by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs
Everyone in Ontario should be able to count on a local election process that is transparent and fair. On October 22, voters across Ontario will decide who will represent their interests and lead their communities by electing the members of their municipal councils and school boards.
Municipalities are responsible for conducting council and school board elections. The Municipal Elections Act sets out rules that candidates, voters and third party advertisers must comply with.
The Province made changes to the act in 2016 and 2017 to increase transparency and accountability. The 2018 Candidates’ Guide for Ontario Municipal and School Board Elections outlines rules for candidates as described in the Municipal Elections Act and other legislation and regulations. The guides are available at www.ontario.ca/municipalelections.
Both voters and prospective candidates should be aware of new rules as we approach the 2018 municipal and school board elections:
The campaign period has been shortened by 120 days. Candidates can file their nomination between May 1 and July 27 instead of January 1 to the second Friday in September.
Candidates must open a bank account before incurring any expenses or accepting any contributions of money, including a contribution from themselves or their spouse.
The limit for campaign contributions to a candidate is now $1,200, increased from $750. Corporations and trade unions are not permitted to make contributions to candidates.
There is now a limit for contributions that a candidate for municipal council and their spouse can make to the candidate’s own campaign.
Candidates running for council in municipalities with more than 4,000 electors must submit 25 endorsement signatures when they file their nomination
The campaign period begins on the day a candidate files their nomination. Candidates may accept contributions or incur campaign expenses during their campaign period only. Candidates are required to return any contributions that were made or accepted in contravention of the act. Penalties, such as forfeiting office, may apply if candidates do not comply with the rules. Know the rules before you run by reviewing the Candidates’ Guide.
For more information on becoming a candidate in the 2018 municipal and school board elections, contact your municipal clerk,: Cahl Pominville: [email protected].