With the holidays on the horizon and as we edge closer to a new year, the following provides some information related to political finance and the coming by-elections in the province, along with an end-of the-year thank you for collaborating with us so effectively in 2017.
2018 Expense Limits
You should be aware that expense limits for the annual political party and candidate expense returns as well as the maximum for audit reimbursements will be updated in January 2018. The calculation relies on Consumer Price Index (CPI) information published by Statistics Canada that is not typically available until the third week of January. The expense limits will be updated as quickly as possible after that date and posted on our website. As has become the habit, we will offer greater specificity via a Communique when these numbers become available.
By-Election Expense Reporting – Registered Political Party
Registered political party returns of election expenses are due within six months of polling day for the election to which the election expense returns relate. “Election” is defined in The Election Act, 1996 as the “election of a member” (section 2(p)). Election event returns are therefore required for each election event – if multiple by-elections are held on the same day, an election expense return for each event must be prepared. The election expense limit would apply to each by-election as if it were a single event. Joint agreements may be used and the allocation of expenses should be determined in a manner similar to that used for a general election.
Pending By-Elections – Candidate Return Filing Reminder
As you all know, Elections Saskatchewan will be administering a number of by-elections in the coming months (constituencies of Kindersley, Melfort and Swift Current).
Moving forward, for these pending by-elections and for all other future electoral events, we will now require business managers to submit their candidate’s return of election expenses using our online ELMS tool. Indeed, we have received very favourable feedback from business managers and candidates who have used this system during past elections. We are now convinced use of this tool will improve the general quality of all returns, facilitate the work of business managers and, ultimately, lead to greater efficiencies in the administration of these returns.
We very much appreciate your cooperation as we work to improve the administration of elections in Saskatchewan.
Melfort, Kindersley and Swift Current Constituency Maps
We are pleased to report that the constituency maps for Melfort, Kindersley and Swift Current have been updated and posted on our website. As per the previous by-elections this electoral cycle, we have removed “S” polls and amalgamated them into a bordering poll.
Should you need to print large-scale maps, we have a list of printers who offer this service on our website at http://www.elections.sk.ca/voters/maps/. Please contact our office if you run into any issues. We would be happy to answer questions on this.
If you have questions about the information above, please contact Jennifer Colin, Deputy Chief Electoral Officer, at Jennifer.Colin@elections.sk.ca.
On this the shortest day in 2017, my thoughts turn less to our day-to-day work and more to the coming holiday season, a time when I traditionally assess the last year and think about the excitement of a new one. Thinking back, I want to offer my genuine thanks to you—the leaders of our six registered political parties in Saskatchewan—for your ongoing cooperation and goodwill as we have worked together to improve the conduct of elections and the state of democracy in the province. It has been a genuine privilege to work with you over the past twelve months.
On behalf of everyone at Elections Saskatchewan—at our head office, those working in our 61 constituencies, and the thousands who take seriously their role as impartial election officials during by-elections and general elections alike—I want to wish you the very best during the holiday season. We look forward to serving you in 2018!
Dr. Michael Boda
Chief Electoral Officer
Province of Saskatchewan