Home > Municipal > RAPEQ > How to request an authorization > Independent candidate

Independent candidate

See field: provincial
(Municipalities with a population of 5 000 or more)

The independent candidate must obtain an authorization to solicit or collect contributions, incur election expenses or contract loans.

Who grants the authorization?

This authorization is granted by the returning officer of the municipality to every elector who undertakes to run as an independent candidate, from January 1st of the year preceding that in which a general election must be held in the municipality or, in the case of a by-election, from the day when the seat becomes vacant. According to section 70 of the Act respecting elections and referendums in municipalities, the clerk or the secretary-treasurer of the municipality is the returning officer of the municipality ex officio. Please contact the returning officer of your municipality if you wish to be authorized.

The authorization may also be granted by the assistant returning officer authorized to receive a nomination paper in the case where the application for authorization is made during the election period.

How does one obtain an authorization?

To apply for authorization, you can complete the appropriate form and send it to the returning officer of your municipality. Should you designate yourself as your official agent and representative, you must indicate your name in section 3 of the form.

You can also request an authorization at the time of the filing of your nomination paper, by completing the appropriate section on the nomination form.

Information required

The independent candidate must in particular designate an official representative and make sure of the information concerning him in the Register of authorized political entities of the Chief Electoral Officer. An independent candidate may also designate himself to act as his own official representative.

Independent candidates and financing

Every independent candidate may:

  • lend money for his campaign up to a maximum amount of $5,000 (loan and suretyship);
  • solicit or collect contributions if he is expressly authorized to do so by the official representative;
  • participate financially in his campaign by making one or more contributions to his official representative, up to a maximum annual amount of $100, which amount can be increased by an additional $100 during a by-election or in a general election year, and $800 following the acceptance of his nomination papers (up to a $1,000 maximum). His official representative must issue a receipt for every contribution.

The candidate may not:

  • contract loans (only the official representative may do so);
  • incur election expenses: only the official agent may do so. However, the candidate may incur personal expenses.

Role of the official representative and the official agent

The official representative of an authorized independent candidate has to be the same person as the official agent. Each of these two roles is of great importance in the election campaign of a candidate.

The person acting as a representative and official agent is required to follow, within 10 days of his appointment, training on the rules of political financing and election expenses given by Élections Québec.

The role of the official representative consists of, for instance:

  • collecting and depositing contributions;
  • making sure that contribution receipts are issued to contributors;
  • ensuring that contributions comply with the provisions of the Act;
  • depositing sums collected during political activities or rallies;
  • contracting loans;
  • paying the interest on loans annually;
  • filing the financial report and, where applicable, the additional financial report.

As the official agent, his role consists of, for instance:

  • incurring or authorizing election expenses;
  • authorizing a publicity agency to incur or order election expenses;
  • making sure that every payment of election expenses is supported by an invoice and that the going market price is paid;
  • making sure that all advertising contains his name and his title of official agent;
  • making sure that the limit on election expenses is respected;
  • assuming all responsibilities with respect to all election expenses;
  • filing the return of election expenses.

Expiry of the authorization

The authorization granted to an independent candidate expires on December 31st of the second calendar year following the year of the election, unless it is withdrawn prior to this date.

The authorization of an independent candidate who is elected and who, on that date, has not paid all the debts arising from his election expenses, expires the day of transmission of the financial report confirming that all debts have been paid.