Information for Candidates
Below, you will find an overview for both independent candidates and candidates who are representing parties about:
- important dates and deadlines; and
- the rules that you, and the people working on your campaign, need to follow as well your rights and responsibilities.
For a full list of rules and complete details please see the CFO Handbook for Candidates.
How to become a candidate
To be eligible to be a candidate you must be:
- 18 years of age or older on election day;
- a Canadian citizen;
- 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 Returning Officer for the electoral district you are running in.
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.
Get nominated as a candidate
To be nominated as a candidate, you must complete the Candidate Nomination Paper (F0400).
On the nomination paper you will need the signatures and addresses of at least twenty-five eligible electors in the electoral district in which you are running. 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.
Please note, you will not become a nominated candidate until the nomination paper has been approved by the Returning Officer and you have been issued a Certificate of Nomination (F0403).
Get endorsed as a party candidate
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 Paper (F0400).
If you have won a nomination contest, please note that you will not be considered a candidate until you submit your Candidate Nomination Paper (F0400).
Withdraw as a candidate
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.
Candidates that withdraw must still complete financial information under the Election Finances Act.
Amendment to candidate information
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 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).
Guides and forms
During an election a candidate will receive the following from the Returning Officer:
We can provide forms and guides in an alternative format upon request.