Amendments to Ontario Regulation 101/97 to prepare for the 2018 municipal election.
Ontario Regulation 101/97
Bill or Act:
Municipal Elections Act
Summary of Proposal:
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs is proposing amendments to Ontario Regulation 101/97 under the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 to:
-specify the number of electors in a municipality in which a candidate is not required to have their nomination endorsed by 25 electors;
-provide for the spending limit for third party advertisers and to set the limit that third party advertisers can spend on parties and gifts of appreciation; and
-make changes to the forms to reflect provisions of the Act that come into force on April 1, 2018.
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs heard from a number of municipalities that the requirement to collect 25 signatures endorsing a candidate's nomination, which comes into force on April 1, 2018, might present a challenge to candidates in certain municipalities.
The Ministry consulted with small and rural municipalities to understand any challenges that they anticipate that candidates within their municipality may face in meeting this requirement. As a result of these consultations, the proposed changes to O.Reg. 101/97 provide an exemption to this requirement for candidates in municipalities with less than 4,000 electors.
Third Party Advertising Spending Limits
Interest in third party advertising has been increasing over the past few elections. This has resulted in confusion among voters and candidates regarding whether the efforts of third parties should be viewed as illegal contributions to candidates. The 2018 municipal elections will be the first in which third party advertising is regulated. There were previously no rules regulating third party advertising in municipal elections.
A detailed framework for third party advertising is found in the Municipal Elections Act, 1996. The provisions regarding third party advertising will come into effect on April 1, 2018.
Third party advertisers will be subject to two spending limits:
-a general spending limit; and
-a separate limit for expenses related to parties and expressions of appreciation after the close of voting.
Under the Municipal Elections Act, 1996, third party advertisers will be subject to a spending limit that varies by the number of electors in the municipality in which the third party advertiser is registered. Changes proposed to O. Reg. 101/97 include the following formula for calculating third party spending limits: $5,000 plus $0.05 per elector, to a maximum of $25,000.
The proposed formula consists of a base amount plus a per elector amount to a predetermined maximum.
The Act also provides that the spending limit for parties and other expressions of appreciation after voting day be set at 10% of the general spending limit. This would be consistent with the spending limit already in place for candidates.
Changes to Forms
Changes would be made to forms referenced in O. Reg. 101/97 to reflect provisions of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 that come into force on April 1, 2018, including the requirement for endorsement signatures, and rules for third party advertising.
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs welcomes feedback on the proposed amendments to the regulation and encourages anyone interested to provide comments on the proposal. Comments may be submitted until January 9, 2018 by e-mail at, MEA.Info@ontario.ca, or by mail.
November 10, 2017
Comments Due Date:
January 9, 2018
Ministry of Municipal Affairs
Local Government Policy Branch
777 Bay Street, 13th Floor
Toronto, ON M5G 2E5