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Campaign Practices

Under Division COVID-19 guidelines, no visitors are allowed in schools. Any references to school visits, meetings or events would be virtual, rather than in person. 

WHAT IS CAMPAIGNING?

Any attempt by an individual or group to engage students, staff, parents or community members for a political objective is considered campaigning. This may include distribution of pamphlets, emailing schools, requests to speak to students and staff or parents, posting signs, or wearing campaign buttons and shirts. Campaigning in or through Division schools is not allowed.

CAN A SITTING COUNCILLOR OR TRUSTEE VISIT A SCHOOL AT THE INVITATION OF THE PRINCIPAL FOR THE BENEFIT OF STUDENTS DURING AN ELECTION PERIOD?

Yes, if the visit is non-partisan and serves an education purpose. For example, a politician may be invited to provide information on the election process, or bring greetings at a school opening or other event.

CAN A CANDIDATE ATTEND A VIRTUAL SCHOOL COUNCIL MEETING OR OTHER PUBLIC MEETING HOSTED BY THE SCHOOL?

Yes. However, the candidate cannot campaign on Division property.

CAN A SCHOOL COUNCIL INVITE CANDIDATES TO SPEAK TO SCHOOL COUNCIL?

A school council may organize a meeting with all officially registered candidates for a particular office (e.g., Ward Trustee or Ward Councillor). Candidates are considered officially registered after completing the nomination process with the City. 

The school council must invite all registered candidates to address the meeting and provide them equal treatment and time to speak.

CAN THE SCHOOL HOST AN ALL-CANDIDATES MEETING FOR STUDENT EDUCATION PURPOSES?

Yes. However, all registered candidates must be invited. The meeting should be for the education of students only. Candidates should speak about their platform only and not criticize others. No media may attend.

CAN STAFF WORK ON A CAMPAIGN FOR A PARTICULAR CANDIDATE?

Yes, a staff member is an elector. However, employees may not engage in partisan or campaign activities of any kind while on Board property or during work hours. No Division resources (phone, fax, computer, email, photocopier) can be used for partisan political activity.

Once elected, the Board of Trustees is in effect the Division employer and therefore, employees should govern their campaign-related activities accordingly.