Information for candidates

The information within this section provides a brief introduction of the requirements for running for office in the City of Spruce Grove. Candidates are responsible for understanding all legislation concerning elections, including nomination, eligibility, campaigning restrictions, campaign finance and disclosure, election offences and prohibitions at voting stations.

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Prospective Candidate’s Handbook

The Prospective Candidate's Handbook for the office of councillor has been developed to provide prospective candidates with additional information about running for Spruce Grove City Council. Paper copies of this document will be available at City Hall.

Candidate information sessions

Due to the short timelines associated with a by-election, the City Clerk's office will not be hosting a candidate information session for prospective candidates.

Information about election procedures, roles and responsibilities, and the time commitment of council are included in the Prospective Candidate's Handbook, which will be available soon. If prospective candidates have questions about, or would like to discuss this information, they may contact the Returning Officer.

Important dates

  • Election signs can be displayed starting 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, June 12, 2019.
  • All election signs must be removed by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, July 15, 2019.

What makes a sign an election sign?

There is no such regulation that governs to that level of specificity. The broader question is “what purpose is the sign being displayed for?” If the answer is “due to the election”, then the City is interpreting it as an election sign. A sign is a tool to advertise. An election sign is specific to the election event.

An election sign is one that a candidate would create and put in place on a vehicle, in a median, in a window, etc.

Advertising on an existing static or video billboard is not considered an election sign as the billboard has already gone through the development permit process with the City. Other legal means of advertising, such as in the newspaper, or through social media, t-shirts, and other printed materials such as door knockers, door hangers, brochures and pamphlets, also do not constitute signage.

How are signs regulated and where do election signs fit in?

Regulations in the City’s Traffic Bylaw   and Land Use Bylaw   aim to provide for an orderly, safe, and efficient environment for our residents. For example, signage in commercial areas is limited to one per 90m of frontage, while in low density residential areas, only a few types of signs are allowed, such as real estate signs or those with warning messages (like “beware of dog”).

The City’s typical regulations and approval processes for signs would be overly prescriptive during a municipal election, and the City recognizes that. Therefore, the Land Use Bylaw includes a single clause that states election signs can be displayed without a permit for 28 days prior to an election and five days following an election.

Any sign displayed prior to 28 days before the election would need to follow the requirements of the entire Land Use Bylaw, which would be extremely difficult due to the bylaw's many and various restrictions. Furthermore, as a requirement of development permit application, the applicant must supply landowner authorization, sign plans, site plans, etc., and pay the development permit fees for each sign on each property.

Candidates should refer to the details on the Election Sign Acknowledgment Form   for a full and complete list of regulations regarding election signage. The points below highlight recent changes to the City’s election sign regulations.

  • Election signs of a specific size are now allowed in grassed medians and on private property (with the consent of the property owner), with the exception of Highway 16A or any hard surfaced median. A grassed median means a median or portion of a median that is covered in grass or turf. Signs cannot be placed in other types of groundcover, shrubs or landscaping to limit damage to medians.
  • When placing election signage in a grassed median, candidates must comply with the City’s Traffic Bylaw by parking in a legal parking space and accessing a median by crossing at an intersection.

What about vehicle decals or magnetic signs on vehicles?

Election signs are permitted in vehicles between Nomination Day (May 29, 2019) and Election Day (July 10, 2019).

The sign regulations of the Land Use Bylaw (C-824-12) govern signs in general and the election signs in particular. Vehicle signs or decals on a car are addressed in the bylaw. They are defined in section 95 and referred to in section 113.

A vehicle sign is one that can be attached to or painted on vehicles for the purposes of advertising. The exception is the normal day-to-day use for a business. Section 113 prohibits vehicles signs in the City.

The sign regulations can be referenced here  .

In addition, candidates should ensure any vehicle election signage doesn’t contradict the Province of Alberta’s Traffic Safety Act.

Acknowledgment Form

To assist candidates in understanding election sign requirements, the City has provided requirements, including size and important dates, within the Election Sign Acknowledgment Form  .

Candidates who wish to post election signs within City of Spruce Grove limits must ensure they have read and signed this document. Completed Election Sign Acknowledgment Forms must be submitted to the City’s Planning and Development Office, in person, at 414 King Street, Spruce Grove, or mailed to Planning and Development at 315 Jespersen Avenue, Spruce Grove, AB, T7Z 3E8.

Questions?

Candidates or residents who have questions about election campaign signage can contact the Returning Officer.

Nomination Dates

Nominations open:  Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Nominations close: Wednesday, May 29, 2019, at 12 p.m.

Nominations for Councillor will be accepted by the Returning Officer from Tuesday, May 14, until 12 p.m. on Wednesday, May 29, 2019. While City staff endeavor to accommodate prospective candidates filing nominations, we encourage them to schedule an appointment with the Returning Officer.

Further information on nomination requirements are available within the Nomination Information Package   .

The City of Spruce Grove supports consistency in its communication with all candidates. Through Policy 6,039 – Use of Municipal Resources for Election Campaigns   a process has been established for handling candidate information requests that will allow candidates to be provided access to the same information. If any candidate submits a request for information about City programs or services, a reply will be provided via email to all candidates who have signed up to receive responses.

The City will make every reasonable effort to provide a response to candidates; however as the election draws near, time may not permit a response. Questions that are complex in nature or must be treated in accordance with privacy legislation may be clarified by administration and it may be recommended that the candidate submit a Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) request.

Submit a question

Candidates who wish to submit a request for information can email candidaterequests@sprucegrove.org . Please note candidate information requests will be treated in accordance with the privacy provisions set out in the FOIP Act. The City will endeavour to provide responses to questions received prior to Election Day. However, as the election draws near we cannot guarantee that we will be able to compile a response by Election Day.

Receive the response

If you are a candidate and would like to be included on the distribution list for candidate information requests, send a request with your full name and email address to elections@sprucegrove.org . This information will be being collected under the authority of section 33(c) of the FOIP Act and will be used to administer the candidate request for information requirements under Policy 6,039 – Use of Municipal Resources for Election Campaigns  . The personal information provided will be protected in accordance with Part 2 of the Act. If you have any questions regarding the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information, please contact the FOIP Coordinator at 780-962-2611.

Recounts

A candidate, official agent or scrutineer may request the Returning Officer conduct a recount within 44 hours of the close of voting stations. The individual requesting the recount must present the Returning Officer with reasonable grounds for alleging that the record of the result is inaccurate. The Returning Officer will consider the request and determine if a recount is necessary.

The deadline to apply to the Returning Officer for a recount is 4 p.m. on July 12, 2019.

An elector may, within 19 days after the close of voting stations on Election Day (by November 4, 2017), apply by affidavit to a judge for a recount alleging reasonable grounds for believing that the Returning Officer or another officer presiding at a voting station improperly counted or rejected ballots. A payment of $300 must accompany the affidavit.

For more information, see Part 4 of the Local Authorities Election Act  .

Election campaign signage

Campaign signage must be removed by Monday, July 15, 2019.

Campaign finance disclosure and campaign surplus

Candidates must reconcile their campaign finances and submit Form 26, Campaign Disclosure Statement to the municipality on or before Nov. 7, 2019. Campaign disclosure statements are public documents, may be inspected by any person upon request during regular business hours and will be posted on the City of Spruce Grove’s website.

Campaign surpluses from candidates of the City’s 2019 municipal by-election must be received by the municipality on or before Nov. 7, 2019.

For more information, see Part 5.1 of the Local Authorities Election Act  .

Orientation calendar

The City offers orientation training to newly elected council members to ensure all newly elected members of council are prepared for their role. The City Clerk’s Office is currently confirming the orientation schedule, which will be posted within this section once it has been finalized.