To become a candidate in an election, you must first go through a nomination process. You can be nominated as an independent candidate, or as a candidate for one of the four registered political parties. You can only be nominated as a candidate in one electoral district per election.
Once you have won your party nomination to represent them in a district, you need to get your nomination package from your districts Returning Officer, once the election period has started. Collect signatures from 25 or more eligible voters and return the nomination form and a $200 deposit to the Returning Officer no later than 2:00 pm on Nomination Day. If you are an independent, you still need to get the 25 signatures and submit them and a $200 deposit to the districts Returning Officer.
At the close of nominations on Nomination Day, the Chief Electoral Officer will announce the candidates in all local newspapers and in the Royal Gazette.
You can be nominated as a candidate if you:
- are a Canadian citizen;
- are 18 years old or will be 18 years old on or before nomination day;
- are not disqualified or ineligible under the Election Act (PDF), or any other Act, to be a candidate or a member of the Legislative Assembly; and
- qualify as a voter in any one of the electoral districts in the Electoral Boundaries Act (PDF).
If there are no other candidates nominated by 2:00 pm on Nomination Day in your district, the Returning Officer will proclaim you as the elected representative for the district. This is known as "Election by Acclamation".
There are strict rules and guidelines for political advertising and fundraising campaigns. The Official Agent of each party can discuss your options from the Election Expenses Act (Section 17 Campaign Advertising) (PDF). All advertising during an election periods must be authorized by the Official Agent of the party.
Section 24 "Registration of Parties" of the Election Act completely outlines the requirements of registering as a political party.
The requirements to be registered as a political party are that the party
(a) held at least one seat in the Legislative Assembly following the most recent election;
(b) endorsed at least 10 nominated candidates in the most recent general election;
(c) endorses at least 10 nominated candidates following the date of a writ of election for a general election; or
(d) at any time, except between the date a writ of election and polling day, provides the Chief Electoral Officer with the names, addresses and signatures of persons who
(i) represent 0.35% of the number of electors eligible to vote at the last general election,
(ii) are currently eligible to vote in an election, and
(iii) request the registration of that political party.