By Neil Armstrong
With the Ontario municipal elections approaching in October, the Jamaican Canadian Association (JCA) will be hosting free campaign training for all candidates from the Black community who are running for the positions of trustee, city councillor, regional councillor, or mayor in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.
Elections for municipal government are held every four years on the fourth Monday of October. The next municipal election will be held Monday, October 22, 2018.
Anyone planning to enter municipal politics has a window to file nomination papers from May 1 up until 2 p.m. on Friday, July 27.
On July 29, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., the JCA’s political advocacy committee will host “So You Think You Can Run” at the JCA Centre in Toronto in which candidates are invited to attend this event with 3-4 members of their core team.
The team includes campaign manager, fundraising coordinator, communications lead, canvass coordinator, and/or volunteer coordinator.
They will get a crash course in Campaigning 101 from experienced speakers who will to share their knowledge and strategies in service of the Black community.
Facilitated by Danielle Dowdy, chair of the JCA political advocacy committee, the guest panelists are: Rob Davis, founder of Campaign Solutions Inc.; Desmond Cole, activist and freelance journalist; Stacey Berry, CEO, BStellar Consulting Group; and Tiffany Gooch, political strategist, Enterprise & ENsight Canada.
In April 2017, the JCA held a similar election readiness event for anyone planning to run in elections in 2018. The panelists then included Davis, Gooch and Matthew Green, Ward 3 councillor, City of Hamilton.
Candidates should RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by July 25.
According to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO), these are the requirements for who can become a candidate:
- Candidate must be a resident of the municipality or a non-resident owner or tenant of land in the municipality or the spouse of such non-resident owner or tenant;
- a Canadian citizen and at least 18 years old;
- not legally prohibited from voting; and not disqualified by any legislation from holding municipal office.
- You will need 25 signatures on your nomination form and must pay a fee of $100 ($200 for mayor).
“When you think about candidates for federal or provincial elections, you usually think about the political party that each candidate represents. In municipal elections in Ontario, candidates are not elected to represent a political party,” says the AMO.