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Statement of the City Clerk on candidate eligibility

October 9, 2014 -

In response to a question recently raised by a candidate about the processes of confirming the eligibility of a candidate for this year's municipal election, the City Clerk would like to clarify three aspects of the role of candidates and members of council to assist the public in understanding the issues which related to the question which has been raised.

  1.  Eligibility – under the Municipal Elections Act, most residents of Kingston are eligible to run as a candidate in any municipal election. A person is entitled to be a candidate if, on voting day, he or she resides in the municipality or is the owner or tenant of land there, or the spouse of such owner or tenant, is a Canadian citizen, is at least 18 years old; and is not prohibited from voting because of incarceration or other specific limitations. All municipal employees may run for election.
  2. Leave of absence – also under the Municipal Elections Act, an employee of a municipality is eligible to be a candidate and to be elected if he or she takes an unpaid leave of absence beginning as of the day the employee is nominated and ending on voting day. This rule only applies to employees of the municipal corporation and of local municipal boards.   It does not apply to employees of associated corporations or businesses which have regular dealings with the municipality.
  3. Conflicts of interest – once elected, all members of council are subject to another law, the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act. Under that statute a process is set out that provides guidance as to when a member of council has a personal or financial interest in a topic before Council which requires them to excuse themselves from debate and decision making. The rules are set by the Province of Ontario. Any disputes related to conflicts of interest which arise under this law are determined before the courts.

The question which has been raised relates to a specific candidate.  Under the Municipal Elections Act, the City Clerk is required to establish the eligibility of all candidates.  In this case, the City Clerk has established that all persons whose names appear on a ballot in the 2014 municipal election are eligible. The decision of the City Clerk to certify or reject a candidate's eligibility is final and in accordance with the legislation.

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Media contact: For more information contact Communications at 613-546-4291, ext. 2300.

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