version of CivicCamp Campaign Finance Reform & Financial Disclosure Policies here.  For background information, click here.