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Frequently Asked Questions

You’ve got questions? We’ve got answers.

Got questions not answered here? Please ask them in the comment box below and we’ll try to add them.

What is an Electoral District Association (EDA)?
An Electoral District Association, commonly abbreviated as EDA, is the local-level operating unit of a political party. The EDA assumes primary responsibility for community outreach and local party organization. Participation in the activities of an EDA, a fundamentally democratic organization, is the most grassroots way to get involved in bringing about positive change in your community and the country.

An EDA:

  • Engages the community to promote Liberal values.
  • Is volunteer-driven by passionate Liberals who want to make a difference in their local community.
  • Nominates the individual who becomes the riding’s MP candidate (by vote of the riding’s membership).
  • Seeks out community leaders to encourage them to run for the party’s nomination in the next election.
  • Works hard to organize the party locally, raise funds for the next election and recruit people who understand their local communities.

In detail:

The EDA operates on the front lines in local communities to earn the support and confidence of Canadians. The EDA offers volunteers rewarding and effective ways to get involved with the Liberal Party of Canada and the democratic process.  The EDA is the usually best place to start if you want to get more involved in the Liberal Party and in Canada’s democracy.  

For every general election, the EDA—through its members—nominates a candidate who can best represent the party and the community in Ottawa as a Member of Parliament.  The EDA supports the chosen candidate in his or her bid to win the seat in Parliament. The candidate serves at the pleasure of the Association and, in turn, is served by the Association through the Association’s volunteers, fundraising, community activities, communications, and other efforts.

The EDA is, at its core, a volunteer-powered membership and organization that works with local communities to promote the Liberal cause.

THE EDA IS THE SUM OF ITS MEMBERS. The strength of the Liberal Party is its members. Join us and get involved.

What is the difference between an EDA and a Riding Association?
Nothing. “Electoral districts” is Elections Canada’s official name for what were traditionally and are still commonly called “ridings.” As such, “Electoral District Associations” is what Elections Canada now officially calls what are commonly known as “Riding Associations.”Because the name is rather long, Electoral District Association is typically abbreviated as EDA. Riding Association, on the other hand, is rarely abbreviated. This site uses Electoral District Association, EDA and Riding Association interchangeably.

How do I join the Toronto Centre Federal Liberal Association (TCFLA)?
Every member in good standing of the Liberal Party Canada who lives within the boundaries of Toronto Centre is automatically a member of the TCFLA. If you are not yet a member, the first and only step you need to take is to join the Liberal Party of Canada.That having been said, we are an all-volunteer organization and appreciate any help we can get. So, in addition to becoming a member, please consider becoming more involved in the Association. If you are interested in participating more fully, please fill in the Volunteer form on this site.

Do I have to live in Toronto Centre to be a member of the TCFLA?
Yes and no. You have to live in Toronto Centre to be a full member of the Association.

However, if you have a sentimental or other connection to the riding (or even if you don’t) you can become an associate member of the TCFLA.The conditions for associate membership and the rights of associate members versus full members are spelled out in Section 21 of the Constitution of the Liberal Party of Canada. The following is a direct quote from the party’s constitution.

  1. Only members of the Party may belong to an EDA. A member of the Party who does not live in the electoral district represented by an EDA may become an associate member in that EDA by application delivered to an office designated by the National Board of Directors or by submitting it electronically with the current membership fee in a manner prescribed by the National Board of Directors.
  2. Associate membership in an EDA takes effect on the date prescribed by the National Board of Directors, remains current for a period established by the National Board of Directors and may be renewed in accordance with procedures established by the National Board of Directors.
  3. Associate members have all the same rights as other members of the Party except the right to vote at any general meeting of the EDA (including a delegate selection meeting or a candidate selection meeting for the EDA) or any Leadership Vote or Leadership Endorsement Ballot conducted in the EDA.
  4. A member of the Party may be an associate member of only one EDA at any time but may transfer associate membership from one EDA to another by giving written notice to an office designated by the National Board of Directors or by submitting it electronically in a manner prescribed by the National Board of Directors.

When a member transfers membership from one EDA to another, associate membership in the first association will end, and membership in the second association will begin, on the date prescribed by the National Board of Directors.

How can I help the TCFLA?
The greatest need for volunteers is, obviously, during an election campaign, but community outreach and local political organization is an ongoing process that requires a lot of hard work. In short, we appreciate all the help we can get at any time.

During election campaigns we need help with in-person and telephone canvasing, putting up signs, data entry, social media activities, managing events and more.

Between elections we need help with reaching out to our neighbours in the community, running events, in-person and telephone canvassing and Association administration.

If you are interested in helping, please fill in the volunteer form.

In addition, running events and communicating with the community cost money. If you can afford it, please donate to the TCFLA.

Is a donation to the TCFLA tax deductible?
Actually, it’s better than that. You are eligible for a significant tax credit, rather than an income deduction, if you contribute to EDAs. What this means is that someone in the lowest tax bracket receives the same credit for his or her donation as someone in the highest tax bracket. If it were an income deduction rather than a tax credit a person in the higher tax bracket would receive a greater benefit.The credit is tiered, with the first $400 receiving a very generous credit of 75%. The credit decreases in stages for amounts over $400.There is a limit to how much you can donate to EDAs. You are allowed to donate up to $1,200 to EDAs and candidates per year. This is a total for all EDAs and candidates. So if you donate to more than one, the total donated across Canada to local EDAs cannot exceed $1,200.

The contribution limit for EDAs and candidates is separate from the limit on contributions to national parties, which is also $1,200.  So, you can give up to $1,200 per year to the national party and up to  $1,200 per year to EDAs and/or candidates, for a total of $2,400.

(You can also give up to an additional $1,200 in total to leadership candidates when the party has a leadership election.)

IMPORTANT NOTES:

  1. You must be a Canadian citizen to make a federal political donation.
  2. Federal political tax credits are “non-refundable credits,” meaning that they can be used only to reduce the tax payable. They will not generate a rebate if they are greater than the tax payable.
  3. The limits and tax credit amount above are subject to change. We will try to keep this site up to date, but the best source of current, accurate information is the Elections Canada website.  (At time of writing the Elections Canada page listing donation limits was located at http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=pol&dir=lim&document=index&lang=e and the page providing tax credit information was at http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=res&dir=ces&document=part6&lang=e. Web sites can change with out notice. We apologize if those are no longer the correct pages. We will correct any bad links as soon as possible after we become aware of them.)

Who is eligible to vote and where can I get more information?
If you are a Canadian citizen, at least 18 years of age on Election Day and can prove your identity and address, you are eligible to vote. There are considerations that allow homeless people to identify themselves and vote. The best place to get information about the Canadian electoral process and voting requirements is the Elections Canada web site. It provides a wealth of information for voters, political parties and candidates. You’ll also find election results there for past elections, along with real-time reporting of results after the polls close on Election Day.