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Running for Office

To qualify as a candidate for local government office, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age on voting day
  • Be a Canadian citizen
  • Have lived in BC for at least six months
  • Not be disqualified by any law from being nominated, elected or holding office

Other important notes for candidates:

  • You do not need to live in the area that you are running in.
  • If you currently work for the City of Surrey, you must take a leave of absence before being nominated.
  • If you currently work for the Surrey School District, you must also take a leave of absence before being nominated.
  • Federal employees must apply to the Public Service Commission for permission
  • You must be nominated by two electors of the jurisdiction where you are nominated.

Elector Organizations

Elector organizations are formed to promote a candidate or point of view in a local government election. Endorsement of a candidate by an elector organization may be indicated on the ballot in addition to other campaign activities. While an elector organization may endorse more than one candidate, each candidate may only be endorsed by one elector organization.

Elector organizations do not have to register as a company or a society. To be eligible to endorse a candidate, an elector organization must have a membership of at least 50 people qualified to vote as either resident elector or non-resident property electors in the election for which the candidate is running. To endorse a candidate, or a slate of candidates, an elector organization must authorize a director or other official to make the solemn declaration of endorsement.

Disclosure Statements

All candidates and elector organizations are required to complete a Statement of Disclosure as per the provincial Financial Disclosure Act and Local Elections Campaign Financing Act. For more information, refer to the financial disclosure fact sheet provided by the province or the guide to local elections campaign financing in BC. After the election, candidates and elector organizations must fully disclose individuals or organizations that financed their campaign.