CBC News Federal Election

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Voter Toolkit

What An Election Costs

Political change doesn't come cheap in Canada. Aside from the millions raised by political parties to fuel their campaigns, there's the cost of the electoral process and millions in reimbursements to parties and candidates - borne by the taxpayer. Changes to the election financing laws last time around significantly altered the way those reimbursements are done and increased the cost of holding an election. Here's a comparison of what Elections Canada spent on the 2000 and 2004 elections:

Election costs
37th general election - Nov. 12, 2000 38th general election - June 28, 2004
Total cost
$199.7 million
Total cost
$277.8 million
Breakdown of expenses

Operations of local returning offices, including Election Day activities: $90 million

Pre-election activity, including staff training, maintenance of voter lists and systems readiness:$50 million

Election day delivery activities (public information) at the Ottawa office of Elections Canada:$35 million

Reimbursement for candidate election expenses and for registered political parties:$24.8 million
Breakdown of expenses

Election delivery activities, including fees to election workers and poll officials, printing lists of electors, and renting offices of returning officers and polling sites:$108 million

Pre-election activity, including electoral material and supplies, the training of returning officers and other key staff. Maintaining the National Register of Electors since the 2000 general election, ad and outreach campaigns, support network and information technology support:$111.5 million

Reimbursements to candidates and parties according to new political financing provisions under Bill C-24:Estimated at $58.3 million


One change may be saving Canadians money. In 1996, Elections Canada began maintaining a National Register of Electors, rather than creating a new list each time through door-to-door registration. Elections Canada reports the change has saved $110 million to date.

 


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ELECTION RESULTSDetails>
1241035129
Total Elected and Leading
CON124036.27%
LIB103030.23%
BQ51010.48%
NDP29017.48%
IND10.52%
OTH005.02%

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