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4th Session, 41st Legislature

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Bill 232

THE ELECTION FINANCING AMENDMENT ACT


  Bilingual version (PDF) Explanatory Note

(Assented to                                         )

WHEREAS a level playing field is fundamental to ensuring that all Manitobans can equally and fully participate in elections and other democratic processes;

AND WHEREAS reducing the contribution limit will prevent large contributors from unduly influencing the electoral process;

AND WHEREAS broader access to supports and reimbursement for election expenses will promote greater and more representative participation in elections in Manitoba, especially by persons from historically marginalized and disadvantaged groups;

AND WHEREAS the length of the restriction on government advertising should be the same for fixed date elections and elections that are called on a discretionary basis;

THEREFORE HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

C.C.S.M. c. E27 amended

1           The Election Financing Act is amended by this Act.

2           The third paragraph of the overview to Part 4 is amended by striking out "$5,000" and substituting "$3,000".

3           Subsection 34(1) is amended by striking out "$5,000" and substituting "$3,000" in the section heading and in the section.

4           The first paragraph of the overview to Part 10 is amended by striking out "10%" and substituting "2%".

5(1)        Subsection 73(1) is amended by striking out "10%" wherever it occurs and substituting "2%".

5(2)        Subsection 73(2) is amended by striking out "A registered party's" and substituting "Subject to any adjustment under subsection (2.1), a registered party's".

5(3)        The following is added after subsection 73(2):

(2.1) — Adjusting reimbursement amount

The reimbursement amount payable to a registered party is to be adjusted in accordance with the following formula:

Final reimbursement amount = A × B/C

In this formula,

A is the reimbursement amount for the registered party as determined by subsection (2),

B is the total amount of reimbursement that would have been payable to all registered parties in the election or by-election in question using the formula under subsection (2) if a registered party was required to obtain at least 10% of all votes in the general election or by-election in order to be eligible for reimbursement under subsection (1),

C is the total amount of reimbursement payable to all registered parties in the general election or by-election in question using the eligibility threshold set out in subsection (1).

6(1)        Subsection 74(1) is amended by striking out "10%" and substituting "2%".

6(2)        Subsection 74(2) is amended by striking out "A candidate's" and substituting "Subject to any adjustment under subsection (2.1), a candidate's".

6(3)        The following is added after subsection 74(2):

(2.1) — Adjusting reimbursement amount

The reimbursement amount payable to a candidate is to be adjusted in accordance with the following formula:

Final reimbursement amount = A × B/C

In this formula,

A is the reimbursement amount for the candidate as determined by subsection (2),

B is the total amount of reimbursement that would have been payable to all candidates in the election or by-election in question using the formula under subsection (2) if a candidate was required to obtain at least 10% of all votes in the general election or by-election in order to be eligible for reimbursement under subsection (1),

C is the total amount of reimbursement payable to all candidates in the general election or by-election in question using the eligibility threshold set out in subsection (1).

7           Subsection 92(1) is replaced with the following:

(1) — Restrictions during general elections and by-elections

A government department or Crown agency must not advertise or publish any information about its programs or activities during the following periods:

(a) in the last 90 days before election day and on election day, in the case of a fixed date election,

(b) in the last 90 days before election day and on election day, in the case of a general election that is not called because the government lost the confidence of the Assembly,

(c) in the election period, in the case of a by-election or a general election that is not described in clauses (a) or (b).

Coming into force

8           This Act comes into force on the day it receives royal assent.

Explanatory Note

This Bill amends The Election Financing Act.

Registered parties and candidates are eligible for reimbursement of election expenses if they obtain at least 2% of the votes cast in an election. Currently, registered parties and candidates can obtain reimbursement if they obtain at least 10% of the vote. An adjustment formula ensures that the total amount of reimbursement payable as a result of these amendments will not exceed the amount payable under the current system for reimbursement of election expenses.

The Bill prohibits advertising by government departments and Crown agencies within 90 days of any general election, except a general election that is called because the government lost the confidence of the Legislative Assembly. In that case, and for by-elections, advertising by government departments and Crown agencies is prohibited from the day the election is called until election day.

The annual contribution limit for individuals is reduced from $5,000 to $3,000.