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Information for candidates

Find out how to be nominated for elected office.

Becoming a candidate

Candidates for the offices of Mayor, City Councillor or school board Trustee can begin filing their Nomination Papers on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 8:30 a.m.

In addition to the information found below, The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has created the 2014 Candidates’ Guide, which provides general information in plain language concerning the rules and constraints of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 and other legislation and regulations.

Offices for nominations

  • Mayor - one elected at large
  • City Councillor – one elected per ward, 23 wards
  • school board Trustee - one elected per zone
    • Ottawa-Carleton District School Board
    • Ottawa Catholic School Board
    • Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario
    • Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est

Eligibility

A person is entitled to be a candidate in the 2014 Municipal Election if he or she is a qualified elector. A candidate must be qualified as of the day he or she is nominated and must remain qualified throughout the election period and, if elected, throughout the term of office.

A person is entitled to be a candidate if he or she,

  • is a resident of the City of Ottawa, or an owner or tenant of land in the City of Ottawa, or the spouse of such an owner or tenant;
  • is a Canadian citizen;
  • is at least 18 years old on Voting Day; and
  • is not prohibited from voting by law.

A person is entitled to be a candidate for school board Trustee if he or she meets the above qualifications, resides within the board area and is a supporter of that school board.

Getting nominated

A candidate can nominate himself or herself for elected office by filing a Nomination Paper at the City of Ottawa Elections Office, Ottawa City Hall, or any Client Service Centre during regular office hours. A Nomination Paper must be filed by the candidate, in person, or by an agent acting on the candidate’s behalf. The candidate or the agent may be required to provide proof of identity. The Nomination Paper may not be faxed, as original signatures are required on all election documents filed with the Clerk.

If the Nomination Paper is filed by an agent of the candidate, the form must be fully completed by the candidate prior to filing.

A Nomination Paper can be picked up at the Elections Office, Ottawa City Hall or any Client Service Centre, and is available online beginning January 2, 2014.

Nomination Papers are public documents and are available for inspection in the Clerk’s Office.

Nomination Papers

Nomination Papers are available on or after January 2, 2014.

Filing fees

Candidates must pay a filing fee when they submit their Nomination Papers. These fees must be paid at the time of filing - by cash, debit, credit card, certified cheque or money order.

The filing fee for a candidate running for Mayor is $200.

The filing fee for a candidate running for City Councillor or school board Trustee is $100.

Nomination filing fees are refundable if the nomination is withdrawn, if the candidate is elected, or if he or she receives more than two (2) per cent of the votes cast in the election for the office.

Deadlines

Nominations may be filed during regular office hours as of January 2, 2014.

The deadline for candidates to submit their Nomination Papers is Friday, September 12, 2014, at 2 p.m.

The deadline for the withdrawal of a nomination is Friday, September 12, 2014 at 2 p.m.

Withdrawal of nomination

A candidate who wishes to withdraw his or her nomination must notify the Clerk in writing before 2 p.m., Friday, September 12, 2014. The candidate must file his or her withdrawal or statement in person and may be required to provide identification.

The candidate will still be required to submit a financial statement (due no later than March 27, 2015 at 2 p.m.) covering all financial transactions up to the time of the withdrawal.

Synopsis of Municipal Elections Legislation

The following is a synopsis of legislative provisions pertaining to the conduct of the 2014 Municipal Elections. It has been prepared as an information item for use in the City of Ottawa. For accurate reference, please refer to the sections of the applicable Statute, Regulation or Bylaw.

It is the responsibility of each candidate to administer his / her campaign in accordance with the provisions of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 (MEA), as amended, and associated regulations.

General questions relating to municipal elections can be directed to the Elections Office. Specific questions regarding the conduct of a campaign should be referred to a solicitor.

Elections Office
1221 Cyrville Rd., Unit B
Ottawa, ON K1J 7S8
Telephone: 613-580-2660
Fax: 613-580-2661
E-mail: elections@ottawa.ca

M. Rick O’Connor
City Clerk and Solicitor
City of Ottawa

Key Dates

Date

Short Description

Enabling Legislation

(Municipal Elections Act, unless noted otherwise)

January 2 to September 12

Nomination Period - a person may be nominated for an office by filing a prescribed nomination paper in the Clerk’s office, during regular business hours on any day prior to Nomination Day in the year of the regular election. Nomination filing fee is $200 for the office of Mayor; and, $100 for the offices of Councillor and school board Trustee.

Section 33 of the Municipal Elections Act and Section 1 of the Ont. Reg. 101/97, as amended

March 31 (to be confirmed by the Minister’s directive)

Clerk shall file voting subdivision configurations with the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation.

Subsection 18(2)

Date fixed by the Minister of Finance

The Municipal Property Assessment Corporation shall conduct an enumeration of the inhabitants within the jurisdiction.

Section 15 of the Assessment Act

On or before June 1

Clerk shall establish procedures and forms for the use of any voting and vote-counting equipment authorized by by-law, and any alternative method of voting authorized by by-law and provide to all candidates.

Subsection 42(3)

On or before July 31

Municipal Property Assessment Corporation shall prepare and deliver a preliminary list of electors to the Clerk.

Subsections 19(1)(1.1)

On or before August 31

Municipal Property Assessment Corporation shall provide the Secretary of every school board with extracts of the preliminary list based on the school support of the electors in that election.

Subsection 21(1)

On or before September 1

Clerk shall have the Voters’ List reproduced and determine a process for revisions to the list.

Subsection 23(2)

September 2 to October 27, 8 p.m.

Revision Period - revisions may be made to the Voters’ List during this period.

Section 24

September 12

Nomination Day - nominations may be filed between 9 a.m. and the deadline of 2 p.m.

Paragraph 33(4)(b)

September 12

Last day for a candidate to withdraw his or her nomination by filing a written notice with the Clerk before 2 p.m.

Section 36

September 15

Clerk to certify nomination papers prior to 4 p.m.

Clerk to declare the candidate or candidates elected by acclamation after 4 p.m.

Subsections 35(1) & 37(1)

September 12 at 2 p.m. to October 27

Appointment of voting proxy may be made during regular office hours and from noon to 5 p.m. on all Advance Vote Days. Proxy appointment does not continue after Voting Day.

Section 44

September 22

Within 10 days after Nomination Day, the Clerk shall prepare an “interim list of changes” to the Voters’ List approved on or before Nomination Day and provide a copy to each certified candidate.

Subsection 27(1)

September 22

Clerk shall provide a final certificate of maximum campaign spending limits to all certified candidates within 10 days after Nomination Day.

Subsection 76(7)

Prior to September 27

Council must pass by-laws establishing:

  1. dates for Advance Vote; and
  2. hours of operation for all voting places.

Subsection 43(1)

October 1 to October 3

Special Advance Voting - voting places to open at 8 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

Municipal by-law

October 9

Advance Vote Day 1 - voting places to open at 10 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. with the exception of institutions and retirement homes that may have reduced opening hours.

Municipal by-law

October 18

Advance Vote Day 2voting places to open at 10 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. with the exception of institutions and retirement homes that may have reduced opening hours.

Municipal by-law

October 27

Voting Day – voting places to open at 10 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. with the exception of institutions and retirement homes that may have reduced opening hours.

Section 5 & Subsections 46(1)(3)

October 29

Declaration of results - Clerk shall, as soon as possible after Voting Day, declare candidates who received the highest number of votes to be elected; and declare the result of any vote on a by-law or question (subject to revision to an alternative date).

Subsection 55(4)

December 31

Election Campaign Period ends. If a candidate has a deficit and notifies the Clerk in writing on or before December 31, the campaign period is extended for a maximum of six months.

Subsection 68(1)

March 27, 2015

Financial Statement Filing – date by which a candidate must file a financial statement and auditor’s report with the Clerk on or before 2 p.m.

If a financial statement or a request for an extension to campaign is not filed, the successful candidate forfeits office and is ineligible to run for office after the next regular election.

Paragraph 77(a), Sections 78 & 80

September 25, 2015

Supplementary Financial Statement Filing – date by which a candidate who extended their campaign must file their supplementary financial statement and auditor’s report with the Clerk on or before 2 p.m.

Paragraphs 77(b)(c) & Section 78

Note: dates are subject to legislative amendments.

Duties and Powers of Clerk

Item

Short Description

Enabling Legislation

(Municipal Elections Act)

Duties of Clerk

The Clerk of a local municipality is responsible for conducting elections within that municipality.

Subsection 11(1)

Powers of Clerk

A Clerk who is responsible for conducting an election may provide for any matter or procedure that:

  1. is not otherwise provided for in an Act or Regulation; and
  2. in the Clerk’s opinion, is necessary or desirable for conducting the election.

Subsection 12(1)

Forms

Proof of identification, qualification

Includes power to:

  1. establish forms, including oaths and statutory declarations; and
  2. require a person to furnish proof that is satisfactory to the election official of the person’s identity or qualifications.

Subsections 12(2)(3)

Notice of Election Information

Item

Short Description

Enabling Legislation

(Municipal Elections Act)

Notice of election information

Clerk shall give the electors notice of:

  1. the location of the voting places;
  2. the dates and times during which the voting places will be open for voting;
  3. the manner in which electors may use voting proxies;
  4. the manner in which electors may use alternative voting methods; and
  5. the offices for which persons may be nominated and the nomination procedure.

Sections 13, 32 & 40

Vote Counting Equipment

Item

Short Description

Enabling Legislation

(Municipal Elections Act)

Vote counting equipment

The Council of a local municipality may pass a by-law authorizing the use of voting and vote-counting equipment.

Paragraph 42(1)(a)

Procedures and forms

By June 1, the Clerk shall:

  1. establish procedures and forms for use of voting and vote-counting equipment authorized by by-law; and
  2. provide a copy of the procedures and forms to each candidate.

Subsection 42(3)

Conflict

Procedures and forms established by the Clerk, if they are consistent with the principles of this Act, prevail over anything in this Act and its Regulations.

Subsection 42(4)

Voting Places

Item

Short Description

Enabling Legislation

(Municipal Elections Act)

Voting places

Clerk shall establish the number and location of voting places as he or she considers most convenient for the electors.

Subsection 45(1)

Accessibility

The clerk shall ensure that each voting place is accessible to electors with disabilities.

Subsection 45(2)

Certain buildings

Clerk may request voting places that are under control of:

  1. landlords of buildings containing 100 or more dwelling units;
  2. condominium corporations managing buildings containing 100 or more dwelling units;
  3. municipalities;
  4. school boards; and
  5. provincially funded institutions.

Subsections 12.1(1) & 45(4)(6)

Institutions and retirement homes

On Voting Day, a voting place shall be provided on the following premises:

  1. an institution for the reception, treatment or vocational training of members of the Canadian Forces;
  2. an institution which 20 or more beds are occupied by persons who are disabled, chronically ill or infirm; and
  3. a retirement home in which 50 or more beds are occupied on Nomination Day.

Subsection 45(7)

Declaration of Results

Item

Short Description

Enabling Legislation

(Municipal Elections Act)

Declaration of results

Clerk shall as soon as possible after Voting Day,

  1. declare the candidate or candidates having the highest number of votes to be elected; and
  2. declare the result of any vote on a by-law or question.

Subsection 55(4)

Election Records

Item

Short Description

Enabling Legislation

(Municipal Elections Act)

Original signatures

A document that is filed with an election official under this Act and that is required to be signed shall bear only original signatures.

Section 14

Election records

Clerk shall retain the ballots and all other documents and material related to an election for 120 days after declaring the results of the election.

Subsection 88(1)

Public records retention

All documents and materials filed with or prepared by the Clerk or election official are public records and may be inspected by any person at the Clerk’s office during office hours.

Subsection 88(5)

Exception

A person is not entitled to inspect the contents of a ballot box unless authorized to do so by a court order.

Subsection 88(6)

Restrictions

No person shall use information obtained from public records except for election purposes.

Subsection 88(10)

Candidates

Item

Short Description

Enabling Legislation

(Municipal Elections Act)

Who may be nominated

A person may be nominated for an office only if, as of the day the person is nominated:

  1. he or she is qualified to hold that office under the Act that creates it; and
  2. he or she is not ineligible under this or any other Act or prohibited by law to be nominated for or to hold that office.

Subsection 29(1)

Nominations

Item

Short Description

Enabling Legislation

(Municipal Elections Act)

Nomination Day

Friday, September 12, 2014 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Section 31 & Subsection 33(4)

How

A person may be nominated for an office by filing a nomination in the Clerk’s office, in person or by agent.

Subsection 33(1)

Formal requirements

Nomination shall:

  1. be in the prescribed form, which includes a declaration of qualification, signed by the person being nominated; and
  2. be accompanied by the prescribed nomination filing fee.

Subsection 33(2)

Filing fee

Prescribed nomination filing fee is $200 for the office of Mayor; and, $100 for the office of Councillor or school board Trustee, to be paid by cash, debit, credit card, certified cheque or money order.

Subsection 33(2) of the Municipal Elections Act & Subsection 1(2), Ont. Reg. 303/13 , as amended

Time for filing

Commencing January 2, 2014 on any business day in the year of the regular election, during regular office hours, or on Nomination Day September 12, 2014, between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Note: Candidates filing for school board Trustee prior to April 3, 2014 are required to reconfirm their nomination with the Clerk's office after this date. 

Subsection 33(4)

Withdrawal of nomination

A person may withdraw his or her nomination by filing a written withdrawal in the Clerk’s office before 2 p.m., Friday, September 12, 2014.

Section 36

Acclamations

Item

Short Description

Enabling Legislation

(Municipal Elections Act)

Acclamations

On Monday, September 15, 2014 after 4 p.m., the Clerk is to declare the candidate or candidates elected by acclamation.

Subsection 37(1)

Campaign Material

Item

Short Description

Enabling Legislation

(Municipal Elections Act)

Campaign material

No person shall display a candidate’s election campaign material or literature in a voting place.

Subsection 48(2)

Rights of Candidates and Scrutineers

Item

Short Description

Enabling Legislation

(Municipal Elections Act)

Right to appoint scrutineers

A candidate may appoint scrutineers to represent him or her during voting.

Subsection 16(1)

Manner of appointment

The appointment of a scrutineer shall be in writing using the provided form.

Subsection 16(5)

Proof of appointment

A scrutineer shall show proof of his or her appointment to the election official in charge of a voting place.

Subsection 16(6)

Who may remain in a voting place

Election officials, certified candidates (other than acclaimed candidates) and the scrutineers they appointed may remain in a voting place.

Subsections 47(1)(2)

Number of scrutineers in the voting place

One appointed scrutineer for each candidate per ballot box is allowed in each voting place. 

The number of scrutineers who may be present is reduced by one while the candidate who appointed them is present in the voting place.

Subsections 47(1)(2)

Election Campaign Finances

Item

Short Description

Enabling Legislation

(Municipal Elections Act)

General provisions

Candidates are responsible for all financial aspects of their own election campaign. The provisions relative to the financial responsibilities are found under Sections 66 to 82.

Sections 66 to 82

Campaign period

A candidate’s election campaign period begins on the day he or she files a nomination.

Unless certain rules apply, the election campaign period ends on December 31 of the regular election year.

Subsection 68(1)

Contributions accepted and expenses incurred during campaign period

A campaign contribution shall not be made to or accepted by or on behalf of a candidate outside his or her election campaign period.

A campaign expense shall not be incurred by or on behalf of a candidate outside his or her election campaign period.

Subsections 70(2) & 76(2)

Limit to contributions

A contributor shall not make contributions exceeding a total of $750 to any one candidate in an election.

A contributor shall not make contributions exceeding a total of $5,000 to two or more candidates for office on the same council or local board.

These limits do not apply to contributions made to a candidate’s own election campaign by the candidate or his or her spouse.

Subsections 71(1)(2.1)(3)

Limit to expenses

Subject to specific exceptions, a candidate’s campaign expenses shall not exceed an amount calculated by the City Clerk in accordance with the prescribed formula. Candidates must be notified of their maximum campaign expense limit within 10 days after Nomination Day.

Section 76

Financial statement and auditor’s report

A candidate shall file with the City Clerk a financial statement in accordance with the legislation reflecting the candidate’s election campaign finances.

Note: Financial statements are still required from candidates who have withdrawn their nomination.

Sections 77 to 80

Qualification of a Candidate

Item

Short Description

Enabling Legislation

(Municipal Elections Act)

Member of Council

Entitled to be an elector if on Voting Day he or she,

  • resides in the municipality or is the owner or tenant of land in the municipality or the spouse of such a person;
  • is a Canadian citizen;
  • is 18 years old; and
  • is not prohibited from voting by law.

Subsection 17(2)

school board Trustee

Entitled to be an elector if on Voting Day he or she,

  • resides in the municipality or is the owner or tenant of land in the municipality or the spouse of such a person;
  • is a Canadian citizen;
  • is 18 years old; and
  • is not prohibited from voting by law.

In addition to the above, entitled to be an elector if on Voting Day he or she resides in the area of jurisdiction of the school board or is the owner or tenant of residential property in the area of jurisdiction or the spouse of such a person.

In order to qualify to be an elector of a school board a person must be entitled and qualified to vote for the school board.

Subsection 17(2) of the Municipal Elections Act, Section 219 of the Education Act as well as Subsections 50.1(1)(2) & 58.8(1) and Section 58.9 of the Education Act

Enumeration Process

Item

Short Description

Enabling Legislation

(Assessment Act)

Enumeration process

Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) shall conduct an enumeration of the inhabitants of a municipality at the times and in the manner directed by the Minister of Finance. MPAC – tel. 1-866-296-6722.

Section 15

Preparation of the Preliminary List

Item

Short Description

Enabling Legislation

(Municipal Elections Act)

Preparation of the preliminary list

Municipal Property Assessment Corporation shall prepare and deliver a preliminary list to the Clerk on or before July 31 in an election year.

Subsection 19(1)

One entry only

An elector’s name shall appear on the preliminary list only once.

Subsection 19(6)

Extracts from preliminary list

Municipal Property Assessment Corporation shall on or before August 31, provide the secretary of every school board with extracts of the preliminary list based on the school support of electors.

Each secretary, on request, shall provide a copy of the extracts to any candidate for an office on the school board.

Extracts do not constitute official preliminary lists and are not subject to revision.

Section 21

Voters’ List

Item

Short Description

Enabling Legislation

(Municipal Elections Act)

Reproduction and revisions

On or before September 1 in a regular election year the Clerk shall:

  1. have the Voters’ List reproduced; and
  2. determine where and at what time applications for revisions to the Voters’ List may be made.

Subsection 23(2)

Copies available to

On written request the Clerk shall provide a copy of the Voters’ List to:

  • a candidate, but limited to the part of the list that contains the names of the electors who are entitled to vote for that office;
  • secretary of each school board;
  • Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing if he or she has submitted a question to the electors;
  • Members of Parliament and Members of Provincial Parliament who represent any part of the municipality; and
  • an individual, corporation, or trade union that is registered under section 39.1, for a municipal question.

Subsections 23(3) to (5)

Change of Own Information on the Voters’ List

Item

Short Description

Enabling Legislation

(Municipal Elections Act)

When

From the Tuesday after Labour Day until the close of voting on Voting Day.
(September 2 – October 27, 2014)

Subsection 24(1)

By whom

A person may make an application to the Clerk to:

  1. have his or her name added to or removed from the Voters’ List; or
  2. amend his or her own information (e.g. school support) on the Voters’ List.

Subsection 24(1)

How

In writing and filed in person by the applicant or his or her agent or by mail by the applicant.

Subsection 24(2)

Clerk’s decision

Clerk shall approve or refuse the application.

The Clerk’s decision is final.

Subsections 24(3)(4) & Section 26

Removal of Another Person’s Name from the Voters’ List

Item

Short Description

Enabling Legislation

(Municipal Elections Act)

When

From the Tuesday after Labour Day until the close of Nomination Day (September 2 – September 12, 2014)

Subsection 25(1)

By whom

A person may make an application to the Clerk to have another person’s name removed from the Voters’ List.

Subsection 25(1)

How

To be in writing and filed in person by the applicant or his or her agent; or, by mail, by the applicant.

Subsection 25(2)

Clerk’s decision

Clerk shall hold a hearing at an appointed time and place to decide whether to remove the person’s name from the Voters’ List; or

If satisfied that the person to whom the application relates has died, the Clerk may remove the person’s name from the Voters’ List without a hearing.

The Clerk’s decision is final.

Subsections 25(3)(4) & Section 26

Interim List of Changes to the Voters’ List

Item

Short Description

Enabling Legislation

(Municipal Elections Act)

Interim list of changes to the Voters’ List

Within 10 days after Nomination Day, the Clerk shall:

  1. prepare an interim list of the changes to the Voters’ List approved on or before Nomination Day; and
  2. give a copy of the interim list to each person who received a copy of the Voters’ List under section 23 and to each certified candidate.

Subsection 27(1)

Advance Vote Days

Item

Short Description

Enabling Legislation

(Municipal Elections Act)

By-law to establish Advance Vote Days

At least 30 days before Voting Day, Council shall pass a by-law establishing:

  1. one or more dates for an Advance Vote; and
  2. the hours during which voting places shall be open.

Subsection 43(1)

Different hours

By-law may establish different hours for different locations.

Subsection 43(2)

Voting Day

Item

Short Description

Enabling Legislation

(Municipal Elections Act)

Voting Day

Voting Day in a regular election is the fourth Monday in October, which in 2014, is October 27.

Section 5

Hours

Voting places open at 10 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

Subsection 46(1)

Institutions and retirement homes

Council may pass a by-law providing for reduced opening hours at a voting place that is only for the use of residents of an institution or retirement home.

Subsection 46(3)

Proxy Voting

Item

Short Description

Enabling Legislation

(Municipal Elections Act)

Who may appoint

A person who is entitled to be an elector in a local municipality may appoint another person who is also entitled to be an elector in the same municipality as his or her voting proxy, using the prescribed form.

Subsection 44(1)

Appointment restrictions

A person shall not:

  1. appoint more than one voting proxy; and
  2. act as a voting proxy for more than one other person.

Subsection 44(2)

Relatives exemption

Restriction “b)” above does not apply if the proxy and the other person are spouses or siblings of each other, parent and child or grandparent and grandchild.

Subsection 44(3)

Validity

The appointment of a voting proxy may be made commencing September 12, 2014 at 2 p.m. and does not remain in effect after Voting Day.

Subsection 44(4)

Application

A person who has been appointed as a voting proxy shall:

  1. complete the application in the prescribed form; and
  2. present the application, in person, to the Clerk.

Subsection 44(5)

Time

Application may be presented at any place designated by the Clerk during:

  1. regular office hours (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) from September 12, at 2 p.m. to October 27, 2014; and
  2. from noon to 5 p.m. on all Advance Vote Days.

Subsections 44(4) to (6)

Absence from Work

Item

Short Description

Enabling Legislation

(Municipal Elections Act)

Absence from work

An elector whose hours of employment are such that he or she would not otherwise have three consecutive hours to vote on Voting Day is entitled to be absent from work for as long as is necessary to allow that amount of time:

  1. at the convenience of the employer; and
  2. no deduction from pay and no penalty imposed.

Section 50

Penalties for Candidates

Item

Short Description

Enabling Legislation

(Municipal Elections Act)

Penalties

A candidate is subject to a penalty if he or she:

  1. fails to file a financial statement and auditor’s report within the time prescribed;
  2. fails to pay any surplus amount to the Clerk by the relevant date; or
  3. incurs expenses exceeding what is permitted.

Subsection 80(1)

 

The candidate, in addition to any other penalty, forfeits any office to which he or she was elected and is ineligible to be elected or appointed to any office up to and including the next regular election.

Subsection 80(2)

City of Ottawa Employee Seeking Election to Council

Statutory background

The obligations of the City to an employee-candidate are set forth in Section 30 of the Municipal Elections Act 1996, set out below.

Municipal Elections Act, 1996

Employee of municipality or local board

30.  (1)  An employee of a municipality or local board is eligible to be a candidate for and to be elected as a member of the council or local board that is the employer if he or she takes an unpaid leave of absence beginning as of the day the employee is nominated and ending on Voting Day. 1996, c. 32, Sched., s. 30 (1); 2002, c. 17, Sched. D, s. 9 (1).

Notice of leave

(2)  The employee shall give the council or local board written notice, in advance, of his or her intention to take unpaid leave under subsection (1). 1996, c. 32, Sched., s. 30 (2).

Right to unpaid leave

(3)  The employee is entitled, as of right, to take unpaid leave under subsection (1). 2002, c. 17, Sched. D, s. 9 (2).

Vacation and overtime pay

(3.1)  Despite subsection (1), an employee of a municipality or local board is entitled to be paid out any vacation pay or overtime pay owing to the employee during the period of the unpaid leave of absence and the fact that these payments may be paid on a weekly or other regular basis does not affect the unpaid leave status of the employee. 2002, c. 17, Sched. D, s. 9 (3)

Resignation

(4) If the employee is elected to the office, he or she shall be deemed to have resigned from the employment immediately before making the declaration of office referred to in subsection 232 (1) of the Municipal Act, 2001, section 186 of the City of Toronto Act, 2006 or section 209 of the Education Act, as the case may be. 2002, c. 17, Sched. F, Table; 2006, c. 32, Sched. C, s. 34 (3).

Same

(5)  Subsection (4) also applies to an employee of a municipality or local board who by being elected to the council of another municipality or to another local board also becomes a member of the council or local board that is the employer. 1996, c. 32, Sched., s. 30 (5).

Continuous service

(6)  If an employee who takes a leave of absence under subsection (1) is not elected, the leave shall not be counted in determining the length of his or her service for any purpose, and the service before and after the leave shall be deemed to be continuous for all purposes. 1996, c. 32, Sched., s. 30 (6).

Volunteer firefighters

(7)  A person shall not be considered an employee of a municipality or local board for the purposes of this section by reason only of being a volunteer firefighter as defined in the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997. 1996, c. 32, Sched., s. 30 (7); 2009, c. 33, Sched. 21, s. 8 (13).

Non-employees

(8)  This section applies with necessary modifications to a person who is not an employee and who is described in subparagraph 1 ii or iii of subsection 258 (1) of the Municipal Act, 2001 or subparagraph 1 ii or iii of subsection 203 (1) of the City of Toronto Act, 2006, as the case may be. 2006, c. 32, Sched. C, s. 34 (4).

Summary

  1. An employee who seeks to be elected to the Council of the City of Ottawa must take and is entitled to receive unpaid leave.
  2. In advance of his/her intention to take unpaid leave, the employee must give written notice to City Council via the City Clerk.
  3. The unpaid leave is to commence on the date the employee files a Nomination Paper.  Last day for nominations is September 12, 2014.  The unpaid leave ends on Voting Day, October 27, 2014.
  4. If the employee candidate is elected, he/she is deemed to have resigned immediately before taking the Declaration of Office.  Members of Council will be officially sworn in on December 1, 2014.
  5. For any specific question concerning payroll, benefits, or pension during your unpaid leave of absence, please contact the HR Service Centre at extension 47411.

School Board Employee Seeking Election to School Board Trustee Office

Statutory background

The obligations of a school board to an employee-candidate are set forth in the Municipal Elections Act, Section 30, which is set out below.

Municipal Elections Act, 1996

Employee of municipality or local board

30.  (1)  An employee of a municipality or local board is eligible to be a candidate for and to be elected as a member of the council or local board that is the employer if he or she takes an unpaid leave of absence beginning as of the day the employee is nominated and ending on Voting Day. 1996, c. 32, Sched., s. 30 (1); 2002, c. 17, Sched. D, s. 9 (1).

Notice of leave

(2)  The employee shall give the council or local board written notice, in advance, of his or her intention to take unpaid leave under subsection (1). 1996, c. 32, Sched. s. 30 (2).

Right to unpaid leave

(3)  The employee is entitled, as of right, to take unpaid leave under subsection (1). 2002, c. 17, Sched. D, s. 9 (2).

Vacation and overtime pay

(3.1)  Despite subsection (1), an employee of a municipality or local board is entitled to be paid out any vacation pay or overtime pay owing to the employee during the period of the unpaid leave of absence and the fact that these payments may be paid on a weekly or other regular basis does not affect the unpaid leave status of the employee. 2002, c. 17, Sched. D, s. 9 (3).

Resignation

(4) If the employee is elected to the office, he or she shall be deemed to have resigned from the employment immediately before making the declaration of office referred to in subsection 232 (1) of the Municipal Act, 2001, section 186 of the City of Toronto Act, 2006 or section 209 of the Education Act, as the case may be. 2002, c. 17, Sched. F, Table; 2006, c. 32, Sched. C, s. 34 (3).

Same

(5)  Subsection (4) also applies to an employee of a municipality or local board who by being elected to the council of another municipality or to another local board also becomes a member of the council or local board that is the employer. 1996, c. 32, Sched., s. 30 (5).

Continuous service

(6)  If an employee who takes a leave of absence under subsection (1) is not elected, the leave shall not be counted in determining the length of his or her service for any purpose, and the service before and after the leave shall be deemed to be continuous for all purposes. 1996, c. 32, Sched., s. 30 (6).

Volunteer firefighters

(7) A person shall not be considered an employee of a municipality or local board for the purposes of this section by reason only of being a volunteer firefighter as defined in the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997. 1996, c. 32, Sched., s. 30 (7); 2009, c. 33, Sched. 21, s. 8 (13).

Non-employees

(8)  This section applies with necessary modifications to a person who is not an employee and who is described in subparagraph 1 ii or iii of subsection 258 (1) of the Municipal Act, 2001 or subparagraph 1 ii or iii of subsection 203 (1) of the City of Toronto Act, 2006, as the case may be. 2006, c. 32, Sched. C, s. 34 (4).

Summary

  1. An employee who seeks to be elected as a school board Trustee must take and is entitled to receive unpaid leave.
  2. The employee must give written notice to the school board, in advance of his/her intention to take unpaid leave. This notice should properly be forwarded to the appropriate school board’s Director of Education who should endeavour to ensure that it is forwarded to the Board of Trustees before the date upon which the unpaid leave is to commence.
  3. The unpaid leave is to commence on the date the employee files a Nomination Paper.  Last day for nominations is September 12, 2014.  The unpaid leave ends on Voting Day, October 27, 2014.
  4. The Municipal Elections Act, 1996 is silent with respect to receipt of benefits. An employee who seeks to be elected as a school board Trustee should consult the appropriate school board’s human resources department on this matter.
  5. If the employee-candidate is elected, he/she is deemed to resign immediately before making the declaration of office.  It is assumed that the new Trustee will be sworn in on December 1, 2014, or shortly thereafter.

Candidate information session

The Elections Office held the first of two information sessions for all candidates on June 17th at City Hall.  These sessions cover topics including elections signs, campaign finances and others. 

The PowerPoint presentation from the first session is available to the public.

The next information session is scheduled for Wednesday, September 17th, 7-9 p.m at City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West.  

Campaign finances

Campaign period

A candidate's campaign period ends on December 31st 2014 or, in the case of a by-election, 45 days after voting day.  On this date, the candidate's campaign is automatically closed.

If a candidate has a deficit on this date, the campaign may be extended to attempt to erase the deficit by filing a Notice of Extension of Campaign Period - Form 6.

Unless a candidate has extended their campaign, candidates cannot accept any contributions or incur any expenses after the end of the campaign period. 

If there is a surplus, it must be paid to the City Clerk at the time of filing their financial statement.  

Extending the campaign period to erase a deficit

If a candidate has a deficit at the end of the campaign period, they can extend their campaign for an additional six months to attempt to erase the deficit.

To extend a campaign, a candidate must:

Please note that original signatures are required. Faxed or emailed forms cannot be accepted.

A campaign period will continue until the earliest of the following:

  • the deficit is erased
  • the candidate runs for another office in a subsequent election or by-election
  • the candidate notified the City Clerk they are no longer accepting any contributions, or
  • the following June 30th, 2015 in the case of a regular election
  • six (6) months from the 60th day after voting day in the case of a by-election

Candidates who file a Form 6 must submit two (2) financial statements by the statutory deadline dates:

  • Filing of Financial Statements - March 27, 2015 at 2:00 p.m.
  • Supplementary Financial Filing - September 25, 2015 at 2:00 p.m.

Deadlines

The deadline for Filing of Financial Statements is March 27, 2015 at 2:00 p.m.

All nominated candidates must file their preliminary financial statement by this date. The statement covers the period from the day the candidate filed their nomination paper until December 31, 2014.

A candidate must notify the Clerk, in writing, of any Court extension by 2:00 p.m. on March 27, 2015.

Penalties commence at 2:01 p.m. on March 27, 2015.

Notice of Extension of Campaign Period – Form 6

If a candidate wishes to extend his/her campaign period in order to eliminate a deficit, the candidate must notify the City Clerk by completing and submitting Form 6 on or before December 31, 2014.

Deadline for Supplementary Financial Filing is September 25, 2015 at 2:00 p.m.

Final date for nominated candidates, who extended their campaign, to file their supplementary financial statement is Friday, September 25, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. The statement covers the period from the day the candidate filed their nomination paper until June 30, 2015.

A candidate must notify the Clerk, in writing, of any Court extension by 2:00 p.m. on September 25, 2015.

Penalties commence at 2:01 p.m. on September 25, 2015.

Contribution rebate program

Review program details that allow for payment of rebates to individuals who reside in Ontario and who make contributions over $25 to participating candidates for an office on the Council of the City of Ottawa.

Learn More

Election-Related Resources Policy

Department: City Clerk and Solicitor Department
Branch: Legislative Services
Authority/Approval Date: City Council, February 13, 2013

Effective Date: February 12, 2003
Revision Date: February 13, 2013

Purpose

To provide direction to Members of Council and all City staff on the administration of Corporate resources and Members' budgets with respect to election-related matters.

Principle

In compliance with the Municipal Elections Act, 1996, public funds are not to be used for any election-related purposes, including the promotion of or opposition to the candidacy of a person for elected office.

Policy Elements

  1. Definition

For the purpose of this policy, “election-related purposes” refer to the occurrence of a municipal election or by-election. It also includes any participation in federal and provincial elections that is partisan in nature.

  1. Campaign-Related Materials

    1. At no time shall Corporate resources and/or Members' budgets be used to sponsor or produce any campaign-related materials. For the purposes of this clause, the phrase "campaign-related materials" means those materials that promote or oppose the candidacy of a person for elected office. Subject to Clause 2(b), this prohibition is not meant to restrict Members from routinely communicating with ward constituents via flyers, newsletters, householders or by e-mail. However, Members of Council are responsible for ensuring that any communications or activities funded by the City for each Member's office is not related to an election.
    2. In a municipal election year or in the event of a by-election, Corporate resources and Members' budgets are not to be used to sponsor any advertisements, flyers, newsletters or householders for the 60-day period prior to, and including, Voting Day. All communications must be delivered by the beginning of this period. This prohibition also applies to the use of any City equipment, facilities or websites if the access is City-sponsored.
    3. Notwithstanding Clause 2(b): 
      1. Where an emergency occurs, a non-emergency related community issue arises or where an annual community event is held during the 60-day period prior to, and including, Voting Day, a Member of Council may use Corporate resources to advise or contact their ward constituents with the approval of the City Clerk and Solicitor; 
      2. The prohibitions set out in Clause 2(b) are not applicable where the City equipment, facilities or website access are available for such use by the public generally and the Member of Council is receiving no special preference with respect to its use; and
      3. The prohibitions set out in Clause 2(b) are not applicable to a Member of Council who is acclaimed, or who is retiring from office and therefore not a candidate in the election.
  2. Staff Involvement in Elections

In line with the City’s Employee Code of Conduct, City Staff are expected preserve the public trust and confidence in the City and apply the core values of the Code to their daily work. With respect to Elections, employees are expected to promote the principles of transparency, impartiality, respect and accountability as follows:

  1. Employees engaged in political activities must take care to separate those personal activities from their official positions. Employees may participate in political activity at the federal, provincial and municipal levels providing that such activity does not take place during work hours or utilize City assets, resources, or property. Notices, posters or similar material in support of a particular candidate or political party are not to be displayed or distributed by employees on City work sites or on City property.
  2. Employees wishing to run for federal, provincial or municipal office must request, and obtain, a leave of absence without pay, and abide by the respective legislation governing such elections.
  3. Should an employee of a sitting Member of Council wish to run for election or by-election, that employee must begin the required leave of absence immediately upon certification of the nomination by the City Clerk or designate.

Subsequently, all employee accesses, including email and security, related to the Member’s office will be suspended and all Corporate assets and resources, such as cell phones and electronic storage devices, utilized by the individual as a result of employment within the Councillor’s office must be returned immediately.

  1. Budget Administration

    1. As approved by the Member Services Committee, in a municipal election year, a pro-rated portion of the annual budget for each Members’ office is to be reserved for the new term of Council. This means that up to 11/12 of the budget can be spent by the incumbent Member and 1/12 is to be reserved for the next term. The staff of the City Clerk's Office will monitor expenditures to assist each office in ensuring that the budget threshold is not exceeded.
    2. In the event of a ward or city-wide by-election, or an appointment for a position of Council, funds from the vacated Member’s office will be set aside on a pro-rated basis for the newly elected representative based on the start date of the new Member.
    3. Pursuant to Clause 4(b), any pre-committed funds and obligations, such as web hosting fees, will be brought to the attention of the City Clerk and Solicitor within 48 hours of the certification and will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
  2. Enforcement

Should any written complaint arise regarding the alleged use of Members' budgets or other Corporate resources in contravention of this policy, the City Clerk and Solicitor, or his/her designate, shall have the delegated authority to investigate it and resolve any issues. If a breach of this policy is confirmed, the Member will be required to personally repay any of the costs associated with the breach.

Enquiries

For more information on this policy, contact
Deputy City Clerk
City Clerk’s Branch
City of Ottawa
Tel: 613 -580-2424 ext 28857

Campaigning and sign restrictions

Election sign questions?

Call 3-1-1
TTY: 613-580-2401

Restrictions on public property

The first day an election sign can be placed on public property is September 27, 2014.

City of Ottawa Road Allowance Signage By-law - City of Ottawa By-law 2003-520, as amended, states:

  1. No person shall place an election sign on a highway other than on an inner boulevard, provided that the sign is not placed more than thirty (30) days immediately preceding the election date.
  2. No sign is placed within fifty (50) centimetres of a sidewalk, or where there is no sidewalk, within two (2) metres of the roadway or within fifty (50) centimetres of the edge of a shoulder where such exists.
  3. The sign and its components are removed within forty-eight (48) hours following the election date.
  4. Dimension requirements [By-law 2003-520] do not apply to an election sign.

Restrictions on private property

The first day an election sign can be placed on private property is August 28, 2014.

City of Ottawa By-law 2004-239, Sections 14 and 21, states that every candidate in an election shall ensure that his or her election sign:

  1. Is not placed more than sixty (60) days immediately preceding the election date.
  2. Together with its components are removed within forty-eight (48) hours following the election date.
  3. Dimension requirements [By-law 2004-239] do not apply to an election sign.

Note: It is forbidden to use election signs that constitute a safety hazard or utilize any sign type identified as a prohibited sign in any of the above listed by-laws.

Area around a voting place

When a voting place is located within public premises, the entire property of the voting place and all the boundaries associated with it are considered part of that voting place.

When a voting place is located on private premises, such as apartment or condominium buildings, all of the common elements of those buildings are considered part of the voting place. Individual units, however, are not considered common elements and their doors, windows, balconies, etc., do not fall under the jurisdiction of the City of Ottawa.

On both public and private premises, "premises" includes the parking lot, adjoining fences and adjacent road allowances. The City of Ottawa utilizes only a specific area for a voting place and has no jurisdiction over adjacent properties, for example, over political signs posted on street corners or passing cars advertising a candidate.

No campaigning at a voting place

The Municipal Elections Act stipulates that no person shall attempt to influence, directly or indirectly, how the elector votes and no person shall display a candidate’s election campaign material or literature in a voting place.

Clothing or accessories that identify a candidate, such as, signs, buttons, slogans, logos, advertising, etc., are not permitted. Voting screens will be checked regularly for markings and campaign literature.

The Supervisor Deputy Returning Officer is the final arbiter and may take whatever action is deemed necessary to maintain compliance in the voting place.

Election sign regulations on provincial highways

Please contact the Ministry of Transportation for regulations governing election signs on provincial highways.

Election sign regulations on National Capital Commission lands

Please contact the National Capital Commission for regulations governing election signs on its lands.  

Frequently asked questions for candidates

Who can be nominated for office?

Candidates for the offices of Mayor and Councillor must meet the same criteria as an eligible municipal elector. Candidates for school board Trustee must also meet the same criteria as an eligible municipal elector and must also reside within the board area and be a supporter of that board. Consult the Becoming a candidate section for details.

Can City of Ottawa and school board employees become candidates in a municipal election?

Yes. If you are an employee considering registering as a candidate, you should consult the City of Ottawa Employee Seeking Election to Council of the City of Ottawa section or the School Board Employee Seeking Election to School Board Trustee Office section for detailed information including related legislation extracts.

How can someone be nominated?

An eligible person has to nominate himself or herself by:

  • completing and filing a Nomination Paper with the City Clerk’s office; and
  • paying the nomination filing fee.

The Nomination Paper must be filed in person or by an agent acting on behalf of the nominee. The candidate or the agent must be ready to show proof of identity.

What information must be included on the candidate’s Nomination Paper?

The candidate’s Nomination Paper must include the candidate’s name, address, telephone number and the office for which he or she wishes to be nominated. A candidate nominates himself or herself.

What is the nomination filing fee?

The nomination filing fee is $200 for the office of Mayor and $100 for the offices of Councillor or school board Trustee. These fees are payable by cash, debit card, credit card, certified cheque or money order.

Is the nomination filing fee refundable?

A candidate is entitled to receive a refund of the nomination filing fee if he or she:

  • withdraws the nomination prior to September 12, 2014 at 2 p.m.;
  • is elected to the office; or
  • receives more than two (2) per cent of the votes cast in the election for the office.

When can a candidate file his or her nomination?

A candidate can file his or her Nomination Paper beginning on January 2, 2014. The deadline for nominations is Friday, September 12, 2014, at 2 p.m. If a candidate wants to withdraw his or her nomination, the deadline is Friday, September 12, 2014, at 2 p.m.

Where are candidates’ nominations filed?

All nominations must be filed in person, or by an agent acting on behalf of the nominee, at the Elections Office or at any Client Service Centre beginning on January 2, 2014. The deadline for nominations is Friday, September 12, 2014, at 2 p.m.

How and when can a candidate withdraw his or her nomination?

A candidate may withdraw his or her nomination by filing, in person, a written statement to that effect at the Elections Office or at any Client Service Centre. The deadline for filing the withdrawal is Friday, September 12, 2014, at 2 p.m.

Where can I get a copy of the contributions made to candidates during the 2010 Elections?

PDF versions of all submitted financial statements for the 2010 Elections are available. Alternatively, the Elections Office has original copies of the campaign contribution statements for the candidates who ran for the offices of Mayor, Councillor and school board Trustee in 2010. To get a copy of these documents, please contact the Elections Office. The fee for these copies is $1.14 for the first page and 32 cents for each additional page.

What can I expect to be paid as a member of Council or as a school board Trustee?

In 2013, the salary for a City Councillor was $93,999 per year, while the Mayor’s salary was $168,102. For school board Trustee remuneration information, please contact the appropriate school board.

How are candidates’ campaign revenues and expenses reported after an election?

Form 4, Financial Statement – Auditor’s Report, prescribed by regulation made under the Municipal Elections Act, 1996, has to be completed and filed by all candidates in accordance with the legislation, regardless of whether or not the candidate’s name appeared on the ballot.

Are there any restrictions to the use of City funds or resources by candidates and employees for election-related purposes?

Yes. Please consult the Election-Related Resources Policy, which was approved by Council on February 12, 2003 and revised February 13, 2013

Where can I read more information on legislation and regulations on becoming a candidate?

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MAH) has created the 2014 Candidates’ Guide, which provides general information in plain language concerning the rules and constraints of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 and other legislation and regulations.