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Changes to the Municipal Elections Act

Bill 218

Municipal elections in all Ontario municipalities, including the City of Ottawa, are governed by the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 (the “MEA”).

On Friday, November 20, 2020, Bill 218, Supporting Ontario's Recovery and Municipal Elections Act, 2020, received Royal Assent making a number of changes to the MEA. These changes include:

  • Removing the option to hold ranked ballot elections in Ontario municipalities by revoking Ontario Regulation 310/16 (Ranked Ballot Elections) in its entirety, and by repealing Subsections 41.1 and 41.2 of the MEA.
  • Moving Nomination Day in a regular election from the fourth Friday in July to the third Friday in August.
  • Amending Section 42 to allow by-laws authorizing the use of vote-counting equipment and alternative voting methods to be passed on or before May 1 in the year of the election.
  • Moving the date for establishing procedures and forms for the use of any voting and vote-counting equipment or alternative voting method to June 1 in the year of the election.

For more information on these changes, visit the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing’s website.