Campaign Information

It is each candidate's responsibility to familiarize themselves and follow the campaign financing rules: s.147.1 of the Local Authorities Election Act (LAEA)

The campaign period (the time in which you can accept contributions and incur campaign expenses) is January 1 to December 31 2021. You must file your nomination papers before you accept contributions or incur expenses during this period. 

Allowable Campaign Expenses

You must file your nomination papers before you incur a campaign expense. This does not apply to candidates who are self-funding their campaign to a maximum of $10,000 (some exceptions apply). See s.147.1 of the LAEA for more information, including definitions of contributions and expenses.

An allowable campaign expense includes an expense incurred for, or a non-monetary contribution in relation to:

  • The production of advertising or promotional material
  • The distribution, broadcast or publication of advertising or promotional material in any media or by any other means during the election period, including by the use of a capital asset
  • The payment of remuneration and expenses to or on behalf of a person for the person's services as a chief financial officer or in any other capacity
  • The securing of meeting space, or the conduct of election surveys or other surveys or research during an election period
  • Expenses also include in-kind (unpaid).

Campaign Contributions

You must file your nomination papers before you accept a campaign contribution. Campaign contributions by any person to a candidate shall not exceed $5,000 in any year. Only an Alberta resident can contribute to a campaign. Corporations, unincorporated organizations, trade unions and employee organizations are prohibited from contributing to your campaign. 

Campaign contributions include money, personal property, real property or service that is provided for the benefit of a candidates election campaign without fair market compensation, but does not include a service provided by an individual who voluntarily performs the services and receives no compensation, directly or indirectly. A candidate who funds a campaign by contributions must open a campaign account at a financial institution (s. 147.3 LAEA). 

A candidate MUST open a bank account in their own name or the name of the campaign as soon as possible after the amount of contributions exceeds $1000 in aggregate (s.147.3(1) LAEA).  All contributions must be deposited in that account, and the money is to be used only for campaign expenses. Contributions of real and personal property and services have a value. Receipts must be issued for every contribution and obtained for every expense. Records of all contributions and expenses are to be kept for 4 years. 

Section 147 of the LAEA sets out the rules regarding who can contribute to your campaign and identifies those who cannot. It is important you understand the rules regarding contributions, whether monetary or contributions in–kind.

Campaign Disclosure Statements

The Campaign Disclosure and Financial Statement Form found in the Nomination Package on the Municipal Candidates page must be completed by all candidates. The form requires candidates to disclose names and addresses of donors whose contributions exceed $50, information about campaign contributions received, other sources of funding, campaign expenditures, and the campaign surplus or deficit. Disclosure statements must be filed with the municipality on or before March 1 following a general election. It is an offence to fail to file a disclosure statement. Candidates will be levied a late filing fee of $500 s.147.7(2) LAEA.

Campaign Deficits and Surpluses

A candidate who incurs a deficit in campaign finances must eliminate that deficit within 60 days after filing their disclosure statement. An amended disclosure statement must be filed within a further 30 days s.147.52 LAEA.

Municipal candidates can donate all surplus municipal campaign funds to a registered charity, or retain any amount less than $1,000 s.147.5 LAEA.

Self Funded Campaigns

A candidate whose campaign is entirely self-funded by no more than $10,000 in a campaign period:

  • must open a bank account in the name of the candidate or campaign name, when their own contributions exceed $1,000.
  • is still required to file a campaign disclosure statement
  • must review the definitions of ‘contributions' and provisions of s.147.1 LAEA and decide when they need to file their nomination papers.

Agents and Scrutineers

A candidate may choose to appoint an official agent on their nomination form (this is not mandatory), or fill out and submit the Statement of Official Agent or Scrutineer Form to the Returning Officer. Statement Forms are included in the Nomination Package found on the Municipal Candidates page. The duties of an official agent are assigned by the candidate. A person who has, within the previous 10 years, been convicted of an offense under the Local Authorities Election Act, the Election Finances and Campaign Disclosure Act or the Canada Elections Act is not eligible to be appointed as an official agent or scrutineer, and an agent may only act as an agent for one candidate s. 68.1 LAEA.

Agents and scrutineers must sign the Statement Form to indicate that that they will maintain and aid in maintaining the absolute secrecy of the vote, and also bring with them a statement of representation signed by the candidate to the presiding deputy of the voting station before they will be recognized as such at the voting station. The presiding deputy shall not permit the concurrent presence in the voting station of an agent and scrutineer, or the candidate and agent or scrutineer. The presiding deputy may designate the place in the voting station from where they may observe the election procedure s. 69 LAEA.

Signage

There are no limitations on when a candidate may start campaigning in the Local Authorities Election Act; however, there are restrictions on where you may place signs and literature. Please reference the Bylaw.

Do not confuse voters by using check marks √ or X in your campaign signage or literature. 

What are the rules regarding campaign signage?

Election signs do not require a permit, but still must comply with the Land Use Bylaw #4168:

  • No sign is allowed that in the opinion of a Development Authority may create a hazard to public safety or health. 
  • No sign may obstruct the line of sight of a pedestrian or the driver of a vehicle with respect to access to or egress from a road, alley or driveway, or detract from the visibility or effectiveness of any Traffic Control Device. 
  • No sign shall obstruct ingress to or egress from a fire escape door, window or other required exit under the Alberta Building Code. 
  • No sign other than a Traffic Control Device may display words such as "STOP", "LOOK", "DANGER", "ONE WAY" or "YIELD" or any similar words, phrases, symbols, lights or characters used in a manner which may mislead, confuse or otherwise interfere with pedestrian or vehicle traffic on a road. 
  • No sign may incorporate a searchlight or strobe lights. 
  • No sign other than a Specialized Sign is allowed on a roof or completely above the parapet of a Building. 
  • No sign may be painted on, or affixed in any manner to, a tree, stone, cliff or other natural object; 
  • No sign other than a Specialized Sign, Sandwich Board, or Portable Sign shall be placed or erected on a Site unless the sign is permanently set into the ground or permanently affixed to a Building. 
  • No sign other than a Traffic Control Device shall face an Interior Side Property Line or Rear Property Line that is adjacent to a residential District. 
  • No sign is allowed within a Corner Visibility Triangle if it blocks or interferes with a line of sight for pedestrians or drivers of vehicles, from any direction.

There are rules regarding whether you can place signs:

Along the highway

Alberta Transportation Guidelines


Along boulevards & rights of ways

Any campaign sign located on a city boulevard, right of way or other location so as to constitute a traffic hazard will be removed immediately by the City and the candidate may be billed with the cost. Signs must not be placed in the ground so as to damage irrigation systems. (Schedule D Land Use Bylaw #4168)


Electrical poles & light poles

Electrical utility system poles and structures shall be kept free of all materials and equipment not required for the system (s.2-012 Alberta Electrical Utility Code)


On a street

Campaign signage should not be placed where it can cause a hazard to traffic and/or pedestrians (s.69 Public Roads Bylaw #4346: Schedule D Land Use Bylaw #4168)


On a tree 

No sign may be painted on, or affixed in any manner to, a tree, stone, cliff or other natural object (Schedule D Land Use Bylaw #4168)


In a park

In a park or recreational area, no person shall, without prior written approval from the Parks Manager or his designate:

  • place or erect any signs or billboards for the purposes of advertising;
  • distribute any handbills or circulars;
  • use any audible advertising device; (s.6 Parks and Recreational Areas Bylaw #2527)

At Voting Stations 

Candidates are prohibited from any type of campaign activities and any actions considered to be an attempt to solicit or influence votes in and on the property surrounding a building used as a voting station. Those found guilty may be subject to a fine of up to $500 (s.152.1 LAEA). The Returning Officer has the authority to stop such activity with the assistance of a Peace Officer. 

A person to whom an enumerator, a candidate, an official agent or a campaign worker on behalf of a candidate has produced identification that meets the requirements of the regulations, indicating that the person is an enumerator, a candidate, an official agent or a campaign worker shall not

  • obstruct or interfere with, or
  • cause or permit the obstruction or interference with,
  • the free access of the enumerator, candidate, official agent or campaign worker to each residence in a building containing 2 or more residences or to each residence in a mobile home park, (s.52 LAEA).

Guidance for Canvassing and Campaigning

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