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Your Step-by-Step Guide to: Running in a Federal Election

Journey to Running in a Federal Election

There are many steps along the journey to running as a candidate in a federal election. One of the barriers to participation is having the right information— there are so many rules and procedures involved in being a candidate that navigating these complex processes can be overwhelming. We recognize that. To help guide someone along the path to candidacy, we've created this map. It brings together all the resources you, or someone in your community, will need at each stage of the journey to running in a federal election.

Included in this map are resources developed by Elections Canada, commissioned by Elections Canada with non-partisan organizations, and bilingual external resources developed by non-partisan organizations (these organizations are solely responsible for the accuracy of the information, the content of the analysis and the opinions that are expressed). The source of each resource is clearly marked and we will work to ensure that all links remain active.

Who is this map for?

  • Are you passionate about assisting others in participating in the electoral process, but can't find the information you need? Use our workshop program (Coming soon) to present this map to potential candidates in your area.
  • Do you work for an organization serving a community of Canadians? Are you looking to share information about being a candidate in a federal election? This map brings everything into one place.
  • Are you interested in becoming a candidate yourself and are unsure what is involved? This map will help you learn about the process to running in a federal election.

How do I use it?

We've organized all of the key rules, procedures, resources, and forms that someone who is running in a federal election would need into four stages. Each stage is divided into steps, with a checklist to help keep potential candidates on-track. Simply click on the stage you want to learn more about and follow the steps. We've also made this resources page with the key links you need and a handy list of key terms. If you still have questions, don't hesitate to contact us using the feedback form or call at 1-800-463-6868.



Your Step-by-Step Guide to:
Running in a federal election (PDF)

Stage I: Thinking About Being a Candidate

You're motivated to represent your community as their voice. Learn about the steps involved in becoming a candidate.

Stage II: Becoming a Candidate

You've made the decision to become a candidate for the next federal election. To get your name on the ballot, you'll need to take a few steps.

Stage III: Being a Candidate

Congratulations! You're officially a candidate for the federal election. Now it's time to start your campaign if you have not already!

Stage IV: Reporting on Your Experience

The campaign may be over, but your journey is not yet complete. Whether you were successful in being elected as a member of Parliament or not, there are a few things related to political financing that you'll need to do before you can close your campaign. Remember: There are penalties associated with failing to file your electoral campaign returns, and with filing them late.