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Review of Municipal Elections Act

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Review of Municipal Elections Act

The Municipal Elections Act, 1996 - the act that sets out rules for electors and candidates, and roles for municipal clerks and councils in municipal and school board elections in Ontario - is reviewed following each municipal election. The review determines whether the municipal election process is working well and whether reforms are needed to ensure the Act meets the needs of municipalities and electors. 

The province is now reviewing the Municipal Elections Act. In addition to exploring how ranked ballots could be implemented by municipalities, the review will evaluate the effectiveness of rules about:

  • Campaign Finance - whether existing campaign finance rules are consistent with transparent, accountable, fair and modern election finance practices.
  • Third Party Advertising - whether third party advertising should be regulated, and if so, how.
  • Accessibility - whether there are currently challenges or barriers to making municipal elections more accessible, and how these could be overcome.
  • Enforcement - if there are appropriate systems in place to ensure municipal election rules are effectively enforced. 

The government is also interested in hearing about other ways to modernize and improve municipal elections in Ontario, for example, by changing the length of municipal election campaigns.

Public Consultations Process

There are a number of ways that Ontarians can provide their input:          

Municipal Elections Act Review
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Local Government Policy Branch
777 Bay Street, 13th Floor, Toronto, ON M5G 2E5 

A discussion guide has been posted online to guide the public consultations.The deadline for comments is July 27, 2015.

The review is being undertaken at this time so that municipalities have the opportunity to consider ranked ballots before the 2018 municipal elections. 

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