Hastings Highlands Council Composition
Municipal Council is made up of 1 elected Mayor, 1 elected Deputy Mayor and 5 elected Councillors.
Responsibilities of the Mayor and Council
Council is the Municipality’s decision-making body. Role of Council (Section 224 of the Municipal Act):
- To represent the public and to consider the well-being and interests of the municipality;
- To develop and evaluate the policies and programs of the municipality;
- To determine which services the municipality provides;
- To ensure that administrative policies, practices and procedures and controllership policies, practices and procedures are in place to implement the decisions of council;
- To ensure the accountability and transparency of the operations of the municipality, including the activities of the senior management of the municipality;
- To maintain the financial integrity of the municipality; and
- To carry out the duties of council under this or any other Act.
Role of the Mayor
Role of Mayor (Head of Council) (Section 225 & 226.1 of the Municipal Act):
- To act as chief executive officer of the municipality;
- Preside over council meetings so that its business can be carried out efficiently and effectively;
- To provide leadership to the council;
- Without limiting clause, to provide information and recommendations to the council with respect to the role of council described in clauses 224 (d) and (d.1);
- To represent the municipality at official functions; and
- To carry out the duties of the head of council under this or any other Act.
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.
Municipal decisions, however, are made by council as a whole. Generally speaking, the Mayor does not have any more power than any other member of council to make decisions on behalf of the municipality. Each member of council only has one vote.
Other Roles for Members of Council
- Attendance at municipal functions and ceremonies
- Community groups meetings like cottage associations, or charity groups
- Individual constituent meetings
- Committees of Council
Typical Time Commitments
- Regular Meetings of Council – 4-10 hours/month
- Special Meetings of Council – possibly 2-6 hours/month
- Council Meeting agenda review and reading: 4-6 hours/month (Council Agendas are typically 100-600 pages long)
- Committee meetings – varies 6 hours/month
- Constituent issues – varies 20 hours/month
- Processing emails, phone calls, research – 10-15 hours/month
- Attendance at conferences, community events, training opportunities – varies
Eligibility and Qualifications
Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Councillor Candidate Qualifications
For the position of Mayor, Deputy Mayor or Councillor you must be:
- A Canadian citizen
- At least 18 years of age
- A resident of the Municipality of Hastings Highlands, or
- Own or lease property in the Municipality of Hastings Highlands (or be the spouse of the owner or lessee)
- Eligible to vote
You must not be:
- A judge of any court
- A member of the Provincial Legislature, the Federal House of Commons or Senate who has not resigned from their office by the close of nominations. Proof of resignation must be provided by the close of nominations or the Clerk will not certify the nomination
- A candidate who failed to file the necessary financial statement(s) in the last municipal election or by-election in any municipality (Candidates in Default).
Municipality of Hastings Highlands Employees:
Employees of the Municipality of Hastings Highlands who wish to run for Mayor, Deputy Mayor or Councillor must take an unpaid leave of absence before filing a nomination paper. The employee must provide a copy of the documentation from Human Resources showing that they have taken the leave of absence and the effective date. Persons appointed by bylaw to certain legislated positions of the Municipality may be required to resign or have the bylaw amended before filing a nomination (example: Line Fence Viewers, Livestock Investigators, etc…).
Volunteer Firefighters: According to the Municipal Elections Act, a person shall not be considered an employee of a municipality or local board for the purposes of this section by reason only of being a volunteer firefighter as defined in the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997.
Candidates Eligibility as a Voter
To vote in the municipal election, you must be a qualified elector.
If you are a qualified elector and your name is on the voters’ list, you are eligible to vote. The voters’ list is compiled from information received from Ontario’s Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) and is made available for review at the Municipal Office approximately two months prior to voting day.
If in the period between elections a person has reason to re-assess their school board support please refer to the MPAC information in regard to enumeration.
Before you file your nomination paper consider the following suggestions:
- Read this website (You’re off to a good start!)
- Read the Ministry of Municipal Affairs Candidates’ Guide
- Read the Ontario Education Services Corporation Guide for School Board Trustees
- Talk to former and current members of elected office
- Review the Municipal Elections Act
- Make yourself aware of the financial responsibilities and reporting requirements, campaign roles, potential penalties, the public nature of all documentation submitted to the Clerk’s Office for a campaign.
- Attend a free Candidate Information Session virtually “So You Want to Run for Council?” hosted by Fred Dean, Municipal Solicitor. This session was held virtually on April 25 at 7:00 p.m.
A person may be nominated for an office by filing a nomination in the Clerk’s Office, in person or by an agent.
25 Endorsement Signatures Required: The nomination for an office on Council must be endorsed and signed by at least 25 persons:
- Each person who signs the candidate’s endorsement may endorse more than one nomination;
- All persons endorsing a nomination must be eligible to vote in an election for an office within Hastings Highlands, if a regular election was held on the day that the person endorses the nomination;
- Endorsements must be completed and signed on Form 2 (print multiple copies, as Form 2 only allows for 5 endorsements);
- Collecting more than 25 endorsements is good practice in case one endorsement is completed incorrectly;
- School Board Trustee candidates do not require endorsements.
Requirements for Nomination: The nomination must be completed in full and filed in person by the candidate or an agent of the candidate and includes:
- Identification for proof of identity (eg: Driver’s Licence, Passport, Birth Certificate, etc.)
- A completed copy of the Nomination Paper (Form 1)
- A declaration of qualification (Form 2) from each of the 25 people endorsing the nomination (for Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Council candidates only)
- The filing fee (see below)
If filing by agent, the agent must present a commissioned Agent Appointment Form.
Documentation Submitted by Candidates
Other documentation and forms that will be submitted by yourself or an agent upon nomination will include:
- Notice to Returning Officer as to Candidate’s Proper Name
- Candidate Information Consent Form
- Notice of Penalties
- Declaration of Qualifications for Council (if applicable)
- Declaration of Qualifications for School Board Trustee (if applicable)
- Declaration of Proper Use of the Voters’ List
The Municipal Elections Act states that all forms and correspondence submitted by the candidate to the Municipal Clerk are deemed to be public documents and can be viewed, at the Municipal Clerk’s Office, during regular business hours.
A nomination package of forms is available for pick up at the Clerk’s Office for all prospective candidates.
By appointment with the Clerk, Nominations can only be filed during the nomination period, which is:
- Monday, May 2, 2022 to Thursday, August 19, 2022 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (excluding weekends and holidays); and
- Nomination Day: Friday, August 19, 2022 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Filing Fee to Become a Candidate
There is a $200.00 filing fee for Mayoral candidates and a $100.00 filing fee for Deputy Mayor, Councillor or School Board Trustee candidates.
The filing fee must be paid when you file your nomination paper and the payment must be:
- Certified cheque or money order payable to “The Municipality of Hastings Highlands”
- Debit or Credit Card
- No Personal Cheque will be accepted
The filing fee is not considered a campaign expense, but rather, a personal expense, and will be returned to you upon successful filing of your campaign financial statement.
Certification of Nomination Papers
Prior to 4:00 p.m. on the Monday following Nomination Day (August 22, 2022), the Municipal Clerk shall examine each nomination filed, and if satisfied the person qualified to be nominated and that the nomination complies with the Municipal Elections Act, the Municipal Clerk shall certify as such on the nomination filed.
If not satisfied, the Municipal Clerk shall reject the nomination and give notice to the person who sought to be nominated and all other candidates for that office.
The Municipal Clerk’s decision to certify or reject a nomination is final. The Municipal Clerk will consider the following criteria to certify or reject individual nominations:
- Candidate has refused or declined to provide proof of identification;
- Candidate does not satisfy the requirements set out in the Municipal Elections Act in Section 29 (1);
- The nomination form is incomplete;
- The filing fee has not been paid
- The necessary financial disclosure was not filed for the previous election in which the individual may have been a candidate.
The Campaign Period
Starting Your Candidacy
In order to become a candidate you must file a Nomination Paper with the Municipal Clerk. The earliest you can file is Monday, May 2, 2022. Please see the detailed information on the Candidate Nomination above.
The Clerk requires an appointment be made for filing of nominations. Please call 613 338-2811 ext 277 or email [email protected]
You can file your nomination paper at:
Municipality of Hastings Highlands
33011 Hwy 62 N
Next Steps after Nomination Papers have been Submitted
Election Signs may not be placed until after the set nomination day (August 19, 2022) as per the municipality’s Election Sign Bylaw 2017-103. Therefore, signs may be placed on Saturday August 20, 2021 in the municipality after the refundable sign deposit has been paid ($75.00 for Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Councillors, Registered Third Party Advertisers and $50.00 for Trustees).
Fundraising and Spending Start Date
You cannot raise or spend any money on your campaign until you file your nomination paper. The earliest you can file your nomination paper is Monday, May 2, 2022. *Remember to make an appointment before showing up at the office.
Candidates have the responsibility to run an accessible campaign. Consult your Candidate Election Information Handbook for more information on how to run an accessible campaign. For more details regarding accessibility during the Municipal Election, please read the Accessibility Plan document (to be posted shortly).
Financial Reporting Requirements
All candidates (including acclaimed or withdrawn candidates) are required to file a financial statement using the prescribed form. It is good practice for campaigns to review the Financial Statement form prior to incurring any contributions or expenses, and arrange their accounts, spreadsheets, and ledgers according to the various categories that are required to be reported on the form. Candidates, whose campaign contributions and total expenses exceed $10,000.00 are required to file an auditor’s report with their financial statement that has been prepared by an auditor licenced under the Public Accounting Act. Financial statements are due in the Clerk’s Office at the Municipal Office (33011 Hwy 62 N Maynooth, ON) between January 3, 2023 and 2:00 p.m. on March 31, 2023.
Complete and signed financial statements may be filed electronically to [email protected] during the prescribed filing period (January 3, 2023-March 31, 2023). The date of the electronic submission shall be the official date received. The original identical paper copy of the financial statements must be delivered to the Clerk’s Office within 10 days following the electronic submission.
There is a 30-day grace period for late filings of Financial Statements until May 1, 2023 at 2:00 p.m., however there is a late filing fee of $500.00 The $500.00 late filing fee is the property of the municipality.
Candidates seeking advice on completing their financial statements should consult:
- The Municipal Elections Act (section 88)
- The Ministry of Municipal Affairs Candidates Guide (page 29 of the Guide)
- External advice (accountant, auditor, lawyer)
- Your Previous Campaign’s Financial Statement (if applicable)
The Municipal Clerk’s Office may assist candidates by showing ‘where’ to find assistance, not ‘how’ to complete your financial statement. It is ultimately the candidate’s responsibility to submit a financial statement that is to the best of their knowledge, true and correct. The Municipal Clerk’s Office may review the final financial statement for completion, not accuracy.
Failure to submit a financial statement will find the candidate in default of the Municipal Elections Act. Penalties include:
- The candidate forfeits the office to which he or she was elected and the office shall be deemed to be vacant; and
- Until the next regular election has taken place, the candidate is ineligible to be elected or appointed to any office to which the Municipal Election Act applies.
If a candidate fails to file a required financial statement or auditor’s report (or any other document required under Section 78 or 79.1 of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996), fails to pay over a surplus or exceeds the spending limit for the office, the candidate forfeits any office to which he or she was elected and the office is deemed to be vacant. The penalties will take effect on the deadline for the filing of the documents. If the candidate applies to the Ontario Court of Justice for an extension of the time to file the financial statement and fails to file the documents by the date established by the Court, the penalties will take effect at the end of the period of extension.
Sections 91 and 92 of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 set out penalties with respect to violations under the Act as follows:
91. (1) If a person is convicted of a corrupt practice under this Act, or of an offence under the Criminal Code (Canada) in connection with an act or omission that relates to an election to which this Act applies, then, in addition to any other penalty provided for in this Act,
(a) Any office to which the person was elected is forfeited and becomes vacant; and
(b) The person is ineligible to be nominated for, or elected or appointed to, any office until the next two regular elections have taken place after the election to which the offence relates.
(2) However, if the presiding judge finds that the person committed the corrupt practice or offence under the Criminal Code (Canada) without any intent of causing or contributing to a false outcome of the election, clause (1) (b) does not apply.
92.(3) If the expenses incurred by or on behalf of a candidate exceed the amount determined for the office under section 76, the candidate is liable to a fine equal to the excess, in addition to any other penalty provided for in this Act.
92.(5) A candidate is guilty of an offence and, on conviction, in addition to any other penalty that may be imposed under this Act, is subject to the penalties described in subsection 80(2) if he or she,
(a) Files a document under section 78 or 79.1 that is incorrect or otherwise does not comply with that section; or
(b) Incurs expenses that exceed what is permitted under section 76
Note: The entire Financial Report is considered a public document. These documents may be inspected by any person upon request at the Office of the Clerk during normal office hours, and are also available online. Any person may make extracts from the documents and is entitled to copies of the documents upon payment for their preparation, at such rates as the Clerk may determine. Clerks are required to make the documents available electronically, at no cost to the requester.
All financial reports are posted on the Municipal website. This includes a listing of the names and address of all contributors. You may wish to consider advising contributors that their personal information will be public and displayed on the Municipal web site after the election. The information remains on the website until after the next municipal election.
Campaign Period and Filing Deadline Extensions
Candidates wishing to extend their campaign period beyond January 3, 2023 (allowing you to continue making expenses and receiving contributions up until June 30, 2023), should have notified the Clerk in writing (on prescribed Form 6) advising of your request, on or before 4:30pm, January 3, 2023. Candidates who have done this must file two financial statements:
- The initial filing (Form 4), which details all campaign finances from the day the nomination was filed until January 3, 2023 (due by 2:00pm on March 31, 2023).
- The supplementary filing (Form 5), which details all campaign finances from the day the nomination was filed until June 30, 2023 (due by 2:00pm on September 29, 2023).
On or before March 30, 2023, a candidate may apply to the Superior Court of Justice to extend the time for filing a financial statement. If the court is satisfied there are mitigating circumstances justifying a later date for filing the document. The court may grant an extension for the minimum period of time necessary to enable the candidate to file the document, but the court shall not grant an extension of more than 90 days. If a candidate makes an application to the Court, the candidate shall notify the Clerk in writing before 2 p.m. on the last day for filing a financial statement (March 31).
Candidates may file after the March 31, 2023, 2:00pm deadline up until May 1, 2023 at 2:00pm, if their Financial Statement is accompanied by a $500 fee to avoid penalties under the Municipal Elections Act.
Name on Ballot
Section 41 of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996
The ballot lists the candidates running for Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Councillor and School Board Trustee, and will be mailed to voters, as a part of the Voter Instruction Letter, prior to Election Day. The Municipal Elections Act, 1996 and Muncipal Clerk’s policy manual determine how a candidate’s name appears on the ballot. The following rules apply:
- Only the first and last name (as shown on the candidate’s identification) will appear on the ballot;
- Nicknames or middle names are not placed on the ballot;
- Titles, such as Doctor, Reverend, etc., are not allowed on the ballot;
- Names are arranged in alphabetical order by office
- Any instance where two or more candidates have the same last name, all candidates running for that office will have their qualifying address printed on the ballot.
Candidates upon nomination will file a Notice to Returning Officer as to Candidates’ Proper Name Form if the nomination paper filing differs from their legal name on their photo identification. Candidates may provide the Clerk’s Office their preferred phonetic pronunciation of their name to assist with the reading out of their names for electors using the Telephone voting.
Changing Office (e.g. from Councillor to Mayor, etc.)
If, after filing a nomination for an office, a candidate decides to run for a different office on council or school board, the proper documentation must be filed with the Municipal Clerk during the nomination period. To change office a candidate must:
- File a Withdrawal of Nomination from the old office
- File a Nomination Paper for the new office
If the nomination fee is the same for the new office, no extra payment is required, for example, Councillor to Deputy Mayor. If the nomination fee is different for the new office, the following apply:
- Mayor to Deputy Mayor, Councillor or School Board Trustee
- The candidate will receive a refund of $100.00
- Councillor or Deputy Mayor or School Board Trustee to Mayor
- The candidate must pay the $100.00 difference
In regards to the campaign finances:
- The two offices (campaigns) are separate and contributions and expenses cannot be transferred from one to the other
- There must be a separate bank account for each campaign
A separate financial statement for each office must be filed.
- The first filing (for the withdrawn office) must show all financial activity from the day the nomination was filed until the day the withdrawal was filed
- The second filing must show all financial activity from the day the new nomination was filed until the end of the campaign period
Withdrawing a Nomination
Section 36 of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996
A withdrawal of a nomination must be done in person at the Municipal Office with the Clerk. If a candidate decides they no longer wish to run in the municipal election, they must:
- Complete the Withdrawal of Nomination form; and
- Bring the form and proper photo identification to the Municipal Clerk’s Office.
The last day for a candidate to withdraw their nomination is 2:00 p.m. on Nomination Day, Firday, August 19, 2022. If a candidate withdraws their nomination, they must submit a financial statement showing all contributions and expenses including the nomination fee from the day the nomination paper was filed until the day of withdrawal from office. This financial statement is due by 2:00 p.m., the last Friday in March following the election.
Once the withdrawal form has been accepted, the nomination fee will be refunded by the end of November of an election year.
Faxed or mailed-in forms are not accepted.
If an agent is bringing in the withdrawal form on the candidate’s behalf, the agent must provide the following:
- Withdrawal of Nomination form completed by the candidate; and
- Agent Appointment Form (if not already submitted)
- Photo identification from both the candidate and agent.
The Office of the Municipal Clerk is here to provide assistance with helping you identify ‘where to look’ if you have campaign questions. The Municipal Clerk can be reached at (613) 338-2811 ext. 277 and the Deputy Clerk can be reached at ext. 211 if you require assistance with navigating the various Acts and guides that were provided to you in your Candidate Information Package. Matters of interpretation of the Municipal Elections Act to your specific situation should be referred to a lawyer. Where possible, we will request that your question(s) be in writing and emailed to [email protected] so that all questions and answers can be shared on our elections FAQ section of the municipal website.