Tips for Candidates


If you plan to run for your City Council, here are a few tips for you to get started:

  • Find out about the key dates of this election.
  • Make sure not to start campaigning before you submit your nomination papers (the earliest is May 2, 2022).
  • Review your social media posts and ensure their content represents how you want to be viewed by your voters. You may want to have an independent set of eyes do that for you.
  • Get professional photos taken.
  • Create a website and a separate email address for your campaign.
  • Create a Facebook campaign page and alternative Twitter and Instagram handles. This way, you are not stuck with those handles after the elections. You may even choose to close your personal social media pages during the campaign so as not to confuse your followers.
  • Be aware that you will need to collect nomination signatures from eligible voters in your riding. These forms will be part of your candidate application package.
  • Buy a pair of comfy shoes with good support to wear during canvass. 
  • Plan to start canvassing from day one because you will have to knock on every door at least twice in order to register with the voters. Be sure to take time off work near the end to focus on the campaign. 
  • Ask your friends in the ward to help you out by organizing tea/ coffee gatherings to introduce you to their neighbours.
  • Fill out our questionnaire and email us back your answers if you live in Peel or Halton Regions.
  • Use some of the answers to prepare your elevator pitch about who you are, why you want to run and why people should vote for you.
  • Get a map of your Ward. A boundary map can be printed from your city’s website, and a detailed map with full street breakdown can be purchased from city hall. Purchase at least 2. Laminate and hang them in your home/ campaign office to be used in marking your canvassing progress.
  • Open a bank account under the campaign name.
  • Find out the maximum donation limits for each donor and ensure you don’t exceed it (there is also a limit for donating to multiple candidates in the same municipality. You need to know that limit and ensure your donors are aware).
  • Find someone you trust who is good with details to be in charge of tracking your campaign donations and expenses. The more organized you are during the campaign, the less time and money you will spend at the end to prepare your financial statement. Bookkeeping of expenses should be done by category and you have to keep a copy of all receipts, stubs and cheques paid or received. For examples, you may want to look at older financial statements from previous campaigns, which you can find on your city's website.
  • Know your spending limit and make sure you don’t exceed it. . Make sure to have funds at the end to pay the accounting firm that will prepare your financial statement – these funds are not part of your spending limit.  Also make sure to contract a firm that can certify your financial statement a few months ahead of the deadline. These firms all get really busy in the last weeks leading to the deadline, and you may be left stranded. Failing to get your financial statement in on time means you will not be allowed to run in the following elections and may compromise your victory if you are the winner.
  • For all election related questions, you will need to contact the city clerk.


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  • Ghada Melek
    published this page 2022-03-15 23:19:44 -0400