Running a campaign is expensive, including renting a campaign headquarters, hiring temporary staff, and buying advertising including those love-’em-or-hate-’em lawn signs. The money has to come from somewhere. That somewhere is voters like you and me (corporations and trade unions are not allowed to make political contributions).
However, there are limits. No individual can donate more than $1,600 to a party. (That seems pretty generous, but remember that you can claim your contribution on your tax return and get some refunded, up to a maximum of $650.) Elections Canada permits parties in Guelph to spend up to $120,408.47, using a formula based on our population. There are also limits on spending for those seeking the nomination, and for the party announcing its nomination meeting, all of which are posted on the Elections Canada website.