Alberta's provincial election is fast approaching and that
can only mean two things: bright-eyed candidates door-knocking
across the province, and an increasing number of calls to our
office from landlords and property managers asking us if they
actually have to let these would-be-MPs into their buildings.
Whether or not you relish the opportunity to debate with your
local candidates on the pressing political issues of the day, or
are, shall we say, less-than-thrilled to be pulled away from your
quality Netflix-and-sweatpant-time (also known as evenings and
weekends), most of us have some opinion about door-to-door
campaigning. However, whatever your personal prerogative may be
when it comes to the age-old election practice of door-knocking, if
you happen to own or manage an apartment building, condominium
building, or even a gated community or mobile home park, there are
a few things you need to know.
What Regulates Campaigning in Alberta?
The Election Act (the Act) governs the administration
of provincial elections, enumerations, by-elections and plebiscites
in Alberta. The Act also sets out the rights of candidates and
campaign workers with respect to canvassing and has specific
provisions to deal with "multiple dwellings sites" which
include apartment and condominium buildings, as well as any site in
which more than one residence is contained, such as a mobile home
park, gated community or any similar site.
Right of Access for Campaigning
Pursuant to the Act, candidates and campaign workers are granted
the right of free access to multiple dwelling sites and the
residential units within for the purpose of campaigning between 9
am and 9 pm daily. Accordingly, a person in control of a multiple
dwelling site, such as a landlord, property manager or condominium
corporation, is required to permit a candidate or campaign worker
to canvass at each residential unit within the site; and it is a
violation of the Act for any person to obstruct or interfere with
the free access of the candidate or campaign worker once inside the
multiple dwelling site.
All candidates and campaign workers must be identified by a
visibly displayed campaign worker identification badge in order to
gain access to a multiple dwelling site. Each badge has a unique
number which is recorded to track to whom the badge has been
issued. If you have any questions, concerns or require any
additional information about the identification of a candidate or
campaign worker you can contact the Community Outreach
representative at Elections Alberta.
Election Signs and Posters
Landlords, property managers and condominium corporations should
also be aware that the terms of a residential lease or other
internal rules or regulations of a multiple dwelling site,
including the bylaws of condominium corporation, do not apply to
Pursuant to the Act, landlords or persons acting on a
landlord's behalf cannot prohibit a tenant from displaying
election posters on the premises to which the tenant's lease
relates. Similarly, condominium corporations or any of their agents
cannot prohibit the owner or tenant of a condominium unit from
displaying election posters on the premises of his or her unit. For
the purpose of the Act, "premises" includes land or a
window, door, balcony or other structure of which the owner or
tenant enjoys exclusive use in connection with his or her unit.
That said, a landlord or condominium corporation as referred to
above, are permitted to set reasonable conditions relating to the
size or type of election poster that may be displayed within a
tenant or owner's premises and have the right to prohibit the
display of election posters in the common areas of a multiple
BOTTOM LINE: If you own or manage an apartment
or condominium building or other multiple dwelling site, yes, you
are legally required to let candidates and campaign workers into
the building or onto the property to canvass electors, albeit
within certain parameters. You also cannot stop your tenants or
condominium owners from putting up election signs or posters on
their premises, but you can regulate the size and type of signs or
posters within reason.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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