Frequently Asked Questions
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Eligibility to run
I would like to run in the next election, but I am not eligible because I did not file my campaign financial statement after I ran in the last election. Can the Minister give me an exemption and allow me to run?
No. The Minister does not have authority under the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 to extend the filing deadline or waive the penalties for failing to file.
My municipality has wards. Can I run in a different ward than the one where I live?
As long as you are eligible to vote in the municipality, you may run in any ward. If you do run in a ward where you do not live, you will not be able to vote for yourself.
Can I use my campaign office as my qualifying address so that I can vote for myself?
No. If you are a resident elector (you live in the municipality), you must vote in the ward where you reside. You cannot choose to vote in a different ward where you may own or rent another property.
Do I have to have a chief financial officer in order to open a campaign bank account?
No. Candidates in provincial and federal elections must have a chief financial officer, but candidates in municipal and school board elections do not. Occasionally, bank officials may ask for the name of your chief financial officer, not realizing that this requirement does not apply to municipal and school board candidates. You should direct a bank official who thinks you need a chief financial officer to subsection 69(1) of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996.
Can I pay for campaign expenses using my credit card?
The legislation says that all campaign expenses must be paid from the campaign bank account. If you pay for goods and services using a credit card, you should be sure to reimburse the expense promptly from the campaign account, and to keep records that show that the expense was paid from the campaign account.
Can I claim campaign expenses on my income tax?
No. Municipal and school board campaign expenses cannot be credited against provincial or federal income taxes.
Can I issue tax receipts to people who contribute to my campaign?
Contributions to municipal and school board campaigns cannot be credited against provincial or federal income taxes. You should contact your municipal clerk to see if your municipality has a contribution rebate program.
If I have a surplus at the end of my campaign, can I return contributions to people?
You can only return contributions that are not eligible (for example, contributions that exceed the limit, are from more than one person, or are from a person or business that is not eligible to contribute). If you have a surplus, you may refund contributions to yourself and your spouse, and any remaining funds must be turned over to the clerk.
Can I hold a joint fundraiser or campaign event with another candidate?
You can, but you must make sure that expenses are divided between the campaigns, and that each contribution received is clearly directed to a specific candidate.
Campaign Financial Statement
I filed my nomination but then withdrew before the election. Do I have to file a financial statement?
Yes. You must file a financial statement covering the period between when you filed your nomination and when you withdrew it.
I was acclaimed. Do I have to file a financial statement?
Yes. All candidates must file a financial statement.
I didn’t spend any money other than the nomination fee. Why do I have to file a financial statement?
You must file a financial statement in order to report that you did not spend any money other than the nomination fee.
I have extended my campaign. Do I have to file a financial statement in March?
Yes. You must file a financial statement covering your campaign finances to December 31 by 2 p.m. on March 27, 2015.