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The City of Sault Ste. Marie


New for 2018

Changes to City of Sault Ste. Marie Ward System

The composition of Council changes with the 2018 municipal election. Currently, the municipality is divided geographically into six wards with two members of council representing each ward. In 2017, City Council approved a new five ward system to take effect December 1, 2018.

Two members of Council will represent each of the five wards. The Mayor is elected at large.

Ward maps can be viewed here: Ward Boundaries

Changes to the Municipal Elections Act

Municipal elections (including school boards) are governed by the Municipal Elections Act, 1996. Following the 2014 municipal election, the provincial Ministry of Municipal Affairs conducted a review of the legislation, resulting in several changes to the Act.

Some of the changes affecting the 2018 municipal election are as follows:

Election Calendar

  • Nomination period is shorter. The first day that nominations can be filed is May 1, 2018. Nomination day has been moved to the fourth Friday in July (July 27, 2018)
  • Election campaign period is shorter

Nomination and Eligibility

  • Candidates seeking office on City Council must submit 25 endorsement signatures from eligible electors with their nomination. These individuals will be required to sign a declaration stating that they meet voter eligibility requirements on the day the endorsement is signed. This provision does not apply to candidates for school trustee.

Changes to Campaign Finance Rules

  • Contributions by corporations and trade unions to candidates are no longer permitted; however, corporations and trade unions can contribute to, or register as, third party advertisers
  • Anonymous and cash contributions cannot exceed $25
  • A new spending limit for post-election parties and expressions of appreciation after Voting Day has been established. The spending limit is calculated as 10% of the maximum campaign expenses for the ward in which the candidate is running.

Third Party Advertising

  • The legislation now includes a framework for third party advertising. A third party advertisement is a message in any medium (billboard, newspaper, radio, etc.) that supports or opposes a candidate
  • Individuals, corporations and unions can register as third party advertisers and can also make contributions to third party advertisers. Third party advertisers need to register with the municipality where they want to advertise. If they intend to advertise in more than one municipality they must register in each of them.
  • Nomination and finance rules for third parties are similar to those for candidates running for office.


  • Candidates can access apartment buildings, condominiums, non-profit housing co-ops or gated communities from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. to campaign. Landlords and condominium corporations must allow tenants or owners to display campaign signs in their windows.

Election Advertising

  • Candidates and third party advertisers are required to identify themselves on campaign advertisements and signs, so that it is clear who is responsible for each sign and advertisement that appears or is broadcast.

Election Administration

  • Voters are prohibited from taking photographs or video of their marked ballots.
  • Members of the public are able to inspect documents and materials related to the election for 120 days after the results of the election have been declared.


  • Candidates will be entitled to a refund of the nomination fee if they file their campaign financial statement and, if needed, the auditor’s report by the deadline.
  • Candidates may re-submit financial statements to correct errors up until the filing deadline.
  • The City Clerk is required to publicly identify candidates and third parties who filed or did not file financial statements.
  • A candidate who misses the filing deadline may file within a 30-day grace period provided they pay a $500 late filing fee to the City Clerk.
  • There will be a new process regarding contribution limits. The City Clerk is responsible for reviewing the contributions that are reported on the financial statements of Council and trustee candidates as well as third party advertisers. If a contributor appears to have given more than the contribution limits allow, the Clerk will report this to the compliance audit committee. The compliance audit committee will then decide whether to commence a legal proceeding against the contributor.
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