Rules at a glance

ALL Public Servants cannot:

  • Do political activity in the workplace
  • Use government premises, equipment or supplies for political activity
  • Associate their position with political activity (unless a candidate and then only to limited extent)
  • Do political activity while wearing a government uniform.

Most public servants must be on an unpaid leave of absence to do the following:

  • Be a federal or provincial candidate
  • Comment publicly on matters dealt with in the position or policy of a political party or candidate if comments are outside the scope of the public servant’s duties and the matter is directly related to his/her duties
  • Solicit funds – only applicable if public servant supervises others or deals  directly with the public
  • Activites that could interfere with the public servant’s duties or  conflict with the interests of the Crown or public body

Specially Restricted public servants may only do the following:

Can ONLY do the following activities:

  • Vote
  • Attend an all-candidates meeting
  • Be a member of a political party1
  • Donate  money to a party or candidate1
  • Be a municipal candidate2
  • Campaign for a municipal candidate2

1 except deputy ministers, the Conflict of Interest Commissioner and the Secretary of Cabinet.

2 only if authorized by ethics executive

Most public servants can do any other type of political activity.

Commissioner may authorize part-time specially restricted public servants to do other activities.

When in doubt – contact your Ethics Executive.

Specially Restricted Public Servants in Ministries

Specially Restricted Public Servants Include:

  • Directors in a ministry
  • Crown attorneys
  • Assistant deputy ministers
  • Deputy Ministers
  • Deputy directors of a legal services branch
  • Commissioned OPP officers and commanders
  • Associate deputy ministers
  • Secretary of the Cabinet

Specially Restricted Public Servants in Public Bodies

Only appointees to the tribunals listed in Ontario Regulation 377/07 are specially restricted public servants.  These tribunals include:

  • Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal
  • Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario
  • Board of Negotiations
  • Building Code Commission
  • Building Materials Evaluation Commission
  • Consent and Capacity Board
  • Consent and Capacity Board
  • Crown Employees Grievance Settlement Board
  • Education Relations Commission
  • Fairness Commissioner
  • Financial Services Commission of Ontario
  • Financial Services Tribunal
  • Environment and Land Tribunal Ontario
  • Health Professions Appeal and Review Board
  • Health Services Appeal and Review Board
  • Ontario Energy Board
  • Ontario Human Rights Commission
  • Ontario Labour Relations Board
  • Ontario Review Board
  • Ontario Securities Commission
  • Pay Equity Office and Hearings Tribunal
  • Physician Payment Review Board
  • Public Service Grievance Board
  • Social Justice Tribunals Ontario
  • Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal

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