Candidate Information

Candidate Information

Why run for City of St. John’s council?
Are you passionate about St. John’s? Are you confident that you can contribute positively to the City’s core values and strategic directions?

The role of City Council is to make decisions based on facts and practices that benefit the functions of the City. Council represents the people of St. John’s with a continuous goal to make our city a better place to live, work and visit. Consider the following:

Leadership. You will work closely with residents, business owners, committees and boards. A strong leader is a team player.

Innovative. You are able to appreciate the operations of the City and when needed, present new, improved and fiscally responsible ways of doing things.

Visionary. You can see the potential the City holds to become a sought after location to live, do business, and visit.

Business. St. John’s as a municipality is like a business. Knowledge of balancing a multimillion-dollar budget is necessary.

Honesty and Transparency. The City provides access to information about the City's Council, Committee of the Whole, Standing Committee, Advisory Committees, Experts Panels and Working Groups.

Dedicated. This will not be a 9-5 job. You will be accountable to the organization and the constituents. 

To seek election for a position on council, you must:

  • Be 18 years of age at the time of nomination;
  • Be a Canadian citizen;
  • Be ordinarily resident in the city for 30 days immediately preceding the nomination period;
  • Not be indebted to Council for arrears of taxes or other charges payable to the city;
  • Not be otherwise disqualified under the Municipal Elections Act.

Those interested in pursuing election are encouraged to review legislation which governs all aspects of the City of St. John’s Municipal Election.

Nomination Process
The nomination process includes the following:

  1. Ensure you are eligible and not otherwise disqualified according to the Municipal Election Act, Section 15.
  2. Candidates for Ward Councillor must have 2 nominators who are eligible to vote and reside in the ward in which the intent to seek election. At-Large, Mayoral and Deputy Mayoral Candidates may be nominated in the same manner as Ward Candidates.
  3. Candidates should refer to the Candidate Information page and the Candidate’s Guide to St. John’s Municipal Election.
  4. Candidates must request a nomination appointment with the Election Coordinator by email at or by phone at 709-576-8243. Appointments are scheduled first come first served between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. from August 24 to Aug 31. Candidates have 24 hours after the close of nominations to withdraw their nomination.
  5. Candidates must complete and submit a Clearance Certificate Request to the election coordinator a minimum of 2 business days before their nomination appointment to allow time to process the request.
  6. Candidates must pay a $50 nomination fee at ACCESS St. John's located on the first floor of City Hall and collect their receipt. Candidates will need to send a copy to or bring it to the nomination appointment to verify that it has been paid in full.
  7. Candidates, their nominators and official agent (if applicable), must attend the nomination appointment to file the official paperwork.
  8. Forms required to be completed and submitted at the nomination appointment are found on Forms and Guides Page under ‘Candidate Related Forms’.
  9. Upon fulfilling the requirements above, Candidates will be given a map and access to an online voters list applicable to the office in which they are seeking election.

Candidate’s Guide to St. John’s Municipal Election
Candidates are encouraged to refer to A Candidate’s Guide to St. John’s Municipal Election for important information regarding the election.
Safe Campaign Guidance
Potential Candidates are advised to refer to Municipal and Provincial Affairs for guidance and direction to conduct a safe campaign including guidance for campaign offices, door to door campaigning as well as campaign events.

Campaign Finances
Campaign finances are subject to PART VIII of the Municipal Election Act and the City’s Election Finance By-Law.
Expenditures, contributions and reporting must be in accordance with the legislation. The onus is on the candidate to ensure legislative compliance. The City of St. John’s does not provide legal or financial advice to candidates. It is incumbent on the candidate to seek same.
Monetary contributions are pursuant to section 67.2 of the Municipal Election Act and shall be made only by a cheque, money order or credit card in the name of the contributor.  
All campaign contributions must be reported pursuant to the Election Finance By-Law within 30 days of the election. Contributions exceeding $100 must also disclose the contributor.

New for 2021 - Changes to the Election Finance By-Law
On October 26, 2020, changes to the Election Finance By-Law were formally adopted by Council.

  • The limit for a financial contribution considered a “donation” is reduced from $250 to $100
  • Corporate and union donations are capped to 50% of the total allowable contributions for the 2021 Election. Beginning in the 2025 Election, any/all corporate and union donations will be prohibited
  • Individual, corporate and trade union donations are reduced from $2,000 to $1,000
  • Contributions can only be made to a candidate within the calendar year of the election
  • Disclosure of campaign contributions and expenditures is reduced from 90 days post-election to 30 days post-election
  • Expenditures in addition to contributions are now required to be disclosed
  • Expenditure caps for candidates have been reduced from $10,000 plus $1.00 for each voter on the voters list, to:
Estimated* Election Finance Amounts
Candidacy Base Amount Approximate of Eligible Voters Rate Per Eligible Voter Estimated
Mayoral $10,000 70,000 .71 cents $59,700
Deputy Mayoral $10,000 70,000 .43 cents $40,100
At Large $10,000 70,000 .14 cents $19,800
Ward $10,000 15,000 .07 cents $11,050

*Actual amounts are determined based on the final number of registered voters on election day.