A candidate in a provincial election is a person who has successfully been nominated and issued a Certificate of Nomination in an electoral district under the Election Act.
In this section you will find information to assist you with the candidate nomination process.
If you are looking for information on spending limits, eligible contributors, and political advertising and authorization rules, including blackout period and social media rules, please see our other rules section.
If you wish to become a candidate for a by-election, please review the current electoral districts here.
If you wish to become a candidate for a general election, please review the electoral districts for the 2018 General Election here.
To be eligible to be a candidate you must be:
- 18 years of age or older on election day, and
- a Canadian citizen, and
- a resident in Ontario for the six months before election day, and
- not disqualified by the Legislative Assembly Act or any other legislation
To become a candidate in an Ontario provincial election you must be nominated and receive a Certificate of Nomination (F0403) from the Chief Electoral Officer or the Returning Officer for the electoral district you are running in.
You may submit your nomination paper before an election is called to the Chief Electoral Officer but you will not be issued a Certificate of Nomination (F0403) until a writ of election is issued.
Once you receive a Certificate of Nomination (F0403):
- Your name will appear on the ballot,
- Your registered political party will appear on the ballot, if endorsed, and
- You will be registered according to the Election Finances Act and eligible to start financial activity.
There is no fee to become a candidate.
Please see the Get Nominated as a Candidate topic below for more details.
To be nominated as a candidate, you must complete the Candidate Nomination Paper (F0400), which is linked below.
On the nomination paper you will need the signatures and addresses of at least 25 eligible electors in the electoral district you are running in. These addresses will be verified by election officials when you file your papers.
When you complete your nomination paper, ensure that all information is typed or printed clearly, information is accurate and the form is completed properly. Inaccurate information will cause delays.
The nomination paper must be filed with the Chief Electoral Office or at the returning office of the electoral district where you are running for election before the close of nominations during the election period. Nomination papers can be filed in person, by mail, email or fax. See the contact information section in the Candidate Guide (F0405).
You become a nominated candidate when the nomination paper has been approved by the Chief Electoral Officer or the Returning Officer and you have been issued a Certificate of Nomination (F0403).
During a by-election or general election a candidate will receive the following from the Returning Officer:
Guides and Calendars:
We can provide forms and guides in accessible formats upon request.
You will be registered as a candidate under the Election Finances Act when your nomination paper is received, a writ of election is issued and a Certificate of Nomination (F0403) is issued. Please see the Get Nominated as a Candidate section above for more information on this process.
If you are a candidate representing a registered political party and you want your party’s name to appear on the ballot beside your name, you need to submit an endorsement letter from the party leader with your nomination paper. A sample letter is provided with the Candidate Nomination Form (F0400).
As a candidate, if you want to voluntarily withdraw and you have filed your nomination paper, you must complete a Nomination Notice of Withdrawal (F0404) form and submit it to the Chief Electoral Officer or Returning Officer in your electoral district.
There is no fee to withdraw as a candidate.
As a candidate, if you need to change personal information pertaining to yourself or any of your financial contact information and you have filed your nomination paper, you must complete a Nomination Statement of Change (F0401) form and submit it to the Chief Electoral Officer or Returning Officer in your electoral district.
You may not change how your name appears on the ballot or your political affiliation once you have submitted your Candidate Nomination Paper (F0400).