Information for candidates

How do I become a candidate?

To become a candidate for Mayor, City Councillor or School Board Trustee you must file a nomination paper with the City Clerk, in person, on the first floor of City Hall, 500 Donald Street East. Nomination papers may be filed from Monday, May 2, 2022 to Friday, August 19, 2022, by appointment only. Walk-in appointments will not be guaranteed. Book your appointment online or call the Office of the City Clerk at 807-625-2230.

The deadline to file a nomination is 2:00 p.m. on Friday, August 19, 2022.

A person cannot raise or spend money on an election campaign until they have filed their nomination paper.

Candidate information session

Thinking of running for Mayor, City Councillor or School Board Trustee?

City Clerk Krista Power hosted a candidate information session on April 20, 2022, along with special guest Karen Bradica, Municipal Advisor with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. 

Here are links to download the PowerPoint presentation and watch a recording of the information session.

Am I qualified to run?

To run for Mayor or City Councillor, on the day the nomination paper is filed, a person must be:

  • a Canadian citizen
  • at least 18 years old
  • a resident of the City of Thunder Bay, or an owner or tenant of land in the City of Thunder Bay, or the spouse of such person
  • not legally prohibited from voting
  • not disqualified by any legislation from holding municipal office

To run for School Board Trustee, on the day the nomination paper is filed, a person must be:

  • a Canadian citizen
  • at least 18 years of age
  • a resident in the area of jurisdiction of the board
  • not legally prohibited from voting
  • not disqualified by any legislation from holding municipal office

If you wish to run for School Board Trustee for one of the following boards, you must live within the jurisdiction of that board. 

  • Lakehead District School Board
  • Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board
  • Conseil scolaire public du Grand Nord de l’Ontario
  • Conseil scolaire de district catholique des Aurores boréales

The following people are disqualified from being elected or holding office as Mayor or City Councillor: 

  • a judge of any court
  • a Senator, Member of Parliament or Member of Provincial Parliament who has not resigned from their office by the close of nominations. 
  • a candidate who failed to file the necessary financial statement or exceeded the prescribed spending limit in the 2018 municipal election
  • City of Thunder Bay employees, unless the candidate takes an unpaid leave of absence before filing a nomination paper

The following people are disqualified from being elected or holding office as a School Board Trustee:

  • a clerk, treasurer, deputy-clerk or deputy-treasurer of any municipality within the area of jurisdiction of the school board except those on an unpaid leave of absence
  • a Senator, Member of Parliament or Member of Provincial Parliament who has not resigned from their office by the close of nominations 
  • a candidate who failed to file the necessary financial statement or exceeded the prescribed spending limit in 2018 municipal election
  • employees of any school board, unless the candidate takes a leave of absence before filing a nomination paper

How do I file my nomination?

To become a candidate for Mayor, City Councillor or School Board Trustee you must file a nomination paper with the City Clerk, in person, on the first floor of City Hall, 500 Donald Street East. Nomination papers may be filed from Monday, May 2, 2022 to Friday, August 19, 2022, by appointment only. Walk-in appointments will not be guaranteed. Book your appointment online or call the Office of the City Clerk at 807-625-2230.  

Nomination must be filed in person and include:

  • Form 1 - Nomination Paper, it is the responsibility of the person being nominated to make sure their nomination paper is complete and accurate.
  • Form 2 - Endorsement of Nomination, endorsed by at least 25 people who are eligible to vote in our municipal election. Endorsements are required only if running for Mayor or City Councillor, not School Board Trustee
  • Declaration of qualifications
  • Consent to release personal information
  • Identification showing name, qualifying address and signature
  • Applicable filing fee, $200 for Mayor, $100 for all others. The fee must be paid in cash, debit card, certified cheque or money order.

Nomination packages may be picked up from the Office of the City Clerk on the first floor of City Hall, 500 Donald Street East, or you can download and print your nomination package using the links, below.

Nomination package for Councillor and Mayor candidates

Nomination package for School Board Trustee candidates

Déclaration de candidature conseils scolaires - Français

A person cannot raise or spend money on an election campaign until they have filed their nomination.

Election sign information

By-law BL 56/2022, a by-law to manage and regulate election signs in the City of Thunder Bay, was approved by City Council on June 27, 2022.

The following are some highlights of the Election Sign By-law.

  • Municipal election signs may be erected no earlier than August 23, 2022, the Tuesday following Nomination Day.  However, election signs may be erected on a candidate’s campaign office, once the candidate has filed their nomination with the City Clerk.
  • Election signs are permitted on private property, only, with permission of the property owner or tenant.
  • No more than 3 election signs will be allowed per private property lot.
  • For commercial or industrial properties, one election sign per candidate per 500 meters of frontage is allowed. 
  • Election signs are not permitted on public property, including City boulevards and highways.  
  • Candidates must not place an election sign in any ward that they are not officially nominated or registered in.
  • Election signs must not interfere with the safe movement or visibility of any vehicle or pedestrian traffic, or where it is a general hazard to public safety.
  • Election signs must not obstruct or impede any fire escape, fire exit, door, window, scuttle, skylight, flue, air intake, air exhaust, emergency water connection, or fire hydrant.
  • Election signs must not be more than 1.2 meters wide, and not more than 2.0 meters high, except where a billboard sign or mobile sign is utilized under a valid permit.
  • Election signs must not display any of the City’s official marks, or the City’s logo, or the City’s municipal election logo.
  • On voting day and advance voting days, election signs and vehicles displaying election signs are not permitted on any grounds associated with any place being used as a voting location.
  • Election signs must be removed within 72 hours following voting day, October 24, 2022. Election signs at a campaign office must be removed within 14 days following voting day.

For more details, please refer to By-law 56/2022 Election Sign By-law.

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. (s.88.2 (1) of the Municipal Elections Act)  Likewise, no condominium corporation or any of its agents may prohibit the owner or tenant of a condominium unit from displaying election signs on the premises of their own unit. However, reasonable conditions may be set relating to the size or type of election signs that may be displayed on the premises, and display of election signs in common areas of the building may be prohibited. 

Use of Corporate Resources Policy

It is the policy of the City of Thunder Bay that no candidates in a municipal election or by-election shall utilize any resource of the Corporation of the City of Thunder Bay in support of an election campaign.

Policy 08-01-06 Use of Corporate Resources: Municipal Elections was updated on April 4, 2022 to further allow the City to balance the need for freedom of expression and assembly of candidates and its responsibility to ensure that no candidate or registered third party advertiser is provided with an unfair advantage. 

The following are some highlights of the policy:

  • Email addresses and telephone numbers issued to Members of City Council shall not be advertised or promoted as a means of contacting a member of Council as a candidate in an election.
  • No member of Council shall conduct a Ward/Townhall meeting beyond June 30th in an election year.
  • No members of Council shall use any portion of any budget to which they have access to in support of the election campaign activities of any candidate.
  • At no time shall a candidate solicit the support of any member of the administrative staff of the City of Thunder Bay for any activity in support of their election campaign.
  • The City’s media releases or materials will not reference the name of a Member of Council.
  • The City’s logo, crest, slogans, etc., may not be printed, posted or distributed on any election-related campaign materials.
  • No Member of Council may campaign while in attendance at City-organized events or events held at City facilities.

For more details, please refer to Policy 08-01-06 Use of Corporate Resources: Municipal Elections.

Accessibility

Candidates in the municipal election must consider the needs of electors with disabilities. Campaign offices, election materials and canvassing should all be reviewed in order to ensure that they are fully accessible. The Accessibility Directorate of Ontario has released several quick reference documents to assist candidates with accessible elections considerations:

Accessible All Candidates Meetings

Accessible Campaign Information and Communication

Accessible Constituency, Riding Association, Central Party and Campaign Offices

What else do I need to know?

Candidates filing a nomination must present identification showing their name, photo, qualifying Thunder Bay address and signature.

One piece of ID or a combination of two pieces of ID as specified here will meet the ID requirement.

Acceptable ID includes:

  • Ontario driver’s licence
  • Ontario health card
  • Canadian passport
  • Certificate of Canadian Citizenship
  • Certificate of Indian Status
  • Veterans Affairs Canada Health Card
  • Social Insurance Number Card
  • Old Age Security Card
  • Credit card
  • Debit card
  • Ontario motor vehicle permit, plate portion
  • Cancelled personalized cheque
  • Property tax assessment
  • Mortgage, lease or rental agreement 
  • Insurance policy
  • Insurance statement
  • Loan or financial agreement with a financial institution
  • Employee Identification card
  • Student Identification card issued by a post-secondary institution
  • Union Identification card or professional licence card
  • Income tax assessment notice
  • Child Tax Benefit Statement
  • Statement of Employment Insurance Benefits Paid T4E
  • Statement of Old Age Security T4A  OAS 
  • Statement of Canada Pension Plan Benefits T4A  P
  • Canada Pension Plan Statement of Contributions
  • Statement of Direct Deposit for Ontario Works
  • Statement of Direct Deposit for Ontario Disability Support Program
  • Workplace Safety and Insurance Board Statement of Benefits T5007
  • Credit card, bank account, RRSP, RRIF, RHOSP or T5 statement
  • CNIB Card or a card from another registered charitable organization which provides services to persons with disabilities
  • Hospital card or record
  • Document showing campus residence issued by the office or officials responsible for student residence at a post-secondary institution
  • Utility bill for hydro, water, gas, telephone or cable TV or a bill from a  public utilities commission
  • Cheque stub, T4 or pay receipt issued by an employer
  • Transcript or report card from a post-secondary school
  • Document issued or certified by a court in Ontario
  • Any other document issued by the government of Canada, Ontario or a municipality in Ontario or from an agency of such a government
  • Any document from a Band Council in Ontario established under the Indian Act, Canada

Monday, May 2, 2022

First day to file a nomination paper for the offices of Mayor, City Councillor and School Board Trustee. Once the nomination paper is filed with the City Clerk:

  • the candidate can start raising and spending money on their campaign
  • preliminary spending limit provided to candidates
  • preliminary contribution limit provided to candidates running for Mayor and City Councillor, does not apply to School Board Trustee candidates

Friday, August 19 at 2 p.m.

Deadline for candidates to file a nomination, withdraw a nomination or change office

Monday, August 22

Last day for the City Clerk to certify candidate nomination papers

Thursday, September 1

Voters’ List available to candidates

Friday, September 23

Final spending limits provided to candidates

Final self-contribution limit provided to candidates running for Mayor and Councillor, does not apply to School Board Trustee candidates

Monday, October 24

Election Day

Tuesday, November 15

New term of office commences


Tuesday, January 3, 2023

End of campaign period for candidates and third party advertisers

Last day to file a Notice of Extension, Form 6, to continue campaigning to erase a deficit

Friday, March 31 at 2 p.m.

Deadline for candidates to file the initial financial statement

Friday, June 30

End of extended campaign period

Friday, September 29 at 2 p.m.

Deadline for candidates and third party advertisers to file the supplementary financial statement, applies only to those who extended their campaign period

A campaign bank account must be opened for election campaign purposes prior to spending money or accepting contributions. All contributions of money must be deposited in the campaign account.

Candidates must keep records of:

  • receipts issued for every contribution
  • value of every contribution
  • whether contribution is in form of money, goods or services
  • contributor’s name and address
  • every expense, including the receipts obtained for each expense

All campaign financial records must be retained until after November 15, 2026, when the next new council has been sworn in.

Money, goods or services given to a candidate for their campaign are considered to be contributions. Candidates can accept contributions from:

  • individuals who normally reside in Ontario
  • the candidate and their spouse

Contributions to candidates from trade unions and corporations are prohibited in municipal elections.

Cash contributions may be accepted up to $25. Contributions over $25 must be by cheque or money order, or by a method that clearly shows where the funds came from. Receipts must be issued for each contribution and should include the name and address of the contributor, the amount and date of the contribution.

'Pass the hat' donations of under $25 received at fundraising events, may be given anonymously and the candidate is not required to issue receipts. These donations are still considered campaign income and the total amount must be reported on the candidate's financial statement.

The ticket price for a fundraising event is a contribution and the candidate must issue a receipt for the full amount.

The maximum amount an individual can contribute to a candidate's campaign is $1,200. Contributors may donate up to an aggregate total of $5,000 to any number of candidates running for the same council or school board.  

Candidates are required to inform contributors of contribution limits.

There is a limit on the amount that a candidate and their spouse can collectively contribute to the candidate's own campaign for a municipal council office.

The limit is based on the number of electors voting for the office, and is calculated as follows:

  • $7,500 + $0.20 per elector for head of council, to a maximum of $25,000
  • $5,000 + $0.20 per elector for other council offices, to a maximum of $25,000

Upon filing their nomination, a candidate will receive a certificate from the Clerk with a preliminary calculation of maximum self-funding amounts, based on the voters' list as of September 15, 2018.  On or before September 26, 2022, the Clerk shall provide a final certificate. The number of electors used in the final calculation will be the greater of the number on the voters' list on September 15, 2018 or September 15, 2022.

A candidate's general spending limit applies only to expenses incurred until the end of Voting Day.  The limit is based on the number of electors voting for the office, and is calculated as follows:

  • Head of council: $7,500 + 85 cents per elector
  • All other offices: $5,000 + 85 cents per elector

There is a separate spending limit for parties and expressions of appreciation after Voting Day, and that limit is 10% of the above calculated amounts.

The Clerk will provide candidates with two certificates of maximum campaign expenses:

  • preliminary estimate – when filing a nomination form, based on the 2018 voters’ list
  • final certificate, by September 26, with the higher of the calculated amount based on the 2022 voters’ list, or the amount on the preliminary certificate, noted above. 

Where can I find more information?

Below are links to Province of Ontario's guides for the 2022 municipal and school board elections. The guides contain information on registering as a candidate, campaign rules, financial filing requirements, and more.

2022 Candidates’ Guide - Ontario municipal council and school board elections

Guide 2022 à l’intention des candidats et candidates - élections municipales et scolaires en Ontario

You can contact the Office of the City Clerk at 807-625-2230 or the Election Office at 807-627-3859, or email Leanne.Lavoie@thunderbay.ca.

City of Thunder Bay
Office of the City Clerk
500 Donald St. E., 3rd Floor
Thunder Bay, ON P7E 5V3
Phone: (807) 625-2230

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