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Changes introduced by Municipal Elections Modernization Act (MEMA)

The Municipal Elections Modernization Act, or Bill 181, and Bill 68, Modernizing Ontario’s Municipal Legislation Act, 2016, introduced a number of changes to the Municipal Elections Act, 1996. This page will outline some significant changes for the 2018 municipal election in the City of Kitchener below. For more information, please refer to the Municipal Elections Act.

 25 signatures required for candidate nomination

When a candidate files nomination forms, 25 endorsement signatures and declarations from eligible electors anywhere in the municipality must also accompany the nomination forms. Anyone endorsing a candidate must be eligible to vote in the municipality on the date they endorse a candidate. Individuals can endorse more than one candidate.

NOTE: The requirement of 25 endorsement signatures and declarations does not apply to school board trustee candidates.

Third-party advertisers 

Third-party advertising will be regulated for the 2018 municipal election. For more information on third-party advertising please review the guide prepared by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs.

Third-party advertising includes any advertisement in broadcast, print, electronic or other medium that has the purpose of promoting, supporting or opposing:

  • A candidate.
  • A municipal question on the ballot.

Third-party advertising does not include:

  • An advertisement placed by, or under the direction of, the candidate.
  • When no expenses are incurred by the person, corporation or trade union, in relation to the advertisement.
  • Advertising or communication given to, 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.

Third-party advertising does not apply to “issues.” This allows advocacy groups to continue their issue-based advocacy and community work during the municipal election.

Third parties who wish to advertise in the election must register in each municipality where they intend to advertise. Registration allows a third party to promote or oppose any candidate or question on the ballot in the local election.

NOTE: Candidates may not direct a registered third-party advertiser. For clarification, candidates may not coordinate, organize or govern how a registered third-party advertiser displays and/or produces election advertisements.

Who may register as a third-party advertiser?

The following are eligible to register as a third-party advertiser:

  • An individual who is normally a resident in Ontario;
  • A corporation that carries on business in Ontario;
  • A trade union that holds bargaining rights for employees in Ontario.

The following are not eligible to register as a third-party advertiser:

  • A municipal candidate;
  • A federal political party registered under the Canada Elections Act (Canada) or any federal constituency association or registered candidate at a federal election endorsed by that party;
  • A provincial political party, constituency association, registered candidate or leadership contestant registered under the Election Finances Act;
  • The Crown in right of Canada or Ontario, a municipality or local board.

Filing a registration:

1) Registrations can only be made using the prescribed form and signed by the third party advertiser registering. Registration forms must be filed in the Legislated Services, 2nd floor, City Hall, 200 King Street West, Kitchener:

a) During the hours 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on any day from May 1 to Oct. 19, 2018 when the office is open to the public.

2) Facsimile transmissions, emailed or mailed-in registration forms are not permitted.

3) A completed Declaration of Eligibility form is required when filing a registration.

 Third-party advertiser resources

Registration Form 

Third party advertiser - Declaration of Eligibility 

Financial Statement - Auditor’s Report Third Party 

2018 Guide for Third Party Advertisers for Ontario Municipal Council and School Board Elections

Third Party Advertisers Reference Manual No. 1 (City of Kitchener)

Certificate of Maximum Expenses as of Filing Registration

Corporate Resources Policy

City wide map

City of Kitchener Sign By-law (Article 9)

Region of Waterloo Sign By-law (Part IV)

Regional Roads by Name - Kitchener


Municipal Act, 2001

Municipal Elections Act, 1996

Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, 1990

Notice of Registration - Third Party - Form 7

New voting locations 

Please visit here to learn about the new voting locations for the 2018 municipal election.

Accessibility plan 

The clerk must create a plan and make it available to the public prior to voting day. The plan addresses the identification, removal and prevention of barriers that affect electors and candidates with disabilities.

Read the City of Kitchener’s 2018 Municipal Election Accessibility Plan. Please email your accessibility questions or feedback.

 Sign identification

Under the changes made to the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 (MEA), candidates and third party advertisers are now required to provide identification information on advertisements.

Candidate election campaign sign:

  • A "traditional" election campaign sign that states "Elect [Candidate X]", "Re-elect [Candidate X]", or simply "[Candidate X]" will meet the identification requirements as set out in the MEA.
  • No additional identification information is required on the sign.

Third party advertiser sign:

  • Specific identification is required on the sign, as described in the MEA, section 88.5 (1).
  • This information includes the name of the registered third party, the municipality where the third party is registered, and a telephone number, mailing address or e-mail address at which the registered third party may be contacted regarding the advertisement.


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