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Information for Candidates

Nominated Candidates - 2018 Municipal Elections

Eligibility Criteria for Candidates

The next municipal election to elect a mayor, city councillors, and school board trustees will be held on Monday, October 22, 2018. Individuals may consider running for one of the following offices:

  • Mayor - one elected at large
  • City councillor – one elected per ward, 23 wards
  • School board trustee - one elected per zone, 37 zones
    • 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

A person is eligible to be a candidate in the 2018 municipal election if they are an eligible elector. A candidate must be eligible as of the day they are nominated and must remain eligible throughout the election period and, if elected, throughout the term of office.

Who can be a candidate for mayor or councillor?

A person is eligible to be a candidate for mayor or councillor if they are,

  • 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;
  • a Canadian citizen;
  • at least 18 years old; and
  • not legally prohibited from voting.

Who cannot be a candidate for mayor or councillor?

The following people are disqualified from being elected as a member of council, or from holding office as a member of council:

  • an employee of the municipality unless they take an unpaid leave of absence beginning the day they are nominated and resign if elected to the office.
  • a judge of any court.
  • a member of the Provincial Legislature, the Federal House of Commons or Senate who has not resigned from their office by the close of nominations. Proof of resignation must be provided by the close of nominations or the Clerk will not certify the nomination.
  • a candidate who failed to file the necessary financial statement(s) in the last municipal election or by-election.

City of Ottawa employees

Employees of the City of Ottawa who wish to run for mayor or councillor must take an unpaid leave of absence before filing a nomination paper. The employee must provide the Clerk with a copy of the documentation showing that they have taken the leave of absence and the effective date.

Who can be a school board trustee candidate?

A person is eligible to be a candidate for school board trustee if they are,

  • a Canadian citizen;
  • at least 18 years old;
  • a resident within the board's area of jurisdiction;
  • a supporter of that school board; and
  • not legally prohibited from voting.

Who cannot be a school board trustee candidate?

The following people are disqualified from being elected as a school board trustee or from holding office on any school board:

  • an employee of the school board unless they take an unpaid leave of absence beginning the day they are nominated and resign if elected to the office.
  • a clerk, treasurer, deputy-clerk or deputy-treasurer of any municipality within the area of jurisdiction of the school board except those on an unpaid leave of absence.
  • a member of the Provincial Legislature, the Federal House of Commons or Senate who has not resigned from their office by the close of nominations. Proof of resignation must be provided by the close of nominations.
  • a candidate who failed to file the necessary financial statement(s) in the last municipal election or by-election.

School board employees

Employees of any school boards (including supply teachers) are disqualified from being elected as a school board trustee or from holding office on any school boards, except during a leave of absence. The employee must take an unpaid leave of absence before filing their nomination paper.

The employee must give written notice to the school board, in advance of their intention to take unpaid leave. This notice should 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.

Nomination Information

To run for the office of mayor, councillor or school board trustee, candidates must file a prescribed Nomination Paper (Form 1). Nomination papers for candidates running for the office of mayor and councillor must be submitted with an Endorsement of Nomination (Form 2). Candidates cannot raise or spend any money on their campaign until these nomination papers are filed.

All nomination papers must be filed by the candidate or by an agent acting on the candidate’s behalf, in person, at the Elections Office or by appointment at the City Clerk’s Office, during regular office hours. Nomination papers may not be faxed, mailed or emailed, as an original signature is required. If an agent of the candidate is filing the nomination papers, the forms must be fully completed by the candidate prior to filing.

The candidate or the agent filing the nomination papers will be required to present proof of identity.

Candidates can begin filing their nomination papers on Tuesday, May 1, 2018, at 8:30 am.

Nomination papers can be submitted up until Friday, July 27, 2018, at 2 pm.

Things needed for filing:

Note: Nomination papers are public documents and are available for inspection at the Elections Office.

Endorsement of nominations for mayor or councillor

At least 25 eligible electors must endorse a candidate’s nomination for the office of mayor or councillor. Individuals who provide a signature endorsing a nomination will have to sign a declaration stating they are eligible to vote in the municipality as of the day they sign the endorsement.

The nomination papers of a candidate running for the office of mayor or councillor must be submitted with a declaration of qualification from each of the eligible electors endorsing their nomination.

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 candidate’s financial statement and auditor’s report are filed on or before Friday, March 29, 2019, at 2 pm.

Withdrawal of nomination

A candidate who wishes to withdraw their nomination must notify the Clerk in writing before 2 pm on Friday, July 27, 2018.

A withdrawal of nomination must be submitted in writing with the original signature of the candidate, and in person by the candidate or their agent to:

  • The City of Ottawa Elections Office; or
  • By appointment with the Clerk at the Office of the City Clerk and Solicitor.

Proof of identity of the candidate or, if applicable, their agent, must be presented when filing the withdrawal.

The candidate will still be required to submit a financial statement (due no later than Friday, March 29, 2019, at 2 pm) covering all financial transactions up to the time of the withdrawal.

Nomination period

  • Tuesday, May 1, 2018, is the first day for candidates to file their nomination papers for the office of mayor, city councillor or school board trustee.
  • The deadline for candidates to submit their nomination is Friday, July 27, 2018, at 2 pm.
  • The deadline for the withdrawal of a nomination is Friday, July 27, 2018, at 2 pm.

Campaign Finances

Candidates cannot raise or spend any money on their campaign until they have filed their nomination papers and opened a bank account exclusively for the purposes of the election campaign.

Candidates are responsible for keeping records of the financial activities related to their campaign and are required to keep these records until November 15, 2022, when the next council or school board takes office.

Campaign period

A candidate’s campaign period begins once their nomination papers are filed and ends no later than December 31, 2018. On this date, the candidate's campaign is automatically closed. Candidates cannot accept any contributions or incur any expenses after the end of the campaign period.

If at the end of the campaign period a candidate’s campaign expenses are greater than their campaign income, their campaign will be in deficit.  A candidate may take action to extend their campaign in order to do some additional fundraising.

If a candidate’s campaign has a surplus, the candidate must pay the surplus to the Clerk when filing their financial statement.

Extending a campaign

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:

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 notifies the Clerk in writing they are no longer accepting any contributions;
  • July 2, 2019, in the case of a regular election; or
  • six months from the 45th day after voting day, in the case of a by-election.

Candidates that extend their campaign must submit two financial statements by the statutory deadline dates:

  • Filing of Financial Statements - Friday, March 29, 2019, at 2 pm
  • Supplementary Financial Filing - Friday, September 27, 2019, at 2 pm

Financial statements

Candidates are responsible for filing a complete and accurate financial statement by Friday, March 29, 2019, at 2 pm. The statement covers the period from the day the candidate filed their nomination papers until December 31, 2018.

Any candidate that filed a nomination form, must file a financial statement. This includes candidates who withdrew their nomination, candidates who were not certified and did not appear on the ballot, and candidates who were acclaimed.

A candidate must notify the Clerk, in writing, of any Court extension by 2 pm on Friday, March 29, 2019. Penalties will commence at 2:01 pm on Friday, March 29, 2019.

Note: Candidates will not receive a refund of their nomination fee unless they file their financial statement by the deadline.

Supplementary financial statements

The final date for nominated candidates, who extended their campaign, to file their supplementary financial statement is Friday, September 27, 2019, at 2 pm. The statement covers the period from the day the candidate filed their nomination papers until July 2, 2019.

A candidate must notify the Clerk, in writing, of any Court extension by 2 pm on Friday, September 27, 2019. Penalties will commence at 2:01 pm on September 27, 2019.

Contributions

Campaign contributions are any money, goods or services that are given to a candidate for use in their campaign, including money and goods that a candidate contributes to themselves. Candidates must issue a receipt for every contribution they receive. The receipt should show who made the contribution, the date, and the value of the contribution.

Any person who is a resident of Ontario may contribute to a candidate’s campaign.

The following persons and entities shall not make a contribution:

  • A federal political party registered under the Canada Elections Act (Canada) or any federal constituency association or registered candidate at a federal election endorsed by that party.
  • A provincial political party, constituency association, registered candidate or leadership contestant registered under the Election Finances Act.
  • A corporation that carries on business in Ontario.
  • A trade union that holds bargaining rights for employees in Ontario.
  • The Crown in right of Canada or Ontario, a municipality or a local board.

Individuals may contribute a maximum of $1,200 to a single candidate. This includes the value of any goods or services donated to the campaign. Individuals may not contribute more than $5,000 in total to candidates running for offices on the same council or school board. Any contribution of money must come directly from the contributor.

Contributions greater than $25 may not be made in cash. All contributions above $25 must be made by cheque, money order, or by a method that clearly shows where the funds come from.

Under the MEA, candidates are required to inform each of their contributors of these contribution limits.

There is a limit on how much a candidate running for municipal council and their spouse can contribute to their own campaign.

The contribution limit is calculated based on the number of electors who are eligible to vote for each office. The following formula is used to calculate the limit that a candidate running for municipal council, and their spouse, can contribute to their own campaign:

  • Candidates running for mayor: $7,500 plus 20 cents per elector, to a maximum of $25,000;
  • Candidates running for city councillor: $5,000 plus 20 cents per elector, to a maximum of $25,000.

Candidates are provided with an estimate of their contribution limit when they file their nomination papers. This estimate is based on the number of electors in the previous regular election.

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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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
M. Rick O'Connor
City Clerk and Solicitor
City of Ottawa
Tel: 613-580-2424 ext. 21215

Campaigning and Sign Restrictions

Election campaign advertisements

An election campaign advertisement is an advertisement in any broadcast, print, electronic, or other medium that has the purpose of promoting or supporting the election of a candidate. All election campaign advertisements purchased by or under the direction of a candidate must clearly identify the candidate.

Mandatory information for broadcasters and publishers

Candidates must provide the following information to the broadcaster or publisher in writing:

  1. The name of the candidate.
  2. The name, business address and telephone number of the individual who deals with the broadcaster or publisher under the direction of the candidate.

Broadcasters and publishers are prohibited from running an election campaign advertisement unless the above-noted information is provided.

The broadcaster or publisher of an election campaign advertisement is required to retain the following information for a period of four years after the date the advertisement appears:

  • The mandatory information that is required for broadcasters and publishers (the name of the candidate and the contact information for the person who deals with the broadcaster or publisher);
  • A copy of the advertisement, or the means of reproducing it for inspection; and
  • A statement of the charge made for its appearance.

The broadcaster or publisher must also permit the public to inspect these records during normal business hours.

Election signs on private property

The first day an election sign can be placed on private property is August 23, 2018.

Temporary Signs on Private Property By-law - City of Ottawa By-law No. 2004-239, Sections 14 and 21, states:

  1. No person or entity shall place or cause to be placed or allow to remain placed an election sign more than sixty (60) days immediately preceding the election date.
  2. Every election sign together with its appurtenances shall be removed from the premise within forty-eight (48) hours following the election date.
  3. Dimension requirements [By-law 2004-239] do not apply to an election sign.

Election signs on public property

The first day an election sign can be placed on public property is September 22, 2018.

Signs on City Roads By-law - City of Ottawa By-law No. 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 election sign is to be 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 election sign and its appurtenances shall be removed within forty-eight (48) hours following the election date.

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.

Election signs on provincial highways

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

Election signs on National Capital Commission lands

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

Campaign material 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.

Campaigning at a voting place

The Municipal Elections Act, 1996, 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 inside a voting place.

Voting screens are 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.  

Wards and School Zones

2018 City Wide Maps

2018 Ward Maps

2018 School Board Zones

Ottawa Catholic School Board

Ottawa Catholic School Board Zone Structure
School Zone Ward(s)
1 5, 6, 20, 21
2 4, 23
3 1, 19
4 3, 22
5 2, 11
6 8, 9
7 7, 15
8 10, 18
9 16, 17
10 12, 13, 14

Ottawa-Carleton District School Board

Ottawa-Carleton District School Board Zone Structure
School Zone Ward(s)
1 5, 6, 21
2 4, 23
3 3, 9
4 7
5 8
6 13, 18
7 20, 22
8 1, 19
9 12, 17
10 14, 15
11 10, 16
12 2, 11

Conseil des écoles catholiques du centre-est

Conseil des écoles catholiques du centre-est Zone Structure
School Zone Ward(s)
4 4, 5, 6, 8, 23
5 3, 9, 21, 22
6 7, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17
7 2
8 19
9 1
10 10, 18, 20
11 11, 13

Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario

Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario Zone Structure
School Zone Ward(s)
6 19
7 1, 11
8 2, 10
9 14, 16, 17, 18
10 12, 13
11 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 15
12 3, 6, 20, 21, 22, 23

Candidate Information Sessions

On Thursday, April 19, 2018, the City of Ottawa’s Elections Office held a Candidate and Third Party Advertiser Information Session.

The information session covered election information for potential candidates and third party advertisers, including:

  • The Municipal Elections Act, 1996 and recent amendments;
  • Eligibility requirements;
  • Candidate nomination process;
  • Third party advertiser registration;
  • Election signs and campaign advertisements;
  • Campaign finances;
  • Additional resources and more.

The PowerPoint presentation from the April 19 session is available to the public.

Upcoming Information Sessions for Candidates

The Elections Office will be holding additional information sessions for candidates on:

  • Wednesday, August 8, 2018; and
  • Wednesday, September 26, 2018.

The sessions will take place in Andrew S. Haydon Hall, City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West from 6 pm to 8 pm.

The candidate information session on August 8, 2018, will cover topics that include:

  • Election signs;
  • Campaign finances;
  • The Voters' List;
  • Proxy voting;
  • Scrutineers and more.

To ensure adequate presentation materials are available, please contact the Elections Office by telephone at 613-580-2660 or by email at elections@ottawa.ca by Monday, August 6, 2018, to register.

An additional information session for candidates will be held on Wednesday, September 26, 2018. This session will touch on information related to voting events and campaign finances.