Candidate nominations for the October civic election are closed. What happens now?

Who’s running for office in the October 15 Vancouver municipal election in 2022? The City’s website has a list of all of the candidates who submitted their paperwork by the deadline on Friday, September 9th. However, this list is subject to change because candidates can withdraw from running for office before 4 pm on Friday, September 16th. As well, candidates could be dropped if there’s a successful challenge against them (for example, if they are not eligible for running for office, or if there were issues with their paperwork).

The nomination papers and the financial disclosure statements for all candidates are available online in a redacted form for public review. The full unredacted paperwork can be viewed in person at Vancouver City Hall (City Clerk’s office on the third floor) during normal office hours. The City Clerk can also make the list of Vancouver electors (voter’s list) available. The paperwork for the local political parties (‘Elector Organizations’) has also been filed that includes the candidates who have been endorsed by the parties. Other information on the Elector Organizations include the financial agents and party presidents.

Each of the nominated candidates must be endorsed by at least 25 ‘electors’ (people who are eligible to vote in the Vancouver Civic election: Canadian citizen, reside in Vancouver or own property in the city, etc.). The rules for running for office are set forth in the Vancouver Charter (Division 6, from Section 41 onward).

The nomination papers usually contain at least several additional signatures as a precautionary measure beyond the required 25 (many candidates have somewhere between 33 and 40 signatures). This is to guard against a scenario where some of the candidate nominators are not eligible to vote (for example, if 26 people nominated a candidate, and two of the nominators were not Canadian citizens, then the minimum requirements for a candidate would not be met). However, a candidate’s eligibility to run would need further action. An eligible Vancouver voter (and the chief election officer) can challenge a candidate’s eligibility to run in provincial court by filing by 4 pm on Tuesday, September 13th. Reasons for a challenge can include false information (incorrect address, inaccurate paperwork, etc., set out in the Vancouver Charter section 45.2).

The City’s website currently shows the number of candidates running as follows:

  • 15 running for Mayor
  • 60 running for City Councillor (10 seats)
  • 32 running for Park Board (7 seats)
  • 31 running for School Board (9 seats)

The nomination papers also provide clues to some of the workings of the local political parties. Some of the nominators signing the papers are known in community and industry circles. The financial disclosure statements can also provide clues about the background of the candidates. It’s always interesting to find incumbent candidates who have preached for a ‘greenest city’ and at the same time own shares in oil, gas and mining companies.

The Vancouver Civic election will be held on Saturday, October 15, 2022. The candidate profiles will be posted during the week of September 20th. Advance voting days are October 1, 5, 8, 11, and 13.

There will also be three plebiscite questions asking voters whether they authorize the City to take on more debt. A total of $735 million in new borrowing by the City of Vancouver is being considered to pay for part of the proposed 2023-2026 Capital Plan. This works out to $1,109.86 per resident (2021 Census) in new debt. A total of $3.5 billion in capital investment is being contemplated. The City expects development contributions to make up $862 million of this total.

Above: Before 2014, civic elections were held mid-November and every three years. Has the change to a 4-year cycle and holding the election in mid-October improved transparency and accountability?

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