Elections Ontario is governed by provincial legislation. When we deliver elections or engage in related activities, we are responsible for obeying and upholding these laws. There are two main pieces of legislation that we must follow: the Election Act and the Election Finances Act.
We also have other specific duties assigned by the following legislation that includes, but is not limited to: Representation Act, the Municipal Elections Act, 1996, the Taxpayer Protection Act, 1999, the Fluoridation Act, and the Helping Tenants and Small Businesses Act, 2020.
The Election Act sets out the laws for the conduct of an Ontario provincial general election or by-election. This is the legislation that, for example, establishes the voting process.
The Election Finances Act sets out the laws for the registration of Ontario’s political parties, constituency associations, third parties, candidates and party leadership contestants. During an election, this is the legislation that sets limits on campaign expenses and political contributions, and imposes a time period for advertising.
The Representation Act establishes the number, names and boundaries of the electoral districts in the province.
The Municipal Elections Act, 1996 provides the rules for municipal and school board elections in Ontario.
The Taxpayer Protection Act, 1999 includes specific requirements for a political party to disclose if it plans to raise existing taxes, introduce a new tax or give other bodies the authority to tax if that party successfully forms the government.
The Fluoridation Act requires municipalities or local boards that own or operate a waterworks system to ask their electors, by way of vote, before passing any by-laws regarding the fluoridation of the public water supply.
The Helping Tenants and Small Businesses Act, 2020 provides that Elections Ontario will assume the responsibility for the municipal voters list beginning January 1, 2024. This legislation creates a single voter registry for municipal and provincial elections.