Municipal elections in Canada

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Municipal elections in Canada fall within the jurisdiction of the various provinces and territories, who usually hold their municipal elections on the same date every two, three or four years, depending on the location.

Each province has its own nomenclature for municipalities and some have local elections for unincorporated areas which are not technically municipalities. These entities can be called cities, towns, villages, townships, hamlets, parishes and, simply, municipalities, county municipalities, regional county municipalities, municipal districts, regional districts, counties, regional municipalities, specialized municipalities, district municipalities or rural municipalities. Many of these may be used by Statistics Canada as the basis for census divisions or census subdivisions.

Municipal elections usually elect a mayor and city council and often also a school board. Some locations may also elect other bodies, such as Vancouver, which elects its own parks board. Some municipalities will also hold referenda or ballot initiatives at the same time, usually relating to spending projects or tax changes.

Elections for city councils are held through either a ward system or at-large system, depending on the location. Vancouver is the largest city in Canada to use the at-large system, while most other larger cities use wards.

Most councils are non-partisan and elect only independents. However, some municipalities have locally based political parties or election slates. These include Montreal, Quebec City and Longueuil in Quebec and Vancouver, Victoria, Surrey and Richmond in British Columbia. These local parties are rarely affiliated with any provincial or federal parties.

Voting may be done with paper ballots that are hand-counted, or by various forms of electronic voting.

Municipal election chart by province and territory[edit]

Province or Territory Occurrence Date Last Current Next Related
Alberta excluding Lloydminster 4 years (3 years prior to 2013) 3rd Monday in October 2010 2013 2017
British Columbia 4 years (3 years prior to 2014) 3rd Saturday in November 2011 2014 2018
Manitoba 4 years 4th Wednesday in October 2010 2014 2018
New Brunswick 4 years 2nd Monday in May 2012 2016 2020
Newfoundland and Labrador 4 years last Tuesday in September 2009 2013 2017
Northwest Territories taxed communities 3 years 3rd Monday in October 2015 2018 2021
hamlets 2 years 2nd Monday in December 2014 2016 2018
Nova Scotia 4 years 3rd Saturday in October 2012 2016 2020
Nunavut Iqaluit 3 years 3rd Monday in October 2015 2018 2021
hamlets 1 year 1st Monday in December 2015 2016 2017
Ontario 4 years (3 years prior to 2006) 4th Monday in October (since 2010) 2014 2018 2022 Details
Prince Edward Island 4 years 1st Monday in November 2014 2018 2022
Quebec 4 years 1st Sunday in November 2013 2017 2021
Saskatchewan urban municipalities 4 years (3 years prior to 2012) 4th Wednesday in October 2012 2016 2020
odd-numbered rural municipalities 4 years (2 years prior to 2015)[1] 4th Wednesday in October 2012 2014 2016
even-numbered rural municipalities 4 years (2 years prior to 2015)[2] 4th Wednesday in October 2013 2015 2018
Yukon 3 years 3rd Thursday in October 2015 2018 2021

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See also[edit]