London-Middlesex is in the Red/Control category of the Provincial Keeping Ontario Safe and Open framework. A number of City facilities have reopened to the public for in-person programs and services.
The City of London has one Mayor, and one Councillor elected to represent each of the City's 14 wards.
Role of Council members
The Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MAH) has published a document called, "The Municipal Councillor's Guide." This guide provides an overview of the many duties and challenges elected officials at the municipal level face.
The MAH guide is the source of this abbreviated description for the role of head of Council, which in the City of London is referred to as the Mayor:
This abbreviated description for the role of ward Councillor is based on the guide published by MAH:
Municipal councillors also sit as members of a number of Standing Committees. These committees carry out much of the work of council and then report back to council with recommendations. As a member of municipal council, you would be required to attend meetings of the Standing Committees on which you are a member, and also to attend meetings of the full City Council.
Council Members advise what Standing Committees they are interested in sitting on, in their order of preference. Those submissions are debated at the Strategic Priorities and Policy Committee (SPPC), on which all Council Members sit. A recommendation then goes forward from the SPPC for formal approval by Council, through the usual majority voting process.
Council Members are expected to attend all Council and Standing 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 town business, etc.).
Provincial legislation does not permit members to participate at meetings by web video link or proxy vote.
Methods of ward engagement vary from Council Member to Council Member, based upon their own personal preference and needs. Some use town hall meetings, some use social media, some use printed newsletters, etc.
The Council Procedure By-law dictates the day of the week meetings are held and the City Clerk drafts an annual meeting calendar for Council’s approval based on the By-law requirements.
There is only one meeting cycle in each of July and August (usually two meeting cycles per month) and City Hall is closed between Christmas and New Years’ Day.
Eligibility for holding office is dictated by the Municipal Elections Act.
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.
Advisory Committees are a great opportunity for the general public to assist the Council with its decision-making. No Council Members can be a voting member on an advisory committee. Council considers applications for appointments to Advisory Committees.
The Mayor Chairs the Corporate Services Committee and the Strategic Priorities and Policy Committee. He is automatically a voting member of all other standing committees because he/she holds the office of Mayor.
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 boards and commissions that fit well with their experience, expertise and interests, and appointments that fit well into their schedules.
There is no limit to the number of Standing Committee a Councillor can Chair, but generally, with the exception of the Mayor, Council Members do not chair more than one standing committee at a time.
There have been a number of changes to the standing committee structure in recent years. At this point in time, there are no further changes anticipated to the current structure. However Council has the authority to change the structure if it chose to do so.
Councillors are paid the same no matter how many Standing Committees they sit on. However, they do receive a very small additional stipend if they are serving as chair, with the exception of the Mayor, given the extra work traditionally associated with that role. They only receive that additional stipend once in a year, no matter how many Standing Committees they chair.
Municipal Elections happen every four years in Ontario. The guidelines for the conduct of an election are set out in the Municipal Elections Act. To run for office, you must be an eligible elector in the City of London.
The last Municipal Elections were held Monday, October 22, 2018. The elections were conducted for a term of office commencing December 1, 2018 and ending November 14, 2022.
Nominations can be filed starting May 1, 2018 and ending July 27, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. You must file in person at 300 Dufferin Ave in the Elections Office in the Lower Level of City Hall. You must complete the following forms:
You will also need to pay the nomination fee:
We accept cash, debit, credit and certified cheques.
You will need to provide identification and to swear an oath at our office.
* The requirement to submit 25 nomination signatures does not apply to candidates running for school board trustee positions.
Nomination papers are now available (online and at the Elections Office in the Lower Level of City Hall at 300 Dufferin Ave).
The Voters’ List will be available to candidates on September 1, 2018. On the written request of a certified candidate for an office, the clerk shall provide him or her with the part of the Voters’ List that contains the names of the electors who are entitled to vote for that office. The Voters’ List can be an electronic copy or a paper copy. You are entitled to two (2) copies for campaign purposes.
You can only start campaigning after you file your nomination papers.
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. You will also be required to swear an oath of qualification when filing your nomination.
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. However, you do have to vote from the address at which you reside. For example, you live in Ward 2, but are running in Ward 10. You have to vote in Ward 2.
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:
Campaign provisions have been clarified to allow candidates to access apartment buildings, condominiums, non-profit housing co-ops or gated communities from 9 a.m. until 9 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 a.m. and 9 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.
Same, condominium corporations
(2) No condominium corporation or any of its agents may prohibit the owner or tenant of a condominium unit from displaying signs in relation to an election on the premises of his or her unit.
(3) Despite subsections (1) and (2), a landlord, person, condominium corporation or agent may set reasonable conditions relating to the size or type of signs in relation to an election that may be displayed on the premises and may prohibit the display of signs in relation to an election in common areas of the building in which the premises are found.
(4) Despite subsection (3), no landlord, person, condominium corporation or agent may prohibit the display of signs in relation to an election in common areas of the building if space in the building is being used as a voting place.
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 the Condominium Act, 1998, S.O. 1998, Chapter 19, Residential Tenancies Act , 2006, S.O. 2006, Chapter 17 and Co-operative Corporations Act, R.S.O. 1990, Chapter C.35
When you file your nomination papers, you will receive a copy of this information to provide landlords, if asked.
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.
Yes, the tabulators keep a record of the ballots. The ballots are counted as they are inserted into the machine and ballot box. The City Clerk is required to keep the ballots for 120 days after the results of the election are declared.
Yes, the Municipal Elections Modernization Act, passed June 7, 2016 made changes to the Municipal Elections Act, 1996. These changes affect the Nomination Calendar, Eligibility, Third Party Advertising, Ranked Ballot Voting, Campaign Finance, Accessibility, Campaign Advertising and Election Administration for 2018. Some of these changes came into effect immediately after Royal Assent and certain changes do not come into effect until April 1, 2018.
The City of London will post the names of candidates online and at City Hall outside the Election Office in the Lower Level as candidates file their nomination papers.
The Elections Office staff will provide you with a blank copy of the Financial Statement – Form 4 with your nomination package. The City Clerk will also notify you by registered mail following the municipal election. These forms will also be available upon request with the Election Office at 519 661-4535 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 at London.ca upon their filing with the City Clerk.
No, you must file your nomination papers in person at the Election Office.
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.
There is a fee for an electronic copy of the Voters’ List. It is $50.00 per ward and $350.00 for the City-wide Voters’ List. You must be an eligible candidate in order to obtain this list and can only use it for election purposes.
Candidates will sign a declaration swearing that you will destroy the Voters’ List in an acceptable manner. If you would like to return your list to the City Clerk’s Office we will ensure the list is destroyed on your behalf.
Yes, the City of London 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 the Mayor, confirmed by a majority vote of the Municipal Council and appointed by by-law at the Inaugural Meeting of Municipal Council. The Mayor may, at their discretion, change their selection for Deputy Mayor throughout the course of his/her term as Mayor, in order to allow the Mayor to effectively draw upon the varied skill sets of Council Members. Any subsequent selection for Deputy Mayor shall be confirmed by Council and appointed by by-law.
Yes, the nomination of a person for an office on a council must be endorsed by at least 25 persons, and they may endorse more than one nomination. Persons endorsing a nomination must be eligible to vote in an election for an office within the municipality, if a regular election was held on the day that the person endorses the nomination.
An employee of a municipality or local board is eligible to be a candidate for and to be elected as a member of the council or local board that is the employer 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.
When you file your nomination papers there will be a section for you to write down your name as you want it to appear on the ballot. If you normally go by a different name than your legal first name, you may use that name provided the City Clerk agrees.
Example: Your name is John Alexander William Turner
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.
We have a Notice of Withdraw form that you will be required to complete at the Elections Office. This must be done before the close of nominations on July 27, 2018 at 2:00 p.m.
No. The City Clerk is required to certify each nomination after it has been filed and before the close of nominations. The City Clerk will verify the candidate’s name is on the Voters’ List and therefore an eligible elector.
It is the responsibility of the candidate to ensure they meet all the qualifications and file proper nomination papers. Each candidate should contact the Election Office to ensure that their forms are in order. Since the City Clerk may examine the nominations papers after the nomination period ends and may reject them, a candidate may find that their papers have been rejected and are too late to file additional information or provide proof to the City Clerk of their qualifications.
Candidates will need to consider the needs of persons with disabilities that include, but are not limited to, deaf and hard of hearing; deaf-blind; blind or visually impaired; cognitive or mental; speech; mental illness; and mobility.
Extra measures need to be taken to communicate to persons with disabilities because not all persons are able to access information that is widely used. This could mean the elector with the disability may not be able to read a newspaper article either in print or on the internet; the elector may not be able to visually see the TV ad or media advertising; the elector may not be able to hear the radio commercial; or the elector may not be able to understand the information presented.
Currently there are many opportunities for improving the involvement of the disabled and informing the disabled about candidates and election organizers. Accessibility is an ongoing consideration, and ongoing efforts are being made to allow persons with disabilities the proper access to become involved with the Election.
Candidates can visit group homes, old age homes, retirement homes, nursing homes and hospitals to inform the electors of their intentions while running for office.
Candidates can utilize the services of a sign language interpreter and/or a deaf-blind intervener when appropriate.
Written information, both on the internet and in hard copy, can be improved through the use of large print; colourful visuals; clear speech communication; and rephrasing when necessary.
Alternate forms of communication can be used such as braille, large print, captioning, electronic text, audio format, descriptive video service (DVS), and sign language video format.
A quiet meeting environment can also be helpful.
No, it is not a requirement that candidates ensure any person, disabled or not, within their ward vote. However, it is in the candidate’s\ best interest to reach out to all electors, including the disabled, to inform them of the various voting methods, such as vote by mail, advance voting, and proxy voting.
Candidates can utilize the following resources for assistance to reach out to those with disabilities
Standards for the placement of election signs on public and private property are established in the City of London's Election Sign By-law and Regulation.
Election signs must be erected and displayed in accordance with the prescribed time period as defined by the Election Sign By-law.
For federal and provincial elections (or by-elections), the period begins from the issuance of the writ and ends after the close of polls.
For municipal elections (or by-election or school board elections or by-elections), the period begins from the close of nominations and ends after the close of polls.
All election signs are required to be removed ninety-six (96) hours after Voting Day. If they are not removed from City property, a By-law Enforcement Officer may remove the signs.
The City Clerk and/or an Enforcement Officer for the City of London is authorized to take down or remove or cause to be removed immediately an election sign that is placed in contravention of the Election Sign By-law and Regulation.
If you would like to report or inquire about the placement of an election sign in the City of London please call or email the elections office at email@example.com or 519-661-4535.
Signs that pose any risk to the health and safety of pedestrians or motorists will be removed immediately.
Election signs that have been removed by the City of London will be stored at 663 Bathurst Street at A. J. Tyler Operations, Bathurst Works Yard. Signs may be picked up between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.
An election sign removed by the City of London will be stored for a period of not less than 30 days during which time the Owner or agent may retrieve the election sign.
The City of London is not responsible for the loss or damage of election signs.
Where an election sign has been removed by the City of London and has not been retrieved within 30 days, the election sign may be destroyed or otherwise disposed of by the City of London without notice.
On November 14, 2017 Council adopted a new Election Sign By-law.
The provisions set out in the new by-law and regulations are based on feedback from candidates, as well as members of the public. The most common complaints related to the length of time election signs are posted, proximity to intersections, and sight line concerns.
Here's a snapshot of what changed:
Under the current by-law, Council has delegated authority to the City Clerk to provide for regulations as to:
These regulations were updated following the 2018 Municipal Election.
Here’s a summary of the updates:
Restricts the storage period of an election sign that has been removed by the City of London to a period of no more than 30 days.