Municipal Elections Act review (2015)

6 March 2015

The Greenspace Alliance today sent a letter to the Ontario Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, offering some comments on the Municipal Elections Act, now under review.

The Minister responds…

Within 15 minutes (at 6:30 p.m., Friday), the Minister responds:

“Thanks very much………..ted

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Rogers network.”

A formal letter followed, dated March 23.  It states: “As part of the review, the Government of Ontario is committed to introducing the option for Ontario municipalities to use ranked ballots in future elections, starting in 2018, as an alternative to first-past-the-post.


UPDATE – June 2016

Bill 181 was passed in the Legislature on June 7, 2016 and received Royal Assent two days later.  It made many changes to the Municipal Elections Act, including:

  • ranked ballots allowed (new section 41.2)
  • corporate and union contributions prohibited (s. 88.8)
  • third-party advertisers regulated (anyone can contribute), limited much like contributions to candidates (s. 88.3-88.7 — to come into effect on April 1, 2018)
  • duties of candidates and third-party advertisers spelled out (ss. 88.22, 88.26)

On how the government got there: A What We Heard report

What has changed: The government’s report

Bill 181

The Municipal Elections Act, as amended

Comment: Our letter asked for three things.  An end to corporate and union contributions we got, though how this third-party advertisers regime will work remains to be seen.  We expressed a desire for a proportional representation system but got ranked ballots — by itself not a means towards PR. We suggested one should be able to vote “none of the above.”  No luck there.

E.D. (posted March 2017)


December 7, 2016 — UPDATE

Joanne Chianello posted a critical commentary:


November 13, 2018 — UPDATE

Adrian Humphreys reports that a University of Ottawa student who had sued because “none of the above” was not available for the 2015 federal election had lost his case:

Unhappy voter loses bid to officially vote ‘none of the above’ in federal election

Federal Court Judge John Norris “accepted that demonstrating a rejection of all candidates standing for election was a form of political expression, but said the federal election laws do not actually prevent him from writing “none of the above” on his ballot. The laws only prevent people from knowing about it.”

The November 8 Court decision is here.