2018 Municipal Election Candidate Information Guide

The Candidate Information Guide is for candidates seeking election to the Office of Regional Chair for Niagara Region in the 2018 Municipal Election. For the first time in history, a regional chair will be elected by general vote of the electors in Niagara.

Introduction Top of Page

This document will assist candidates while serving as a quick reference guide for key election information and dates relevant to the Municipal Elections Act, 1996, as amended (hereinafter referred to as the "Act"), Niagara Region and Local Area Municipalities in Niagara (hereinafter referred to as the "LAMS"). In addition to the direct election of the regional chair by general vote, other amendments were made to the Act for the 2018 election including:

  • Shortened nomination period
  • Changes to nomination process (25 endorsement signatures required)
  • Banning of corporation and trade union donations
  • New campaign finance compliance rules
  • Regulation of third party advertising
  • Review of financial statements

Candidates must familiarize themselves with the election legislation and information, including qualifications, financial responsibilities, campaign contributions, campaign expenses, financial reporting and key dates. The onus is on the candidate to inform themselves.

This guide is intended to serve as a guide only. It is the responsibility of each candidate to ensure they fully comply with the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 and all other applicable legislation.The Act can be accessed through niagaravotes.ca or the Ministry's website.

Candidates should also read the 2018 Candidates Guide prepared by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs.

Candidates must deem themselves qualified to be elected and not disqualified by law.

The acting deputy regional clerk / elections is the returning officer for the Region for the direct election of the regional chair. Staff of the regional clerk's office can help you with any questions concerning the election process for the Office of Regional Chair.

The election process is shared between the Region and LAMS. Therefore, it is important to note the difference between the election duties and responsibilities between the Region and the LAMS. The regional returning officer, for the direct election of the regional chair, is responsible for:

  • Point of contact for all enquires
  • Provision of all candidate materials and information
  • Receipt and certification of nomination papers
  • Provision of list of registered candidates to LAMS
  • Advertising prescribed notices jointly with the LAMS, where appropriate
  • Calculating campaign expense limits and self-contribution limits
  • Receiving and reviewing the financial statements
  • Tabulating the region-wide vote results
  • Compliance Audit Committee duties in the event application(s) are received

The clerks of the LAMS will be responsible for the actual conduct of the election. All voting-related enquiries shall be directed to the clerk of the LAM. They will also manage all aspects of the election for regional councillor and school board trustee candidates.

Regional Contact Information Top of Page

Ann-Marie Norio
Regional Clerk
905-980-6000 ext. 3220

Jonathan Gilston
Legislative Coordinator
905-980-6000 ext. 3720

One Stop NiagaraTop of Page

Niagara Region and LAMS have worked together to create a niagaravotes website initially for regional chair candidates, to save them time and effort in gathering election-related knowledge and information / documents for the Region and each LAM.

Rather than a candidate having to search 13 different websites and / or visit 13 different clerk's offices, much of the information required for the campaign is located at niagaravotes.ca. The website will also serve as a useful tool for all regional, municipal and school board candidates as well as voters and the general public.

The website contains:

  • Direct links to LAM websites
  • Candidate information
  • Campaign Resources (LAMS)
  • Voter Information

The website will continuously be updated as information becomes available from the LAMS.

The campaign resources section includes one repository for common election documents for each of the Region and LAMS such as:

  • Use of municipal resource policies during the election campaign
  • Sign by-laws
  • Ward maps
  • Recount procedures
  • Close Vote Recount Policy - Town of Grimsby only, with 10 votes or less
  • Candidate information guides
  • Election accessibility plans

The campaign resource map has been designed to be user-friendly and will enable candidates to access data for the Region and LAMS, such as population, demographics, number of households, eligible electors, name and location for institution / retirement / long term care homes / not for profit co-operative housing.

Voter information will include lists of candidates, voting locations, voting hours, etc.

Local Area Municipal Clerks Contact Information Top of Page

City Clerk Phone Email
Fort Erie Carol Schofield 905-871-1600 ext. 2211 cschofield@forterie.ca
Grimsby Hazel Soady-Easton 905-945-9634 hsoady-easton@town.grimsby.on.ca
Lincoln Julie Kirkelos 905-563-8205 ext. 225 jkirkelos@lincoln.ca
Niagara-on-the-Lake Peter Todd 905-468-3266 ptodd@notl.org
Niagara Falls Bill Matson 905-356-7521 bmatson@niagarafalls.ca
Pelham Nancy Bozzato 905-892-2607 ext. 315 nbozzato@pelham.ca
Port Colborne Amber LaPointe 905-835-2900 ext. 106 cityclerk@portcolborne.ca
St. Catharines Bonnie Nistico-Dunk

905-688-5601 ext. 1506

Thorold Donna Delvecchio 905-227-6613 ext. 226 donna.delvecchio@thorold.com
Wainfleet William Kolasa 905-899-3463 ext. 223 wkolasa@wainfleet.ca
Welland Carmela Radice 905-735-1700 ext. 2280 election@welland.ca
West Lincoln Joanne Scime 905-957-3346 ext. 5136 jscime@westlincoln.ca

Nomination Information and Procedures Top of Page

Nomination Period

Tuesday, May 1, 2018 to Friday, July 27, 2018 at 2 p.m.

Nominations for the Office of Regional Chair may be made by filing Nomination Papers with the returning office.

Nomination Papers must be signed by the candidate and filed in person or by an agent, during normal office hours between Tuesday, May 1, 2018 and Thursday, July 26, 2018, and between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Friday, July 27, 2018 (Nomination Day).

Nomination Procedures

Nomination Papers must be filed on the prescribed form (Form 1) in the following manner:

  • In person or through an agent
  • If filed by an agent, the Nomination Paper and Oath of Qualification must contain original signatures and the oath administered and signed by a commissioner of oaths. If the Declaration of Qualification is not commissioned prior to filing, the returning officer will not accept the Nomination Paper. An agent will be required to show proof of identification and that of the candidate as more fully explained below under Section 3, "Identification".
  • During normal office hours (excluding statutory holidays) at the Regional Clerk's Office starting Tuesday May 1, 2018 through to Thursday, July 26, 2018 and between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Friday, July 27, 2018 (Nomination Day)
  • (New) With the prescribed declarations by at least 25 persons endorsing the nomination who are eligible to vote in an election for an office within the municipality, if a regular election was held on the day the person endorses the nomination
  • With the Oath of Qualification
  • When completing the Nomination Paper, the candidate must enter his or her name exactly as he or she wishes it to appear on the ballot
  • Only original signatures will be accepted on the Nomination Paper and all other election forms. The Nomination Paper and Oath of Qualification must be administered and signed in the presence of a commissioner of oaths. Selected staff in the Clerk's Office can provide this service when the Nomination Paper is filed.
  • Onus is on the person nominated to file a bona fide nomination paper
  • With the prescribed nomination filing fee of $200.00 for regional chair. The filing fee shall be paid by cash, debit card, credit card (Visa or Mastercard only), certified cheque or money order payable to the Regional Municipality of Niagara. A personal cheque will not be accepted.
  • With proof of identity and residence as prescribed in O. Reg. 304/13, as amended (see Section 3 below)

If a person is present in line on nomination day prior to 2 p.m. to file a nomination paper at the Regional Clerk's Office, and if due to a line-up the form cannot be processed before 2 p.m., the time will be noted and processed as soon as possible thereafter.

Until a candidate files their Nomination Paper (and pays the filing fee) they cannot raise money or incur expenses. Also, a candidate cannot spend any of their own money or that of their spouse before filing.

Nomination Papers are public documents and are available for inspection at the office of the regional clerk during normal office hours.

Proof of Identification

Candidates must show picture proof of identity and their qualifying address within Niagara at the time the Nomination Paper is filed.

A driver's licence provides both picture identification and proof of residency. Other acceptable forms of picture identification include government issued identification forms that contain the name, e.g. passport or health card.

Other acceptable documents for proof of residency (which must be shown in conjunction with acceptable picture identification) include:

  • Property tax bill
  • Utility bill

A candidate's agent must provide the candidate's original identification, as well as providing his or her own identification.

In the case of a person renting property (tenant), the returning officer, in their absolute discretion, may request the candidate to furnish a current lease / rental agreement for the purpose of determining eligibility to be a candidate.

If the candidate does not have the types of identification the Region is requesting, other forms of identification as outlined in O. Reg 304/13 (Voter Identification) may be accepted.

Key Information and DatesTop of Page

Unofficial List of Candidates

Upon completion of the nomination process, the candidate's information including name (as it will appear on the ballot), address and contact information, as well as a link to the candidate's website, will be posted on the Region's website under the Unofficial List of Candidates and posted in the Headquarters Lobby (Campbell West Building).

The Unofficial List of Candidates will be updated as each Nomination Paper is filed.

Each candidate will be informed when the list is updated as well as the clerk of each LAM, members of council, senior staff and the media.

Nomination Day (s.31) - Friday, July 27, 2018

Last day for filing nominations. Nominations filed on July 27, 2018 may only be filed between the hours of 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Withdrawal of Nomination (s.36) - Friday, July 27, 2018

A candidate who wishes to withdraw his or her nomination must notify the returning officer in writing by 2 p.m. on Friday, July 27, 2018. A Withdrawal of Nomination form is included in the candidate package.

Either the candidate or an agent of the candidate must file the withdrawal form in person. The withdrawal form may not be mailed, faxed or emailed.

The candidate will still have to submit a financial statement covering all financial transactions up to the time of the withdrawal. Provided the financial statement is submitted on or before the filing date of 2 p.m., Friday, March 29, 2019, the candidate will be entitled to a refund of the nomination filing fee.

The withdrawal will be noted on the Unofficial List of Candidates.

Rejection of Nomination Paper (s.35 (3) and (4))

If the candidate is not qualified to be nominated, or the nomination paper does not comply with the Act, the returning officer shall reject the nomination.

A telephone call and email will be made to the candidate as soon as possible, informing them of the rejection, and a Notice of Rejection of Nomination will be sent, by registered mail, to the candidate. All other candidates will be informed by email.

Certification of Nomination Papers (s.35) - Monday, July 30, 2018

On or before 4 p.m., July 30, 2018 the returning officer will examine the Nomination Papers. If the returning officer is satisfied a person is qualified to be nominated and the nomination complies with the Act, the returning officer shall certify the nomination by signing the Nomination Paper.

The returning officer shall send the names of the qualified candidates by email to the clerks of each of the LAMS for the ballots.

Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

The candidate may sign the Consent to Release Personal Information form authorizing the returning officer to release personal information for posting on the Region's website (i.e. name and contact information).

Campaign Period - Tuesday, May 1, 2018 to Monday, December 31, 2018

A candidate's campaign period begins once they file a Nomination Paper during the nomination period, and ends on December 31, 2018, unless the:

  • Candidate withdraws the nomination;
  • Returning officer rejects the nomination; or the
  • Candidate is continuing their campaign to erase a deficit

Notice of Penalties - Campaign Finances (s. 33.1) - Before Voting Day

Before voting day, the returning officer shall provide to each candidate a notice of penalties under Sections 88.23(2) and 92(1) of the Act related to campaign finances, and the refund of the nomination filing fee the candidate is entitled to receive in the circumstances as described in Section 34 of the Act (included in candidate package).

Certificates of Maximum Campaign Expenses (s.33.0.1, 88.20)

Calculation for Office of Regional Chair - $7500 + $0.85 cents per elector

At time of filing Nomination Paper - Preliminary

The returning officer shall provide a certificate to the candidate at the time of the filing of the Nomination Paper of the preliminary calculation of the maximum amount of the campaign expenses that may be incurred for the Office of Regional Chair, based on the number of electors on the voters' list as of September 12, 2014, adjusted for changes made as of that date (329,493).

Preliminary Calculation - $287,569.05

Tuesday, September 25, 2018 - Final

The returning officer shall determine from the voters' list the number of electors eligible to vote for the Office of Regional Chair as of September 15, 2018, including changes made that day, calculate and issue a certificate by no later than September 25, 2018 of the maximum amount of campaign expenses that may be incurred by a candidate. The higher of the two calculations (preliminary and secondary) shall be the final spending limit for the Office of Regional Chair.

(New) Certificate of Maximum Amount of Contributions - Own Campaign (s.33.0.2, 88.9.1)

At time of filing Nomination Paper

Upon filing the Nomination Paper, the returning officer shall provide a certificate of the applicable maximum of contributions to a candidate's own campaign.

The candidate and their spouse shall not make contributions to the candidate's own campaign that, combined, exceed an amount equal to the lesser of, for the Office of Regional Chair, $7500 plus $0.20 cents per elector ($73,427); or $25,000.

The number of electors is determined from the voters' list as it existed on nomination day of the 2014 election (September 12, 2014), adjusted for changes made as of that date, (transition year).

The returning officer's calculation is final.

Official List of Candidates - On or before August 3, 2018

The final list of certified candidates will be posted on the Region's website and in the Regional Headquarters Lobby (Campbell West) on or before Friday, August 3, 2018.

Notice of Election

If after 4 p.m. on Monday, July 30, 2018 the number of certified nominations filed for the Office of Regional Chair is more than the number of persons to be elected to the office (1 to be elected), the returning officer shall give notice that an election shall be held. Such notice will be included in the LAM Notice of Election, including the:

  • Location of the voting places
  • Dates and times on which the voting places will be open for voting
  • If Section 44 of the Act (voting proxies) applies, the manner in which electors may use voting proxies

The returning officer will post a Notice of Election on the Region's website and in the lobby at Regional Headquarters (Campbell West). The LAMS will publish and post a Notice of Election that will include the offices to be elected, including the regional chair's office, as well as all other relevant election information.

Voting Day - Monday, October 22, 2018

Official Results - On or after Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The returning officer shall, as soon as possible after voting day, declare the candidate who received the highest number of votes to be elected.

Term of Office Commences - Saturday, December 1, 2018

The elected regional chair shall take the Declaration of Office prior to taking his or her seat on Regional Council.

End of Campaign Period - Monday, December 31, 2018

The end of the campaign period is December 31, 2018 unless a candidate withdraws the nomination, the nomination is rejected by the returning officer, or the candidate is continuing their campaign to erase a deficit.

Campaign Deficit - Monday, December 31, 2018

If a candidate has a deficit on December 31, 2018 and wishes to continue fundraising to eliminate the deficit, the candidate must notify the returning officer on the prescribed form (Notice of Extension of Campaign Period - Form 6) on or before 4:30 p.m. on December 31, 2018. Failure to do so shall mean the campaign period ends on December 31, 2018.

Deadline for Filing of Financial Statements - Friday, March 29, 2019 on or before 2 p.m.

This is the final date by which all candidates must file their financial statements in the prescribed form (Financial Statement - Auditor's Report Form 4) for the period from the date their nomination was filed through to December 31, 2018.

End of Extension of Campaign Period to Eliminate Deficit - Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Deadline for Supplementary Filing - Friday, September 27, 2019 on or before 2 p.m.

This is the final date by which candidates must file their supplementary financial statements in the prescribed form for the Supplementary Reporting Period from January 1, 2019 through to June 30, 2019.

QualificationTop of Page

Who is qualified? (s.29, MEA; s 256, s 257 Municipal Act)

At the time of filing the nomination, a candidate for the Office of Regional Chair must be a qualified elector in accordance with Section 17 of the Act. The candidate must be:

  • Canadian citizen
  • At least 18 years of age
  • Resident of Niagara, or the owner or tenant of land in Niagara or the spouse of such owner or tenant of land in Niagara
  • Entitled to be an elector under Section 17 of the Act in a lower-tier municipality within the upper-tier municipality (Niagara Region)
  • Not disqualified for violations of financial requirements or violations of requirements for filing financial information
  • Not disqualified by any Act from holding such office

Candidates who are members of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, or the Senate or House of Commons of Canada may file their nomination for an office in the election, but their nomination will be rejected if they have not resigned their office as of 2 p.m. on nomination day (July 27, 2018).

If an employee of Niagara Region or local board wishes to file a nomination, the employee must take an unpaid leave of absence as of the day the employee is nominated and ending on voting day.

If elected, the person is deemed to have resigned immediately before making the Declaration of Office. (Sec. 30(1)).

Who is disqualified? (s.17, 90, 91 MEA; s.258, 423, 424 Municipal Act)

The following persons are disqualified from seeking election for the Office of Regional Chair:

  • Except during a leave of absence, an employee of Niagara Region or local board
  • A judge of any court
  • Except if they cease being a member as of 2:00 pm on Nomination Day:
    • A member of the Ontario Legislature
    • A member of the House of Commons
    • A member of the Senate
  • A person who is serving a sentence of imprisonment in a penal or correctional institution, including a sentence being served in the evening or on weekends, but does not include a person serving a sentence at home
  • A corporation
  • A person acting as executor or trustee or in any other representative capacity, except as a voting proxy in accordance with Section 44 of the Act
  • A person who was convicted of the corrupt practices described in Section 90(3) of the Act (bribery), if voting day in the current election is less than five years after voting day in the election in respect of which they were convicted
  • A person who was convicted of the corrupt practice as described in Section 91(1) of the Act if voting day in the current election is less than eight years after voting day in the election in respect of which they were convicted
  • A person disqualified for violations of financial requirements or violations of requirements for filing financial information in accordance with the Act
  • Otherwise ineligible or disqualified under the Education Act or any other Act

Reference all disqualification provisions under the Municipal Elections Act and the Municipal Act - sections noted above.

It is the responsibility of the candidate to ensure they are qualified to seek the office for which they are being nominated.

Campaign FinancesTop of Page

Election Contributions and Expenses

The Act imposes limitations on the expenses for candidates in municipal elections. Also, the Act requires the candidate to report any contributions received and expenses incurred during the campaign period.


Campaign contributions can only be accepted during the campaign period, being the date the candidate filed his or her nomination through to December 31, 2018, unless the candidate withdraws the nomination, the returning officer rejects the nomination or the candidate is continuing his or her campaign to erase a deficit.

  • A candidate must open a separate bank account for his or her campaign
  • Campaign bank accounts are no longer necessary if a candidate does not accept any contributions or incur expenses
  • Contribution limits - A contributor shall not make contributions exceeding $1200 to any one candidate in an election and a contributor cannot make contributions exceeding $5,000 to two or more candidates on the same Council or local board. Contributors who exceed this limit may be liable to a penalty upon conviction.
  • For the Office of Regional Chair, a candidate or their spouse may contribute a combined maximum of $25,000 to the candidate's own election campaign
  • A candidate must ensure receipts are issued for every contribution
  • Anonymous and cash contributions are now capped at $25
  • Eligible contributors are individuals who are normally a resident in Ontario
  • Corporations and trade unions are prohibited from donating to candidates. This rule does not apply to third party advertisers.

Expense Limits

Expense limit for regional chair is $7500 plus $0.85 per elector.

The preliminary calculation is $287,689.75 based on 2014 eligible elector numbers as of September 12, 2014, with changes.

The maximum campaign expense amount will be available on or before September 25, 2018 based on 2018 eligible elector numbers.

A candidate must ensure receipts are obtained for every expense.

Financial Reporting

All candidates must disclose and report their contributions and expenses in the prescribed form, Financial Statement - Auditor's Report Form 4, (included in Candidate Package) on or before 2 p.m., March 29, 2019.

Even if the candidate is extending their campaign due to a deficit, they must submit a Financial Statement for the campaign period which ran from the date of filing their Nomination Paper through to December 31, 2018.

Candidates whose campaign contributions exceed $10,000 or whose total campaign expenses exceed $10,000 are required to file an auditor's report with the financial statement.

If the candidate notifies the clerk on or before December 31, 2018 of the fact that their campaign has a deficit and they wish to extend their campaign period, the candidate will be required to submit a Notice of Extension to Campaign form (Form 6). The Supplementary Reporting Period runs from January 1, 2019 to June 30, 2019. The candidate must submit Form 6 to the clerk on or before 2 p.m. on September 27, 2019.

There are penalties for not filing financial statements by the applicable deadlines, which may include forfeiture of office. The penalties do not take effect if the candidate files their forms before 2 p.m. within 30 days of the applicable deadline, and pays a late filing fee of $500 to the clerk.

Candidate Financial Statements are filed with the clerk and are public documents. Financial statements will be posted on the Region's website, along with a report from the clerk indicating whether each candidate met the filing deadline requirements.

If a candidate filed their financial statement prior to the filing date of March 29, 2019 for the campaign period ending December 31, 2018 and noticed an error, they can withdraw the statement and refile the Financial Statement - Auditor's Report by March 29, 2019.

The clerk will review the contributions reported on the Financial Statements to determine whether any contributor appears to have exceeded any of the contribution limits. Should the clerk determine that a contributor has exceeded the limits; the Clerk must prepare a report and forward it to the Compliance Audit Committee. The Compliance Audit Committee will review the report and determine whether to commence a legal proceeding against a contributor for an apparent contravention.

Refund of Nomination Filing Fee

A candidate is entitled to receive a refund of the nomination filing fee if they file their Financial Statements on or before the financial filing date of Friday, March 29, 2019 on or before 2 p.m., or the supplementary filing date of September 27, 2019. (s.34)

General InformationTop of Page

Voters' Lists for LAMS

Voters' Lists will be available no later than September 1, 2018 from the LAM Clerk's Offices. Pursuant to Section 23(4) of the Act, every candidate will receive one free copy of the Voters' List upon written request. (Forms included in Candidate Information Package).

Continuing on the path of "One Stop Niagara" for the regional chair candidates, the LAMS will be providing their respective voters' lists on a USB thumb-drive to be picked up at the Regional Clerk's Office. An email will be sent to all candidates when the thumb-drives may be picked-up.

LAM Voting Methods

All of the LAMS will be utilizing a paper ballot for voting, with vote tabulators for the counting of the ballots, save and except the following:

  • Town of Grimsby: Internet and telephone voting from Oct. 10-22, 2018; paper ballots and vote tabulator at Town Hall on Voting Day
  • Town of Lincoln Internet voting from Oct. 3-17, 2018; Advance Polls and Voting Day - paper ballots and vote tabulators
  • Township of Wainfleet Vote by mail

Voting Process

The clerk of the LAM is responsible for the actual voting process and looks after the ballot preparation, proxy voting, polling locations, advance polls, voters'

list and the counting of ballots in their respective municipality. If you have any questions about the voting process in a LAM, please contact the Clerk of the appropriate municipality.

One Vote for Regional Chair

Eligible electors in Niagara, including non-resident electors, may only vote once for the Office of Regional Chair, regardless of the number of municipalities in which they may own property, or be a tenant or the spouse of such owner or tenant.

In each LAM, all electors indicated on the voters' list as non-resident electors may be requested by the poll personnel to take an oral oath attesting to the fact they have not already voted for the Office of Regional Chair in another LAM.

Election Results

The polls close on voting day at 8 p.m.

The results for the Office of Regional Chair will be reported by each LAM to the Region for tabulation and posting.

Election Control will be located in the regional clerk's office. No council member, member of the public or media will be permitted access to the clerk's office after the close of the polls.

Election Central will be located in the Council Chamber at Regional Headquarters and will open at 7 p.m. The election results for the Office of Regional Chair will be displayed on the overhead screens for each LAM. The election results will also be displayed, by LAM, for all other offices.

Further details will be provided to all candidates prior to voting day.

Candidate Access to Apartment Buildings, Condominiums, etc.

As a result of recent amendments to the Act, candidates now have a right of access to campaign in apartment buildings, condominiums, non-profit housing co-operatives or gated communities between the hours of 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the doors to the apartments, units or houses, as the case may be.

No landlord / agent can prohibit a tenant from displaying election signs on the premises to which the lease relates. Also, no condominium corporation / agent may prohibit the owner or tenant of a unit from displaying election signs on the premises of their unit.

However, a landlord, person, condominium corporation or agent may set reasonable conditions relating to the size or type of election signs that may be displayed on the premises and may prohibit the display of election signs in common areas of the building. They may not prohibit the display of election signs posted at the direction of the LAM clerk if common area space in the building is being used as a voting place.

In addition, under the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, candidates, or their authorized representatives, may undertake lawful campaign activities at Niagara Regional Housing premises for the purpose of canvassing or distributing election material.

Campaigning at Regional Long-term Care Homes

Candidates will have reasonable access to Niagara Region long-term care homes for the purpose of engaging in campaign activities such as canvassing and the distribution of election campaign materials, subject to the following limitations.

Candidates shall be limited to canvassing and leaving election related materials in the common areas such as the main lobby.

  • Candidates shall not be permitted to canvas in the resident home areas and resident bedrooms
  • If a candidate wishes to meet with a group of residents, candidates must contact the long-term care home as noted below to arrange a suitable date and time
  • Residents will not be permitted to place election signs in the windows of their private rooms
City Long-term Care Home Contact Phone
Fort Erie Gilmore Lodge Beth Plato-Giles 905-871-6160 ext. 4601
Grimsby Deer Park Villa Cindy Perrodou 905-945-4164 ext. 4801
Niagara-on-the-Lake Upper Canada Lodge Marg Lambert 905-468-4208 ext. 4401
Niagara Falls Meadows of Dorchester Colleen Tufts 905-357-1911 ext. 4301
Port Colborne Northland Pointe Leslie Hancock 905-835-9335 ext. 4701
St. Catharines Linhaven

Karen Pow

905-934-3364 ext. 4101
Welland / Pelham Woodlands of Sunset Tracey Tait 905-892-3845 ext. 4501
Welland Rapelje Lodge Gail Gill 905-714-7428 ext. 4201

Candidate Election Campaign Advertising

Effective April 1, 2018, Section 88.3 of the Act provides candidate advertising and signs (not third party advertising) must identify the candidate and make it clear who is responsible for the sign/message. This will apply to all advertising regardless of format or method.

Candidates, or those advertising on their behalf, must provide broadcasters and publishers with information including the name of the candidate, name of the individual or organization taking out the advertisement, as well as the address and telephone number of the individual interacting with the broadcaster or publisher on behalf of the candidate.

The broadcaster or publisher is then responsible for retaining this information along with a copy of the advertisement and invoice for a period of four (4) years and making this information available to the public for inspection during that time period.

Candidate Campaign Websites

Candidates may wish to set up campaign websites. In the event any funds are expended for a campaign website, it is deemed to be a campaign expense and must be reported at the end of the campaign period. Similarly, once the campaign is over, the campaign website should be removed if money is being spent, no matter how minor, to maintain the website or domain name.

Third Party Advertising

Regulation of Third Party Advertising - Effective April 1, 2018

Definition of Third Party Advertising means an advertisement in any medium that has the purpose of promoting or supporting or opposing a candidate(s) or a "yes" or "no" answer to a question on the ballot.

It does not include:

  • An advertisement by or under the direction of a candidate
  • Where no expenses are incurred by the person / entity in relation to the advertisement
  • When given or transmitted by an individual to employees, by a corporation to its shareholders, directors, members or employees or by a trade union to its members or employees

Eligibility for Registration as Third Party Advertiser

Individuals, corporations or trade unions must formally register with the LAM clerk as a third party advertiser. The Region has no involvement with Third Party Advertisers.

Registrations will be accepted by LAM clerks between the first day for filing nominations (May 1) and the Friday before voting day (October 19, 2018) in a regular election.

The following are NOT permitted to register:

  • Municipal election candidates
  • Federal and Provincial political parties, constituency associations, registered candidates and leadership contestants
  • Federal and Provincial governments, a municipality or local board

Third Party Advertising Requirements

Must be registered at time of advertisement, and the ad must contain:

  • Name of registered third party
  • The municipality where the third party is registered
  • Telephone number, mailing address or email address at which the third party may be contacted regarding the ad

The broadcaster / publisher must retain records of the above information, a copy of the ad / means of reproducing it and the cost, for four (4) years after the date of appearance and shall permit inspection of same during normal business hours.

Contributions cannot be made or accepted unless registered as a third party. Same contribution limits as those for candidates: $1,200 per registered third party and maximum of $5,000 total for registered third parties in the same municipality.

Expenses are subject to a maximum expense limit (a prescribed formula based on the number of electors entitled to vote). Must record expenses and file a financial statement.

Third party advertisers are subject to compliance audits in the event an application is filed with the Compliance Audit Committee.

The LAM may require any person who contravenes the provisions for third party advertisers or caused / permitted the contravention, including the owner or occupier of the land on which the contravention occurred, to remove or discontinue the advertising.

There are similar penalties as those for candidates for financial statement default

Maps of the Area Municipalities

Regional maps are included in the Candidate Information Package and are available on the website.

LAM maps must be obtained from the clerk of each area municipality. Candidates will be asked to present the photocopy of their Nomination Paper to each clerk in order to obtain the map and street index for that municipality. Electronic versions will be available on the respective websites.

Scrutineers (Candidate's Agents)

Each candidate may appoint, in writing, scrutineers to represent them at the voting place and to be present during the counting of the votes. As a matter of convenience, scrutineer information and forms are included in the Candidate Information Guide. Otherwise, please contact the clerk of the LAM for any further scrutineer information or instructions.

Election Signs

Area Municipalities

The LAMS each have Sign By-laws regulating election signs on highways and private property. Some by-laws provide start and end dates for placement and removal of signs. Any questions with respect to the Election Sign By-law for a LAM can be directed to the clerk. LAM Election Sign By-laws can be found at niagaravotes.ca under One Stop Niagara.

Niagara Region Section 4 of Regional Sign By-law No. 122-2013 provides that no person shall place or allow an election sign to be placed on a Regional Road. The Regional by-law may also be enforced by the LAM Municipal By-law Enforcement Officers. The Regional Sign By-law can be located at niagaravotes.ca under One Stop Niagara.

Niagara Region

Section 4 of Regional Sign By-law No. 122-2013 provides that no person shall place or allow an election sign to be placed on a Regional Road. The Regional by-law may also be enforced by the LAM Municipal By-law Enforcement Officers.

The Regional Sign By-law can be located at niagaravotes.ca under One Stop Niagara.

Election Sign Recycling

Candidates are encouraged to use recyclable materials for all applicable election materials. Candidates are also encouraged to promote recycling of their signs after use by members of the public who may choose to display them on their property.

Niagara Region's Recycling Centre can accept corrugated plastic signs. Residents can readily place this material in their blue boxes once they remove any metal or wooden components for disposal (i.e. stakes). Should candidates have any questions pertaining to sign material and disposal, please contact Niagara Region Waste Management via email at wasteinfoline@niagararegion.ca or by telephone at 1-800-594-5542 or 905-356-4141.


An Election Accessibility Plan will be posted at niagaravotes.ca.

Should any candidate require election information in a different format, kindly contact the returning officer or Steve Murphy, Policy and Sustainability Analyst at 905-980-6000 ext. 3252.

Key Dates for 2018 ElectionTop of Page

Key date information applies to Regional Chair Candidates or Returning Officer / Regional Clerk unless LAM Clerks are specified.

Item Date / Period Municipal Elections Act Reference
Publish and Post Notice of Nominations April s. 32
Nomination Period Commences May 1 s. 33(4)
Nomination Day July 27 (9 a.m. - 2 p.m.) s. 31
Withdrawal of Nominations July 27 (Before 2 p.m.) s.36(a)
Preliminary Certificate of Maximum Campaign Expenses and Contributions for Own Campaign Provided when nomination filed s.33.01 (1) and 33.02 (1)
Provide notice of penalties for election campaign finances and refund of nomination filing fee Provided when nomination filed


Notice of filing requirements for financial statements for period ending December 31, 2018 (last day to provide notice is February 21, 2019) Provided when nomination filed s.88.25 (9); 34; 88.23 (2)
Certification of Nominations July 30 (Before 4 p.m.) s.35 (1) (2); 35 (5) Before 4 pm on July 30
LAM Clerks to provide candidates with copy of procedures and forms for vote-counting equipment or alternative voting method May 1 s.42 (3)
Filing of Notice of Registration as Third Party Advertiser with LAM Clerks (not Region) May 1- Oct. 19 s.88.6 (7)
Nominations filed with Region must be forwarded to LAM Clerks July 30 (By 2 p.m.) s.11.1 (4)
Certification of nomination papers July 30 (By 4 p.m.) s.35 (1)
Declaration of Acclamations July 30 (After 4 p.m.) s.37 (1)
Period to issue proxy vote certificates July 30 (After 4 p.m.) s.44 (6)
Proxy applications may be filed with LAM Clerks July 30 - Oct. 22 s.44 (6)
Voters' List (LAM Clerks) Sept. 4 s.19 (11)
Revisions to Voters' List (LAM Clerks) Sept. 4 - Oct. 22 s. 23, 24, 25
Prepare and Distribute Interim List of Changes to Voters' List (LAM Clerks) Sept. 15 - 25 s.27 (1)
Notice of Election Issued Sept. 21 s.40
Issue Certificate of Maximum Campaign Spending Limits and Contribution Limits for Own Campaign Sept. 25 s.88.9.1 (2); 88.20 (11)
Deadline to establish Compliance Audit Committee and administrative practices and procedures (Joint) Sept. 28 s.88.37 (1); 88.37 (6)
Voting Day Oct. 22 s.5
Declaration of Results posted on website including number of declined and rejected ballots As soon as possible after voting day - Oct. 23 s.55 (4.1); s. 55 (4.1)2
Last Regional Council Meeting Nov. 1  
Term of Office Commences Dec. 1 s.6
Regional Council Inauguration Dec. 6  
First Regional Council Meeting Dec. 13  
Campaign Period Ends Dec. 31 s.88.24 (1-2)
Candidate may apply to Ontario Court of Justice to extend time to file financial statement By March 28, 2019 s.88.23 (6)
Deadline to file financial statements. May extend by 30 days with $500 penalty fee or by court-ordered extension March 29, 2019 by 2 p.m. s.88.30 (1)
Final day for Clerk to review and report on financial statements that exceeded the limits April 29, 2019 s.88.34
First day for Clerk to publish report of candidates who filed by March 29, 2019 May 1, 2019 s.88.23 (4,5)
Last day to file compliance audit application to Compliance Audit Committee for regular financial statement filing period June 27, 2019 s.88.33 (3)

Regional Chair Duties and ResponsibilitiesTop of Page

Regional Council consists of 32 members composed of the Regional Chair and the Regional Councillors from the 12 LAMS. By virtue of the Mayor's Office, the Mayors also serve as Regional Councillors.

It shall be the role of the chair to carry out the responsibilities set forth in Sections 225 and 226.1 of the Municipal Act, 2001 (Act).

Section 225 of the Act states: "It is the role of the head of council,

  • To act as chief executive officer of the municipality;
  • To preside over council meetings so that its business can be carried out efficiently and effectively;
  • To provide leadership to the council
    • without limiting clause (c) above
    • to provide information and recommendations to the council with respect to the role of council;
  • To represent the municipality at official functions; and
  • To carry out the duties of the head of council under this or any other Act."

Section 226.1 of the Act states: "As chief executive officer of a municipality, the head of council shall,

  • Uphold and promote the purposes of the municipality
  • Promote public involvement in the municipality's activities
  • Act as the representative of the municipality both within and outside the municipality, and promote the municipality locally, nationally and internationally; and
  • Participate in and foster activities that enhance the economic, social and environmental well-being of the municipality and its residents."

Niagara Region Council Rules of Procedure By-law includes Sections 225 and 226.1 of the Act. The by-law also governs the Chair as follows:

It shall be the duty of the Chair, with respect to any meetings over which he or she presides, to:

  • Preserve order and decide all questions of order, subject to appeal, and without argument or comment, state the rule applicable to any point of order if called upon to do so;
  • Receive and submit to a vote all Motions presented by the members of Council or Committee, as the case may be, which do not contravene the Rules of Procedure;
  • Announce the results of the vote on any Motions so presented;
  • Decline to put to a vote Motions which are contrary to the Rules of Procedure or which are beyond the jurisdiction of Council;
  • Enforce on all occasions the observance of order and decorum among the Members;
  • Authenticate by his or her signature, when necessary, all by-laws, minutes and resolutions of Council or Committee;
  • Adjourn the meeting when business is concluded;
  • Adjourn the sitting without a question being put or suspend or recess the sitting for a time to be named if considered necessary;
  • Represent and support Council, declaring its will and implicitly obeying its decisions in all things; and
  • Perform other duties when directed to do so by resolution of Council.

The Chair shall be the chair of the Committee of the Whole meetings except for Budget Review Committee of the Whole Meetings. The Chair may also select another Member to Chair Committee of the Whole meetings.

The Chair shall be a member of all Committees and shall have full privileges, including the right to vote at meetings thereof, but shall not be eligible to be the Committee Chair / Co-Chair or Committee Vice-Chair.

The Chair shall only vote in a Council meeting to break a tie vote.

RemunerationTop of Page

The 2018 rate of remuneration for the regional chair is $132,477 plus a full benefit package.

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