Ontario Bill 2: Prohibiting political contributions from corporations and trade unions


This Explanatory Note was written as a reader’s aid to Bill 2 and does not form part of the law.  Bill 2 has been enacted as Chapter 22 of the Statutes of Ontario, 2016.

A number of amendments are made to the Election Finances Act. Among them:

  1. Corporations and trade unions are prohibited from making contributions to parties, constituency associations, nomination contestants, candidates and leadership contestants. Contribution limits for individuals are reduced.
  2. “Nomination contestants” — persons seeking to be endorsed as a party’s candidate in an electoral district — are brought within the Act, on and from July 1, 2017.
  3. Quarterly allowances are made payable to registered parties and constituency associations.
  4. The rules regarding loans and loan guarantees are made more restrictive.
  5. Restrictions are placed on the persons who may attend fund-raising events.
  6. Restrictions are placed on the amounts that third parties may spend on political advertising during elections and the six-month period before scheduled general election periods.
  7. Restrictions are placed on the political advertising spending of registered political parties during the six-month period before scheduled general elections periods.
  8. The indexation factor used for inflation adjustment is put on an annual basis, based on changes in the Consumer Price Index for Ontario.
  9. The threshold at which candidates are entitled to receive partial reimbursement of their campaign expenses is reduced from 15 per cent of the popular vote to five per cent.

The Government Advertising Act, 2004 is amended to extend the prohibition on government advertising to 60 days before the issue of an election writ for scheduled general elections.

The Taxation Act, 2007 is amended to make contributions to leadership contestants eligible for tax credits, and to deal with the prohibition on corporate contributions.

Bill 2 – Election Finances Statute Law Amendment Act, 2016

Election Finances Statute Law Amendment Act, 2016, S.O. 2016, c. 22 – Bill 2