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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Nomination Dates

Nomination period opens:  Monday, January 4, 2021
Nomination period closes: Monday, September 20, 2021, at 12 p.m.

Nominations for Mayor or Councillors will be accepted by the Returning Officer from Monday, January 4, 2021, until 12 p.m. on Monday, September 20, 2021. Prospective candidates filing their nominations may:

  • schedule an appointment with the Returning Officer
  • submit their nomination papers by using the secure drobox beside the east doors of City Hall (315 Jespersen Avenue)
  • mail or courier their nomination papers to the City of Spruce Grove (c/o Returning Officer, 315 Jespersen Avenue, Spruce Grove, Alberta T7X 3E8).

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, access to City of Spruce Grove offices may be restricted and therefore nominations are being accepted in-person by appointment only. All City of Spruce Grove offices are complying with all provincial health measures, including hand sanitization, wearing of face coverings, and social distancing. All efforts will be made to ensure that candidates can file their nominations safely.

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

The Prospective Candidate's Handbook provides prospective candidates with additional information about running for Spruce Grove City Council. 

The COVID-19 pandemic is constantly evolving. The City of Spruce Grove will be adhering to all provincial public health measures and guidance for the 2021 municipal election to ensure the safety of our residents, candidates and our staff. Candidates are also responsible for following all provincial public health measures and guidance documents throughout the election process. Below are links on where to find provincial public health information as well as any election documents that the province may make available. Please note: this information is subject to change, so check back often.

Important dates

  • Election signs can be displayed starting 12 p.m. on Monday, September 20, 2021 (Nomination Day).
  • All election signs must be removed by 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, October 23, 2021.

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 commencing at noon on Nomination Day (September 20, 2021) and for five days following an election.

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?

The sign regulations of the Land Use Bylaw 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.

Election Sign 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 either be mailed to Planning and Development, 315 Jespersen Avenue, Spruce Grove, AB, T7Z 3E8, dropped off at the City Hall drop box located at the east doors of 315 Jespersen Avenue,  or emailed to electionsign@sprucegrove.org.

Questions?

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

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 for responses received after 4:30 p.m. on Friday, October 8, 2021.

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.