Candidate Information for Municipal Elections

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When are municipal elections?

The next general municipal election will be held on Monday, November 7, 2022 for all municipalities except the Resort Municipality which will hold their general municipal election on August 8, 2022.  General municipal elections are held every four years. (Section 37)

Municipal by-elections will take place as vacancies on councils occur.  By-elections must occur within six months of a vacancy. (Section 60-1)

Exceptions (Section 60-3):

  •  A council may hold a vacancy open until the next general election only if (3) (a) the vacancy occurs in the last twelve months of the council’s term; and (b) despite the vacancy, council is able to maintain a quorum

What are the rules for running a municipal election?

Election (and by-election) processes are the same for all municipalities and the procedures for elections are guided by the Municipal Government Act (MGA), the Municipal Election Regulations, the Campaign Contributions and Election Expenses Bylaw Regulations, and the Plebiscite Regulations. 

View the Municipal Elections Page for more information. 

All municipalities must adopt a Campaign Contributions and Election Expenses Bylaw.  Municipalities can include other election-related rules in their Election Bylaw.  Be sure to check your municipality's election bylaw for additional rules. 

 
Who can run for municipal office?
You can run for municipal office if you*: 
  • Are a Canadian citizen
  • Are at least 18 years of age or older
  • Have been ordinarily a resident in the municipality for a period of at least six months before the election
*Different rules apply in the Resort Municipality (see subsections 33(4) and 33(6) of the MGA ).

I am a municipal employee – can I run for office?

Municipal employees may run for office after seeking and receiving a leave of absence from the municipality.  If elected, that employee must resign from their employment immediately upon termination of their leave of absence. (Section 34-2)

What is the timeline for nominating candidates?

All elections require a nomination period.  The nomination period will be from the 4th Wednesday before the election (by-election) day to the 3rd Friday before the election (by-election) day. Nominations must be received by 2:00 pm on nomination day (the 3rd Friday before the election or by-election day).  

If not enough candidates are nominated to fill the council positions, the nomination period will be extended by an additional 7 days. There will be immediate electronic notice in the municipality, if this is the case. (election regulations section 34) 

How do I know who is running for office in my municipality?

Contact your municipality’s election office to find out who is running for office.  Public notice of the nominated candidates will be issued by the Municipal Electoral Officer after the close of nominations.  A notice of nominated candidates must be displayed in the municipality’s election office.    

Do I have to live in the ward where I wish to run?

If your municipality has established wards through a bylaw, you are not required to live in that ward but you must be nominated by qualified electors living in that ward.  

How do I become nominated?

Five or more qualified electors within the municipality (or the ward if the municipality is divided into wards) may nominate a candidate during the nomination period or extended nomination period. 

A municipality can, by bylaw, increase the number of nominators, so long as it is not more than 10.  

A nomination has to be in writing on a Municipal Nominations Form.   The nominated candidate must file their nomination with the Municipal Electoral Officer or Returning Officer for their municipality by the nominations deadline, which is the 3rd Friday before the election.    

 A municipality, can require by bylaw, that a nomination deposit be paid.  If a municipality does have a bylaw for a nomination deposit, the maximum amount permitted is $200 and the bylaw must describe if the deposit is refundable and under what circumstances it is refundable, in accordance with the regulations.  

What do I do if I want to remove myself as a candidate?

If a candidate wants to be deemed as not officially nominated, they must withdraw from the municipal election before 2:00 pm on nomination day (the 3rd Friday before the election or by-election day).  

A candidate must file a Candidate Withdrawal Form (Pre- Nomination Day) with the Municipal Electoral Officer stating that they officially withdraw.

An officially nominated candidate can withdraw from the election after nomination day until the end of the close of polls by filing a Candidate Withdrawal Form (Post Nomination Day) with the MEO.  If the ballots cannot be changed in time for the election, the votes for that candidate are not counted.  However, if a candidate was elected by acclamation, their withdrawal after that time is a resignation and another by-election must be held. 

When a candidate withdraws, their nomination deposit (if one was required) will stay with the municipality. 

Are there rules for election campaign fundraising? 

Yes, the rules for fundraising and campaign expenses are set out in the Campaign Contributions and Election Expenses Bylaw Regulations and the municipality's election bylaw.  Visit Municipal Election Campaigns for more information. 

Are there resources available for women who want to run for municipal council?

View the following resources for more information on women in municipal government:

How do I run for office if I am a federal public servant?

There are steps you need to take with the Public Service Commission of Canada if you plan to seek  nomination. For more information visit the Government of Canada website.

Can I have an agent?

A candidate can appoint one or more agents to represent them at the election or any election proceeding.  The Candidate Agent Form must be filled out prior to appointing an agent. 

How many agents can I appoint?

A candidate may appoint up to two agents to represent them at any one polling station.  

How much do I get paid as an elected official?

Wages or honoraria for elected officials differ from municipality to municipality.  Council wages and honoraria must be set out through municipal bylaw.  Contact your municipality for more information.

What do I do when I am elected?

Visit Information for Council Members for details on next steps and resources.
 
Note: This page is prepared for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for specialized legal or professional advice.

 

Date de publication : 
le 27 Avril 2021