This Friday marks deadline for municipal election nominations

MANITOULIN—The deadline to run in the October 22 municipal elections is this Friday, July 27 at 2 pm, and there are a few things you should know if you’re interested in throwing your name in the ring.

According to the Ontario government website, in 2018, candidates for municipal council in municipalities with more than 4,000 electors must collect 25 signatures endorsing their nominations. A person who is eligible to vote in the municipality may provide endorsements to as many candidates as they choose and may endorse candidates for any office on the municipal council. A person who is running for a ward councillor office may submit signatures from voters who do not live in that ward.

Candidates must also open a bank account before incurring any expenses or accepting any contributions of money (including a contribution from themselves or their spouse). A candidate who does not spend any money or accept any contributions does not have to open a campaign bank account. The campaign bank account must be used exclusively for campaign purposes, but the previous requirement that the account be opened “in the name of the campaign” has been removed.

There is now a limit for contributions that a candidate for municipal council and their spouse can make to the candidate’s own campaign. This limit does not apply to school board trustee candidates. The limit for campaign contributions to 1 candidate is now $1,200, increased from $750. Corporations and trade unions are not permitted to make contributions to candidates.

There is a separate spending limit for expenses related to parties and expressions of appreciation after the close of voting.

Municipal clerks are now required to review contributions that are reported by candidates and third party advertisers to see if any contributors have given

To run for a position on council you must be eligible to vote in that municipality. On the day you file your nomination, you must be a Canadian citizen aged 18 or older, and qualify as a resident or non-resident elector.

If your municipality has wards, you can run in any ward—you do not have to live in a particular ward in order to be its councillor. However, if you run in a ward where you do not live, you will not be able to vote for yourself. Having a campaign office or a business in a ward where you would not otherwise be eligible to vote does not make you eligible to vote in that ward.

You cannot work for a municipality and be on its council at the same time. If you are an employee of a municipality and you wish to run for office on that municipality’s council, you must take a leave of absence before you file your nomination form. If you are elected, you must resign from your job.

If you are an employee of a municipality and you wish to run for office in a different municipality, you do not have to take a leave of absence or resign. However, you may wish to check with your employer to see if there are any policies in place that could affect you.

The fee to file a nomination is $200 to run for head of council and $100 for all other positions. This fee must be paid to the clerk at the time you hand in your nomination form.

Your nomination fee will be refunded if you file your campaign financial statement by the deadline.

School board trustee candidates are not required to submit endorsement signatures.

Municipal elections will take place on Monday, October 22. See next week’s paper for a full list of who’s running and each of the municipalities