Frequently Asked Questions – Administrative Monetary Penalties

What is an Administrative Monetary Penalty?

An Administrative Monetary Penalty (AMP) is part of the Commissioner of Canada Elections' (the Commissioner) compliance and enforcement toolkit under the Canada Elections Act and is designed to promote and ensure compliance, not to punish.

AMPs can be imposed by the Commissioner, or in certain cases by the Deputy Commissioner, by way of a Notice of Violation (NOV) to address certain types of violations under the Act, including those related to:

They can also be imposed for failure to comply with the terms and conditions of a compliance agreement or undertaking, or with a requirement of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO).

If you have received a NOV, it is because the Commissioner has reasonable grounds to believe that you have committed a violation under the Act.

Back to top

What is a Notice of Violation?

The NOV is the document that sets out the details of the violation and the amount of the AMP to be paid.

The NOV includes the following information:

A sample NOV is available here.

Back to top

Why did I get an AMP?

AMPs are usually imposed when the Commissioner has reasonable grounds to believe that there has been a contravention of the Act. To address the violation, an AMP was deemed to be the most appropriate compliance and enforcement tool.

Back to top

How is the amount of an AMP determined?

Using factors set out in the Act, the Commissioner has adopted a general formula. The formula ensures fairness and consistency in the application of AMPs.  

There are four (4) types of violations that can lead to an AMP. This categorization is based on the seriousness of the violation and its impact on the electoral process or the political financing regime.

Each of the four types has a baseline amount. This amount can be increased or decreased, depending on aggravating or mitigating factors.

A more detailed description of the different types of violations can be found in Section 6.0 of the Policy for the Administrative Monetary Penalties Regime at the Office of the Commissioner of Canada Elections.

Back to top

What are the minimum and maximum amounts of an AMP?

The minimum and maximum amounts of an AMP can vary depending on the type of violation and whether it was committed by an individual or an entity.

Except in cases of illegal voting, the minimum AMP for an individual is $50. The maximum AMP is $1,500.

For an entity, the minimum AMP is $300 and the maximum is $5,000.

Illegal voting carries its own minimum amount due to the serious nature of this type of violation (Type D violation). The minimum AMP for an illegal voting violation is $500, with a maximum of $1,500.

Complete details on how AMPs are calculated can be found in the Policy for the Administrative Monetary Penalties Regime at the Office of the Commissioner of Canada Elections.

Back to top

I don't agree with the AMP I've been issued. How can I contest it?

If you have been served with a NOV, you may ask for a review. You may challenge the violation itself, the amount of the penalty, or both. Your request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the NOV is served. Information on this topic is included with your NOV.

The review will be carried out by:

A form to request a review is available on the Commissioner's website.

The Commissioner is responsible for reviewing NOVs that were issued by the Deputy Commissioner. The CEO will review NOVs that were issued by the Commissioner. The Commissioner or CEO will analyze all evidence and submissions in support of the request for a review and will usually make their decision within 90 days. The Commissioner or CEO's decision is based only on written evidence and submissions.

If the Commissioner or the CEO determine that the person is more likely than not to have committed the violation, the person is required to pay the penalty. The Commissioner or CEO can also reduce the amount of the penalty imposed, or can determine that the person did not commit the violation and the NOV is cancelled.

The decision stemming from a review cannot be appealed. However, it may be challenged by way of an application for judicial review under the Federal Courts Act.

Back to top

Are there consequences if I don't pay the AMP within the required timeframe?

If the penalty is not paid within 30 days or after a review decision, it is considered a debt to the Crown which may be recovered in Federal Court.

Back to top

Are AMPs made public?

Yes. When a person or entity has paid the AMP, or following the 30-day deadline after the refusal by the Commissioner to accept an undertaking or after a review decision, a short summary is made public on the Commissioner's website. This summary includes:

Back to top

If I received an AMP, can I also face charges?

No. You cannot be subject to both an AMP and a prosecution for the same violation. AMPs also carry no possibility of imprisonment, no penal consequences and do not result in a criminal record.

Back to top

Where can I find more information about AMPs?

For a more detailed explanation of the Commissioner's administration of the AMP regime under the Act, including how penalty amounts are determined, consult the Policy for the Administrative Monetary Penalties Regime of the Commissioner of Canada Elections.

Back to top

Date modified: