Information for Candidates
A candidate is a person running to be a Member of Provincial Parliament, who has been issued a Certificate of Nomination from a returning officer or the Chief Electoral Officer during the election period.
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 as your rights and responsibilities.
Before registering you must appoint a chief financial officer.
Candidates cannot accept contributions or incur expenses until the writs of election are issued and the candidate is registered under the Election Finances Act.
For a full list of rules and complete details on how to register as a candidate, please see the Candidates Guide. For additional details, including how to open a bank account, loans for the campaign and when a campaign can be financially active, please see the CFO Handbook for Candidates.
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 at least 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).
Once you receive a Certificate of Nomination (F0403) and the writ(s) for an election has been issued:
- 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.
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, the 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 and you have been issued a Certificate of Nomination (F0403).
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’s leader with your nomination paper. A sample letter is provided with the Candidate Nomination Paper (F0400).
If you have won a nomination contest or was appointed, please note that you will not be considered a candidate until you submit your Candidate Nomination Paper (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.
Candidates that withdraw must still complete financial information under the Election Finances Act.
As a candidate, if you need to change information filed on 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).
There are also rules around where campaign offices can be located. The Chief Electoral Officer has determined that the location of any premises used by any candidate for elective office in the same building or enclosed structure, the same commercial, industrial, or residential complex, or within five hundred feet of an Elections Ontario returning office, would interfere with the proper conduct of the election.
The Candidate Calendar provides key dates during the writ period relevant to a candidate.
The following guides and forms relate to the application and registration to be a candidate.
We can provide forms and guides in an alternative format upon request.