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Changes to the Municipal Elections Act

Bill 181 and Bill 68

Municipal elections in all Ontario municipalities, including the City of Ottawa, are governed by the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 (the “MEA”). On June 9, 2016, the Municipal Elections Modernization Act, 2016, or Bill 181, received Royal Assent, making a number of changes to the MEA.

Bill 68, the Modernizing Ontario’s Municipal Legislation Act, 2017, which received Royal Assent on May 30, 2017, also made a number of changes to the MEA. These changes include:

  • Moving the term of office start date to November 15 in the year of a regular election, effective the year 2022;
  • Raising the contribution limit to a single candidate or registered third party to $1,200; and
  • Introducing a new self-funding formula and limit for municipal council candidates.


For more information on these changes, visit the Municipal Elections Act Review, the Municipal Elections Act, 1996, or review the changes presented in the Bill 181, the Municipal Elections Modernization Act, 2016 – Changes to the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 and Bill 68, the Modernizing Ontario’s Municipal Legislation Act, 2017 – Changes to the Municipal Act, 2001, the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, and the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 reports.