Election Season

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The 2019 Federal Election season is now in full swing.  With that there are two common questions that often arise from Strata Councils during this period of sometimes fierce debate and partisan showmanship.

1) Can Residents display election signage in their windows?

The short answer is “yes” and the longer answer is “more or less”.  Here’s what the Canada Elections Act has to say about the question:

Election advertising posters

322. (1) No landlord or person acting on their behalf may prohibit a tenant from displaying election advertising posters on the premises to which the lease relates and no condominium corporation or any of its agents may prohibit the owner of a condominium unit from displaying election advertising posters on the premises of his or her unit.

Dig a bit further and there is a second and relevant clause, which helps provide the longer answer:

(2) Despite subsection (1), a landlord, person, condominium corporation or agent referred to in that subsection may set reasonable conditions relating to the size or type of election advertising posters that may be displayed on the premises and may prohibit the display of election advertising posters in common areas of the building in which the premises are found.

As usual, consult your Strata Corporation bylaws to see if there are specific regulations regarding the “size or type” of election advertising posters.  Most Strata Corporations do not have such regulations and you can consult with a lawyer if you’re interested in drawing them up, but that wouldn’t be helpful until the next Federal Election.
2) Can partisan canvassers walk the building knocking on doors?

Again, the answer (unpopular as it might be sometimes) is “yes”.  From the Act:

Canvassing, etc., in residential areas

  1. (1) No person who is in control of an apartment building, condominium building or other multiple-residence building or a gated community may prevent a candidate or his or her representative from

(a) in the case of an apartment building, condominium building or gated community, canvassing, between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., at the doors to the apartments, units or houses, as the case may be; or

(b) in the case of a multiple-residence building, campaigning, between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., in a common area in the multiple residence.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply in respect of a person who is in control of a multiple residence building whose residents’ physical or emotional well-being may be harmed as a result of permitting canvassing or campaigning referred to in that subsection.

Section 43.1 of the Act provides the same right of access to election officers.

It’s important to note that all of these regulations are pulled from the Canada Elections Act and apply to FEDERAL elections, not Provincial or Municipal.  It’s also worth noting that there are rather stiff fines for interfering with canvassers or party supporters who post signage (up to $2,000 and the potential for jail time).