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Mayoral candidate Bob Johnston may have already disqualified himself

By incurring an election expense for a decal on the side of his vehicle, Greater Sudbury mayoral candidate Bob Johnston may have disqualified himself, as per the Municipal Elections Act

Bob Johnston’s political aspirations might be short-lived, with a breach of the Municipal Elections Act potentially making him ineligible to seek the mayor’s chair.

At issue is a decal posted to the side of his vehicle featuring a photograph of Johnston and the words “Not Bigger, but Better / Mayor / Vote Bob Johnston 2022.”

A Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing spokesperson clarified in emailed correspondence with that “candidates cannot spend money, including their own money, on their campaign before the clerk receives their nomination form.”

The nomination period doesn’t open until May 1. 

The City of Greater Sudbury offered the same interpretation of the Municipal Elections Act and clarified that upon conviction, those found in breach of the act could face fines, imprisonment, forfeiture of office or ineligibility to run for office in the future.

Johnston told that he hasn’t done anything wrong, “whatsoever.”

“I know the rules, I know the laws,” he said. “I have 100-per-cent intentions of running, and yeah, no, I never paid nothing for signage.” 

This, despite admitting to spending $100 on the photograph.

“I paid $100 for my picture to be on my van,” he said, insisting that this is separate from the accompanying lettering that advertises his mayoral candidacy, “which was free.”

“There’s nothing on my van picture of me that states anything,” he said.

On why he’d post a picture of himself on the side of his vehicle if not for its connection to the immediately adjacent lettering advertising his candidacy for mayor, he said, “That picture shows I’m an easy-going guy relaxing by our beautiful Lake Ramsey. … I got lots of other pictures to go with it with my girlfriend and everything else.”

During a follow-up interview in which cited the fact the Municipal Elections Act qualifies “The value of contributions of goods and services,” and therefore the lettering, as an expense, Johnston abruptly ended the conversation.

“Whatever, write up a big story then,” he said. “Go ahead, go do what you’ve got to do. And don’t ever call me back, buddy, because I’ve got nothing to say to you.”

A written statement from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing notes that any elector who believes a candidate may have contravened a campaign finance provision of the Municipal Elections Act may apply for a compliance audit of the candidate’s campaign finances.

Alternatively, any person may also take legal action against a candidate on their own, without having first obtained a compliance audit.

The City of Greater Sudbury also noted that complaints regarding contravention of legislation can also be made by contacting the Greater Sudbury Police Service.

Mayor Brian Bigger told that it’s up to all candidates to learn the rules around elections and that if they have any questions they can contact the city clerk’s office.

Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for


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Tyler Clarke

About the Author: Tyler Clarke

Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for
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