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Campaign accounts

A campaign account is an account in a savings institution such as a bank, credit union or trust company, and must be used exclusively for the election campaign.

A sub-account may be opened as long as it has a distinct account number and separate campaign financing records are kept.

Candidates who do not use any of their own money and have no financial transactions do not have to open a campaign account.

A campaign account may not be used for any other purposes other than the election campaign.

Financial agents must open a separate campaign account for each campaign. Candidates cannot share an account. An endorsed candidate must have a separate account from their elector organization.

An election is held in a specific jurisdiction. Elections in different jurisdictions, such as municipalities or school districts, are separate elections. A candidate running in multiple jurisdictions is operating multiple campaigns.

Each campaign account must be in the name of the election campaign.

Examples of candidate campaign account names

“John Smith campaign”

“Campaign of John Smith”

“John Smith”

When to open

A campaign account must be opened as soon as practicable after the first campaign contribution of money is received and before any of the following transactions:

Financial agents are encouraged to open campaign accounts as early as possible. If a financial agent has difficulty opening a campaign account, there is a letter on the Elections BC website at elections.bc.ca/lecf that can be printed and given to the savings institution.

Using the campaign account

The Local Elections Campaign Financing Act includes detailed rules on how a campaign account is used.

  • all monetary transactions (e.g., contributions, transfers and expenses) must go through this account
  • must only be used for that election
  • must remain open until all financial transactions have been completed, including the disbursement of surplus campaign funds

Examples of Campaign Account Transactions

Deposits

Withdrawals

  • campaign contributions
  • fundraising income
  • payment received for reimbursement of election expenses shared with other candidates
  • transfers from an elector organization
  • surplus campaign funds from a previous election
  • interest
  • dividends of shares paid by a credit union
  • nomination deposit
  • election expenses
  • campaign-related professional fees
  • other expenses incidental to the election campaign
  • reimbursements paid to other candidates for shared election expenses
  • financial agent salary or stipend
  • repayment or remittance of prohibited contributions
  • transfers to an elector organization
  • disbursement of surplus campaign funds
  • campaign account fees