Election Information for Candidates

The upcoming Municipal Election to elect a Mayor, Municipal Councillors and School Board Trustees will be held on Monday, October 24, 2022. This Four (4) Year Term of Office starts November 15, 2022 and will end on November 14, 2026.

Candidate Information Workshop

A workshop for prospective candidates was held on Tuesday, April 26 in Haliburton. Click the link below to view the archived video on Youtube.

Watch on Youtube

Official Guides

The Province of Ontario has published their official online 2022 Candidates' Guide for municipal and school board elections as well as a 2022 Third Party Advertisers' Guide.

View Candidates' Guide  View Advertisers' Guide

Filing Nomination Papers

Nominations can be filed starting Monday May 2, 2022 and ending August 19, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. You must file in person at 2249 Loop Road, Wilberforce.

  • The municipality has Nomination Packages available for interested candidates.
  • Identification must be provided at the time of filing your nomination paper. If an agent is filing on your behalf they must have identification for you and provide their own identification.
  • Anyone wishing to run for office on a council must submit the signatures of 25 eligible electors supporting the nomination. The individuals providing the signatures will each have to sign a declaration stating that they were eligible to vote in the municipality on the day that they signed the endorsement.
  • If a candidate files a nomination, and then changes their mind and decides to run for a different office on the same council, they are not required to submit new signatures.
  • Nomination fees are $100.00 for Councillors and School Trustees and $200.00 for the Office of Mayor.

Required forms:

These secure and fillable PDF forms are provided by the Province of Ontario and require the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software. 

  1. Nomination Paper – Ontario Form 1
  2. Endorsement of Nomination – Ontario Form 2* (with the signature of 25 voters supporting your nomination)
  3. Notice of Registration – Third Party – Ontario Form 7 (Declaration of Qualification)

* The requirement to submit Form 2 with 25 nomination signatures does not apply to candidates running for school board trustee positions.

Other forms:

  1. Financial Statement – Auditor's Report Candidate – Ontario Form 4
  2. Financial Statement – Subsequent Expenses – Ontario Form 5
  3. Notice of Extension of Campaign Period – Ontario Form 6
  4. Financial Statement – Auditor’s Report Third Party – Ontario Form 8
  5. Declaration of Identity – Ontario Form 9

Campaigning

  • Campaign provisions have been clarified to allow candidates to access apartment buildings, condominiums, non-profit housing co-ops or gated communities from 9:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. in order to campaign. Landlords and condominium corporations will not be allowed to prohibit tenants or owners from displaying campaign signs in their windows.
  • Candidates and third party advertisers are required to identify themselves on campaign advertisements and signs, so that it is clear who is responsible for each sign and advertisement that appears or is broadcast.

Campaign Finance Information

  • Corporations and trade unions are no longer eligible to contribute to municipal election campaigns. This includes all council and school board elections. Corporations and trade unions can be third party advertisers and contribute to third party advertisers.
  • Contribution limit has been raised from $750 to $1200 for individual donations to any one candidate. The $5000 limit for donations to all candidates remains the same.
  • A candidate for an office on Municipal Council and his or her spouse shall not make contributions to the candidate’s own election campaign that, combined, for the office of Mayor exceed an amount equal to $7500 plus 20 cents for each elector entitled to vote for the office or for the office of Councillor exceed and amount equal to $5000 plus 20 cents per elector entitled to vote for the office.
  • A candidate who does not accept any contributions of money, or incur any expenses, is not required to open a bank account.
  • Every candidate will be entitled to a refund of the nomination fee if they file their campaign financial statement and, if needed, the auditor’s report by the deadline.
  • There is a 30-day grace period for candidates and third party advertisers who miss the deadline to file a financial statement and auditor’s report, provided that the candidate or third party advertiser pays a $500 late filing fee to the municipality.
  • If a candidate or third party advertiser has filed their financial statement before the deadline and then discovers an error, they can file a corrected financial statement and auditor’s report up until the filing deadline.
  • If an eligible voter believes that a candidate or third party advertiser has contravened an election campaign finance rule, the voter may apply for a compliance audit. Compliance Audit Committees will be required to provide brief written reasons for their decisions.
  • There will be a new process regarding contribution limits. The clerk who conducted the election is responsible for reviewing the contributions that are reported on the financial statements to council and trustee candidates as well as third party advertisers. If a contributor appears to have given more than the contribution limits allow, the clerk will report this to the Compliance Audit Committee. The Compliance Audit Committee will then decide whether to commence a legal proceeding against the contributor.

Resources

Podcast: Rebooting Local Government

This podcast features George Cuff being interviewed by Jim Hunt of the Amazing Cities and Towns Podcast and is a great listen for anyone who is thinking of running in the 2022 Municipal Election.

Listen Now

About Council and School Boards

The Role of Council

The Municipality of Highlands East has one Mayor, and one Councillor elected to represent each of the Municipality’s four Wards:

  • Ward 1 - Bicroft
  • Ward 2 - Cardiff
  • Ward 3 - Glamorgan
  • Ward 4 - Monmouth

Role of Council Members

The Municipal Councillor's Guide provides an overview of the many duties and challenges elected officials at the municipal level face.

Mayor

The MAH guide is the source of this abbreviated description for the role of head of Council, which in the Municipality of Highlands East is referred to as the Mayor to act as the municipality's chief executive officer;

  • to preside over council meetings such that business is carried out both efficiently and effectively;
  • to provide leadership to the council;
  • to provide information/recommendations to council on policies, practices, procedures, to ensure transparency and accountability; and,
  • to represent the municipality at official functions.
Councillors

This abbreviated description for the role of ward Councillor is based on the guide published by MAH:

  • to represent the public and to consider the well- being and interests of the municipality;
  • to develop and evaluate the policies and programs of the municipality;
  • to determine which services the municipality provides;
  • to maintain the financial integrity of the municipality; 
  • to ensure that administrative policies practices are in place to implement the decisions of council; and,
  • to ensure the accountability and transparency of the operations of the municipality.

Municipal councillors may also sit as members of a number of Committees. These committees carry out work then reports back to council with recommendations. As a member of municipal council, you would be required to attend meetings of the Committees on which you are a member, and also to attend meetings of the full Council.

Frequently Asked Questions about Council and Committees

Who makes decisions with respect to the membership of Committees?
Council Members advise what Committees they are interested in. Mayor appoints an individual council member to that committee and then the appointment is approved through a majority voting process of Council.  
Is there a minimum number of meetings Councillors must attend?

Council Members are expected to attend all Council and any Committee meetings that they have voting membership on. However, it is recognized that in rare situations this is not always possible (e.g. illness, out of area business, etc.)

Can Councillors participate at meetings by electronic method?
Yes. The Municipality of Highlands East has the authority for members to participate electronically dependent on circumstances.
How do Councillors engage their ward?
Methods of ward engagement vary from Council Member to Council Member, based upon their own personal preference and needs. Some use meetings, some use social media, some use printed newsletters, etc.
How is the meeting schedule determined?
The Council Procedure By-law dictates the day of the week meetings are held, the Clerk drafts an annual meeting calendar for Council’s approval based on the By-law requirements.
Are there season meeting breaks?
Within Highlands East we do not have breaks as we typically only have one meeting a month) and the Municipality is closed between Christmas and New Years’ Day.
Are Councillors' employers flexible with the Council meeting schedule?
Candidates are expected to ensure they can accommodate their Council responsibilities within their personal work schedules. Employers are not obliged to accommodate the Council schedule.
What is required to be eligible for holding office?
Eligibility for holding office is dictated by the Municipal Elections Act.
Is there a possibility of an election prior to the scheduled Election Day?
If a seat on Council becomes vacant in the course of a Council term, provincial law allows for the option of holding a by-election or Council can decide to appoint a replacement for that vacant seat in keeping with provincial law.
Can a member of the public join a Committee?
Committees are a great opportunity for the general public to assist the Council with its decision-making. Council considers applications for appointments to Committees. 
Is the Mayor an ex-officio member of most Committees?
The Mayor is automatically a voting member of all committees because he/she holds the office of Mayor.
Do Councillors have preferences with respect to which Committees they sit on?
Often Council Members run for office because they are motivated by a particular cause or interest. They may also bring particular experience or expertise in a particular area. As a result, they often seek appointment to certain committees that fit well with their experience, expertise and interests, and appointments that fit well into their schedules.
How many Committees can a Councillor Chair?
There is no limit to the number of Committees a Councillor can Chair, but generally, with the exception of the Mayor, Council Members do not chair more than one committee at a time.

The Role of School Board Trustee

School board trustees are members of the District School Board. They are locally-elected representatives of the public, and they are the community's advocate for public education.

What is a school board trustee?

  • a member of a team
  • responsible for establishing policy direction
  • accountable, as a member of a board, to the province for the proper conduct of their duties and powers, including the implementation of provincial policy and the use of provincially allocated funds
  • accountable to their electorate
  • a community leader

What are the time commitments for a School Board Trustee?

  • attending board meetings and committee meetings
  • other duties at the School Board
  • attending community meetings as a representative of the school board
  • responding to the concerns of parents and others
  • communications such as responding to telephone calls, meeting requests and mail from constituents

District School Boards

  • English-Language Separate District School Board
  • English-Language Public District School Board
  • French-Language Separate District School Board
  • French-Language Public District School Board

School Boards are required, by March 31, 2022, to prepare a Trustee Determination and Distribution Report. The report will confirm the number of trustees to be elected and determine the distribution based on geographic and electoral population representation.

What is a School Board?

According to the Ontario Public School Boards' Association:

A school board is a body established by provincial legislation and governed by its publicly elected board members (trustees). The Education Act creates four different kinds of school boards: English public, English Catholic, French public and French Catholic.

A fundamental pillar of a democratic society is free education for its citizens. Ontario’s publicly funded school boards provide high standards in programming and ensure that there are supports and resources to help all students to reach those standards.

Recent amendments to Ontario's Education Act established through the Student Achievement and School Board Governance Act, 2009 stipulate that every school board shall:

  • promote student achievement and well-being;
  • ensure effective stewardship of the board’s resources;
  • deliver effective and appropriate education programs to its pupils;
  • develop and maintain policies and organizational structures that,
    1. promote the boards goals and,
    2. encourage pupils to pursue their educational goals;
  • monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of policies developed by the board in achieving the board’s goals and the efficiency of the implementation of those policies;
  • develop a multi-year plan aimed at achieving the boards’ goals;
  • annually review the multi-year plan with the board’s Director of Education or the supervisory officer acting as the board’s Director of Education; and
  • monitor and evaluate the performance of the board’s Director of Education, or the supervisory officer acting as the board’s Director of Education, in meeting,
    1. his or her duties under this Act or any policy, guideline or regulation made under this Act, (including duties under the multi-year plan), and
    2. any other duties assigned by the board.

Beyond these broad areas of accountability, the Education Act also spells out duties for school boards that include such obligations as effective operation of schools, setting the board’s budget, implementing the Ministry’s curriculum policies, and ensuring that appropriate staff are hired as required by schools.

Boards will also make determinations about such matters as pupil transportation, school libraries, continuing education, childcare facilities on school sites. A full listing can be found in the Education Act.

Excerpts taken from "Making a Difference for Kids: Running for Election as a School Board Trustee - Guide for Candidates and Communities" Published by the Ontario Public School Boards' Association.

Candidates' Frequently Asked Questions

How do I file Nomination Papers?

Nominations can be filed starting May 2, 2022 at 9:00 a.m. and ending August 19 at 2:00 p.m.

Nominations must be on the prescribed forms and are to be filed with the Clerk or his or her designate at the Municipal Office, 2249 Loop Road, Wilberforce, ON in the following manner:

  • In person or through an agent;
  • During regular office hours at the Clerk’s Office from May 2, 2022 to Thursday, August 18, 2022 during regular office hours, and between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm on Friday, July 19, 2022 (Nomination Day);
  • With the endorsement of nomination for Council, being at least 25 signatures;
  • With the prescribed statement of qualifications, signed by the person being nominated;
  • With the prescribed nomination fee of $200.00 for head of Council and $100.00 for all other offices – the filing fee shall be paid by cash, cheque, money order or by debit machine;
  • With proof of identity and residence as prescribed in O. Reg. 304/13. No electronic transmitted nomination paper will be accepted – original signatures are required. Nomination papers for school boards must be filed at the appropriate municipal office.

How does a candidate choose which ward to run in? Do you have to live in the ward you are running in?

A candidate can run for office in the ward of their choice. You do not have to live in the same ward you are running in as the municipality is amalgamated. Running in the ward where you live is usually the best choice as typically you know more people there and are better aware of the issues. 

You do have to vote from the address at which you reside. For example, you live in Ward 2, but are running in Ward 1. You have to vote in Ward 2.

Are there changes from previous elections?

The changes that came into force for the 2018 election and remain relevant for the 2022 election are:

Eligibility, Third Party Advertising, Ranked Ballot Voting, Campaign Finance, Accessibility, Campaign Advertising and Election Administration for 2022.

Amendments to the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 – in force from the 2018 election forward, include:

Term of Office

New Council deemed to be organized when the declarations of office have been made by a sufficient number of members to form a quorum, term of office for the 2022-2026 term of council will begin on November 15, 2022 at the earliest.

Contribution Limits

Raise the limit for contributions to a single candidate or third party advertiser from $750 to $1200, consistent with the provincial limits.

Self-funding Limit

Impose a self-funding limit for municipal council candidates based on the number of electors voting for the office, to a maximum of $25,000 per candidate. The formula for calculating the limit would be $7500 + $0.20 per elector for head of council, and $5000 + $0.20 per elector for other council offices.

Exemption to the 25 Signature Requirement for Nomination to Council

Candidates in municipalities with fewer than 4,000 electors will be exempt from the requirement to obtain 25 nomination endorsement signatures through a regulation. 

In 2018, The Municipality of Highlands East had 9028 eligible electors.

For more information please read Amendments to Ontario Regulation 101/97 to prepare for the 2018 municipal election.

Are candidates required to provide a list of citizens supporting their nomination?

There is the requirement that anyone wishing to run for office on a council must submit the signatures of 25 voters supporting the nomination. The individuals providing the signatures will each have to sign a declaration stating that they were eligible to vote in the municipality on the day that they signed the endorsement. If a candidate files a nomination, and then changes their mind and decides to run for a different office on the same council, they are not required to submit new signatures.

The requirement to submit 25 nomination signatures does not apply to candidates running for school board trustee positions.

How do you determine which name goes on the ballot i.e. nicknames?

You should write down your name as you want it to appear on the electronic ballot. The name as it appears on the Nomination Paper is the name to be used on the electronic ballot. If a nickname is to be used, it is subject to the discretion and approval of the Clerk. You do not have to provide all of your names under Given Name(s) on the form. Only provide the one(s) that you want to appear on the ballot.

I filed my nomination papers, can I assume my name will appear on the electronic ballot?

No. The Clerk is required to certify each nomination after it has been filed. The Clerk will verify the candidate’s name is on the Voters’ List and eligibility. It is the responsibility of the candidate to ensure they meet all the qualifications and file proper nomination papers. Each candidate is responsible to ensure that their forms are in order. The deadline to certify the nomination papers is past the nomination deadline and this may result in papers being rejected.

The clerk must be satisfied that you are eligible to run in order to certify your nomination. If your nomination is not certified, your name will not appear on the electronic ballot.

When can I start campaigning and putting up signs?

You can only start campaigning and erecting signs once your nomination papers have been filed.

How do I know if I am disqualified from holding office?

It is the responsibility of each candidate to ensure they are qualified to seek the office for which they are being nominated. If you are unsure, seek legal advice immediately. 

What is the definition of a residence?

In accordance with the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 a person’s residence is “the permanent lodging place to which, whenever absent, he or she intends to return”.

The following rules apply in determining a person’s residence:

  • A person may only have one residence at a time
  • The place where a person’s family resides is also his or her residence, unless he or she moves elsewhere with the intention of changing his or her permanent lodging place
  • If a person has no other permanent lodging place, the place where he or she occupies a room or part of a room as a regular lodger or to which he or she habitually returns.

Are there limitations on entering apartment buildings after submitting nomination papers?

Campaign provisions have been clarified to allow candidates to access apartment buildings, condominiums, non-profit housing co-ops or gated communities from 9:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. in order to campaign. Landlords and condominium corporations will not be allowed to prohibit tenants or owners from displaying campaign signs in their windows. Here are the excerpts from the legislation:

Access to residential premises

88.1 No person who is in control of an apartment building, condominium building, non-profit housing cooperative or gated community may prevent a candidate or his or her representative from campaigning between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. at the doors to the apartments, units or houses, as the case may be.

Display of signs at residential premises

88.2 (1) No landlord or person acting on a landlord’s behalf may prohibit a tenant from displaying signs in relation to an election on the premises to which the lease relates.

The legislation regarding the rights of candidates to enter apartment buildings, condominiums, and non-profits for the purposes of canvassing can also be found in:

Did the Provincial and Federal Governments eliminate nomination fees?

Currently, provincial legislation requires payment of nomination fees at the time of filing your papers.  The fees are $200.00 for the office of Mayor and $100.00 for Councillor and School Board Trustee. Every candidate will be entitled to a refund of the nomination fee if they file their campaign financial statement and, if needed, the auditor’s report by the deadline.

Does Internet and Telephone Voting keep a record?

Yes, online and telephone voting does keep a record of the electronic ballot/vote.  The ballot/vote are counted as they are deposited into the electronic ballot box. The Clerk is required to keep the ballots/votes for 120 days after the results of the election are declared.

How are students counted towards votes?

If a student in the Municipality of Highlands East meets the general eligibility requirements they are entitled to vote in the Municipality’s municipal election. 

How do I find out how many people are running in a ward?

The Municipality will post the names of candidates online and at the Municipal Office as candidates file their nomination papers.

How are financial statement forms provided to candidates?

The Elections Office staff will provide you with a blank copy of the Financial Statement – Form 4 with your nomination package. The Clerk will also notify you by registered mail following the municipal election. These forms will also be available upon request with the Clerk’s Office at 705-448-2981 or by emailing us.

Please note it is the responsibility of the candidate to ensure their papers are completed accurately, truthfully, and within the legislated timelines. Failure to submit your financial statement can result in the immediate removal from office if elected, the inability to run in the next municipal election, and other penalties under the Municipal Elections Act, 1996.

All financial statements are posted online upon their filing with the Clerk.

Is it possible to do the nomination online?

No, you still must file your nomination papers in person at the Municipal Office, 2249 Loop Road, Wilberforce.

Are qualifications only at the time of the nomination or throughout the election?

You must be eligible to run for office at the time of nomination and throughout the election. If you are elected, you must maintain your eligibility during your time in office.

How do candidates prove the Voters' List if printed by them has been destroyed after the Election?

Candidates will sign a declaration swearing that they will destroy the Voters’ List in an acceptable manner. If you would like to return your list to the Clerk’s Office we will ensure the list is destroyed on your behalf. 

Is there a Deputy Mayor position?

Yes, the Municipality of Highlands East has a Deputy Mayor position. A Member of Council shall be appointed to serve as Deputy Mayor to assist the Mayor in carrying out their powers and duties and/or act in the place of the head of council or other member of council designated to preside at meetings when the head of council or designated member is absent or refuses to act or the office is vacant.

The Deputy Mayor shall be selected by Council by a majority vote of the Municipal Council and appointed by by-law at the first meeting following the Inaugural Meeting of Municipal Council.

If you are employed by the Municipality, a Board or Commission, does this disqualify you?

An employee of a municipality or local board is eligible to be a candidate and to be elected as a member of the council or local board if he or she takes an unpaid leave of absence beginning as of the day the employee is nominated and ending on Voting Day. If the employee is elected to the office, he or she shall be deemed to have resigned from the employment immediately before making the declaration of office.

Please consult legislation in the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 and the Municipal Act, 2001.

How do I withdraw my nomination?

We have a Notice of Withdrawal form that you will be required to complete at the Municipal Office. This must be done before the close of nominations on August 19, 2022 at 2:00 p.m.