Policies for City Employees during Election Period
On May 1, 2018, the municipal election period will begin. The following policies will apply to City employees during this period:
- Toronto Public Service By-law Political Activity Provisions
- Use of City Resources During Election Period Policy
As well, the Protocol for responding to requests for information from candidates will be in place from May 1 until Election Day on October 22. This protocol ensures that no candidate receives an unfair advantage during the election and that the City and its employees act in a way that is fair and non-partisan.
These policies recognize that most City employees have the right to engage in political activity during their personal time, with limitations on political activity at work. Specifically, City employees cannot:
- Use City resources while engaging in political activity.
- Engage in political activity during working hours or while wearing a City uniform.
- Wear clothing or buttons that advertise any candidate while at work or while wearing a City uniform.
- Use their title or position within the City in a way that would lead a member of the public to infer that the City is endorsing a candidate.
There are additional restrictions on political activity for certain “designated positions” which includes senior management, division heads, directors, employees who prosecute City bylaws or provincial statutes, and employees who support the administration of the municipal election and the council offices. A summary table of permitted and restricted political activity for designated positions is included below.
Also included below are some Election Policy Highlights for City Staff addressing some basic questions related to the City’s Election Policy.
If an employee is unsure about the appropriateness of their participation in election-related political activity such as campaigning for a candidate, they should consult their immediate supervisor, manager or Ethics Executive.