Election Compliance Audit Committee

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If you are an eligible elector who believes that a trustee candidate for the 2022 municipal election for the Ottawa Catholic School Board or the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board has broken campaign finance rules, you can apply for an election compliance audit. The Election Compliance Audit Committee will review Compliance Audit applications.

What is the Election Compliance Audit Committee?

The Election Compliance Audit Committee (ECAC) considers applications requesting compliance audits of candidates or third-party advertiser election campaign finances, any resulting auditors’ reports, and the Clerk’s Report identifying apparent contribution contraventions under section 88 of the Municipal Elections Act (the Act).

The ECAC is a joint committee between the Ottawa Catholic School Board and the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board.
The ECAC only considers alleged violations of the Act about election campaign finances and does not consider any other complaints of alleged candidate wrongdoing or contraventions of the Act.

The ECAC is completely independent of the Board and is granted specific decision-making powers under the Act. Decisions of the committee do not need to be approved by the Board. However, they may be appealed to the Superior Court of Justice within 15 days after the Committee’s decision is made.

What can the Election Compliance Audit Committee do?

The powers and functions of the ECAC are detailed in section 88 of the Act and include:

 

  • Consider compliance audit applications received from eligible electors who believe that a candidate for the Ottawa Catholic School Board or the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board Trustee has broken campaign finance rules, and decide if it should be granted or rejected;
  • If the application is granted, appoint an auditor licensed under the Public Accounting Act, 2004, to conduct a compliance audit of the candidate or third party’s election campaign finances;
  • Receive and consider the auditor’s report;
  • Receive and consider any reports by the City Clerk concerning contributors who appear to have exceeded contribution limits;
  • Decide whether to commence a legal proceeding against a candidate, contributor, and/or registered third party for an apparent contravention.

Who can apply for a compliance audit?

To apply for a compliance audit, you must be an elector entitled to vote in a municipal and school board election and meet the following requirements:

 

  • Resides in the City of Ottawa or is the owner or tenant of land there, or is the spouse of an owner or tenant;
    Is a Canadian citizen;
  • Is at least 18 years old;
  • Is not prohibited from voting under 17(3) of the Municipal Elections Act or otherwise by law;

How do I apply for a compliance audit?

If you meet the eligibility requirements, you can apply for a campaign finance compliance audit of a candidate for the Ottawa Catholic School Board or the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board Trustee by completing this form.

After you request a compliance audit, these steps happen:

  • Within 10 days of receiving the application, the secretary of the receiving Board forwards the application to the Election Compliance Audit Committee (ECAC)
  • Within 30 days of receiving the application, the ECAC reviews it and decides whether it should be granted or rejected
  • The decision of the ECAC may be appealed to the Superior Court of Justice within 15 days of the decision, and the Court may make any decision the MECAC could have made
  • If the ECAC decides to grant the application, an auditor (licensed under the Public Accounting Act, 2004 or prescribed persons) is appointed to conduct a compliance audit of the candidate’s election campaign finances
  • The auditor will conduct an audit of the third-party advertiser or candidate’s election campaign finances and will prepare a report outlining any apparent contravention by the candidate
  • The report is provided to the candidate or third-party advertiser, the applicant, and the City Clerk
    Within 10 days of receiving the report, the Secretary of the Board forwards the report to the ECAC
  • The committee considers the report within 30 days and may commence any legal proceedings against the candidate or third-party advertiser for any apparent contravention

Please see section 88 of the Municipal Elections Act for more information about compliance audits.

When can I apply for a compliance audit?

Applications can only be made after the financial filing deadline of March 31, 2023, has passed.

 

  • April 3, 2023, is the first day an elector can apply for a compliance audit of a candidate or third-party advertiser’s initial campaign finances, even if the candidate or third-party advertiser has not filed a financial statement.
  • June 29, 2023, is the last day for an elector to apply for a compliance audit of a candidate or third-party advertiser’s initial campaign finances, even if the candidate or third-party advertiser has not filed a financial statement.
  • If a candidate or third-party advertiser files their initial financial statement within the 30-day grace period (which begins on March 31, 2023, at 2:01 pm and ends on May 1, 2023, at 2:00 pm), the 90-day period to apply for a compliance audit begins the day after they filed their initial financial statement.
  • If a candidate or third-party advertiser receives a filing extension from the Superior Court of Justice, the 90-day period to apply for a compliance audit begins the day after the extension expires.
  • October 2, 2023, is the first day an elector can apply for a compliance audit of a candidate or third-party advertiser’s supplementary campaign finances if required, even if the candidate or third-party advertiser has not filed a financial statement.
  • December 28, 2023, is the last day for an elector to apply for a compliance audit on a candidate or third-party advertiser’s supplementary campaign finances if required, even if the candidate or third-party advertiser has not filed a financial statement.

Election Compliance Audit Committee Members 2022-2026

Here are the current members of the committee.

  • Matthew Stephen 
  • Jeff Smith 
  • Safah Quadiri 
  • Jason Huang 
  • Monica Ceschia 
  • Katrine Mallan

Election Compliance Audit Committee Meetings & Agendas

 

Date of meetingAgendaMinutes
Wednesday, May 17, 2023View AgendaView Minutes
Monday, June 5, 2023View AgendaView Minutes