March 22, 2001
(Municipal and Provincial Affairs)
New Elections Act to be introduced in House of Assembly
Oliver Langdon, Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs, announced today that he will introduce a new Municipal Elections Act in the House of Assembly.
Municipal elections in this province are currently governed by four different statutes namely, the Municipalities Act, 1999; the City of Corner Brook Act; the City of Mount Pearl Act; and the St. John�s Municipal Elections Act. The election provisions of these four statutes are consolidated, streamlined and modernized in the new act.
"The new elections act is important because it ensures standardization of the rules and procedures governing municipal elections throughout the province," said Minister Langdon.
This new legislation was developed through extensive consultations with, and the direct participation of, municipal stakeholders. In addition to consolidating, streamlining and modernizing the current election process, it provides new authority for municipalities to conduct their elections by way of Vote by Mail, and also provides that candidates in municipal elections disclose the source of campaign contributions in excess of $100.
Vote by Mail, while new for municipalities in this province, has been used by a number of municipalities in Ontario in the past two general municipal elections. The experience of these municipalities has been a significant increase in voter participation and a reduction in the cost of conducting their elections.
Disclosure of the source of campaign contributions has been a significant issue of public concern in recent municipal elections. The new act addresses this concern, by requiring candidates in municipal elections to disclose the source of all campaign contributions in excess of $100. This is the same limitation that exists for candidates in provincial elections. Candidates in provincial elections are subject to a number of additional campaign financing requirements; however municipal candidates are only subject to this one limitation.
"These new requirements are positive steps in modernizing the municipal election process in our province," said the minister.
The new act represents the third component of government�s work with municipal stakeholders to modernize the province�s municipal legislation. The recent enactment of the Municipalities Act, 1999, and the Urban and Rural Planning Act, 2000, represent the other major components of this initiative.
Media contact: Sean Kelly, Communications, (709) 729-1983.
2001 03 22 4:30 p.m.