The Toronto Public Service By-Law – City of Toronto (TPS By-Law) applies to City employees who are members of the Toronto Public Service. During the municipal, provincial and federal election periods, the TPS By-Law political activity provisions are of particular importance.

City employees who are not members of the public service, such as those working in the offices of Members of Council or in an Accountability Office, should review related applicable policies.

The Toronto Public Service By-Law – City of Toronto recognizes 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.

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.

The following Policies, Resources and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) assist City staff to comply with the TPS By-Law and other applicable policies for City staff during elections.

Policies and Protocols

During elections, City staff should refer to the following policies and protocols. A full list of policies and guidelines for City staff and divisions can be found on the City Clerk’s Toronto Elections intranet page.

Resources

The following learning tools support City staff to understand their obligations under the TPS By-Law for political activity.