Community Representative Information

Community Representative Information

On this webpage you can find candidate and campaign information for Community Representatives.

​Community Representative

Why run?

There are many reasons why you should run to be a Community Representative. Being a Community Representative is a rewarding experience. It is an opportunity for you to work alongside your neighbours and TCHC staff to build vibrant communities.

Who qualifies as a candidate?
A candidate for a Community Representative must be:
• A tenant, co-tenant or dependent of a tenant in the building or townhouse community where he/she is running.
• Registered on the TCHC household lease and seconded by another tenant who lives in the same building/townhouse community where the candidate is running.
• 16 years of age or older by the time the nomination form is submitted, or to nominate a candidate.
• In good standing as a tenant in order to be a candidate.

If you are a permanent full time staff of TCHC, resident key persons, rooming house representatives and have a family member living in the same household, neither of you can participate.

What it means to have a tenancy in good standing:

A tenancy in good standing means:

  • The tenant has no arrears on their lease with TCHC or, if there are arrears, they have a signed agreement with TCHC to repay the arrears and are in compliance with the agreement.
  • TCHC is not taking any legal action against the tenancy.
  • There have been no reported acts by the tenant, their household or guests, on or in relation to TCHC property, that constitute a serious violation of a federal, provincial or municipal law.
  • There have been no reported anti-social behaviours, which constitute an ongoing disturbance caused by the tenant, their household or guests that intereferes with the reasonable enjoyment of the unit or complex for its reasonable uses by the landlord or tenants and which has not been resolved through tenancy management.

How do I become a Community Representative candidate?*
*Details are for buildings in phase one
1. Submit a nomination form by Friday, September 25, 2020. The nomination deadline has been postponed due to COVID-19.
2. You can nominate yourself, but your nomination needs to be seconded by another tenant committee member in the building/ townhouse community where you are running.
3. Each nomination must be signed by you the candidate, which will indicate your acceptance. Nominations must be received no later than Friday, September 25, 2020.
4. You will receive a letter indicating whether or not your nomination was accepted and you are eligible.

How long do Community Representatives serve?

Community Representatives serve a three year term ending in 2023.

What if I change my mind and no longer want to be a candidate?
If you wish to no longer be a Community Representative candidate, you can withdraw your nomination and application by writing to your local Community Services Coordinator (CSC).

What if I have a comment or complaint about the process?
Please submit your comment or complaint in writing by completing a complaint form. You can get a complaint form by contacting your local engagement Community Services Coordinator (CSC). Don’t know who your CSC is? Call the Client Care Centre and an agent will connect you to the right person. Submit your complaint form to your local CSC once complete.

How does TCHC support you in your role?
TCHC staff will support you by:
• Delivering mandatory training and provide learning and capacity building opportunities.
• Removing barriers to participationby providing food and transportation reimbursement, translation and interpretation
support, etc.
• Providing tools and resources to carry out roles and responsibilities.
• Assisting with Tenant Action Funds applications.

Community Representative: Campaign information

What you need to know before you get started on your campaign
•  Develop a key message: It is good to share the reason why you are interested in being a candidate with your neighbours. What motivates you to run? Is there a  particular area that you are passionate about? What would you like to change in your community? It is also good to ask about and listen to the ideas and concerns from community  members. What are their priorities? Is there something you could do to try and address those issues?
•  Follow the Code of Conduct:  TCHC will not tolerate negative campaigning strategies. This includes:
- damaging or vandalizing other candidates’ materials
- spreading rumours or mistruths regarding other candidates
- harassing or threatening other candidates or their supporters Violating the Code of Conduct could result in a candidate being removed from the ballot.


What you can do to campaign as a Community Representative:
Creating a flyer: TCHC will provide you with a template of a flyer that you can use.
Distribute copies of the flyer: Your engagement Community Services Coordinator will give you copies of your flyer. It must be letter-sized and single-sided. The maximum number that staff will provide is double the number of units in your community. Copies of the poster will be printed in colour, if requested.
Get volunteers: Having friends or neighbours help you with your campaign is always a good idea. They can accompany you when you are campaigning, help you to distribute flyers or put them on bulletin boards. Your volunteers can also encourage others to vote for you and accompany you at candidates' meetings. All campaign volunteers must follow the Code of Conduct.
Track supporters: TCHC cannot provide you with tenants’ names and unit numbers. However, while campaigning, you can ask your neighbours if they wish to share that information with you so you can keep track of who is supporting you. When a tenant has pledged their support, make a note of their name and unit number. That way you can remind them to vote for you on Election Day. Your volunteers can also remind your supporters to vote.


What you need to know when preparing for all candidate meetings:
Communities can have up to six Community Representatives, depending on the community size. There will be two Community Representatives for every 250 households. If there are more than six candidates in your area running for that position, there will be an opportunity to host an all candidates meeting in the community.

What is the purpose of an all candidates meeting?
At an all candidates meeting, you can:
Share your vision. Tell tenants why you are running and give them some ideas you have in mind for change. Be clear and consistent with what you have been advocating for during the campaign. Candidates are encouraged to prepare some remarks ahead of the meeting.
Learn the issues in the community and know your audience. It is always good to find out about the issues in your community and the feelings people have toward those issues ahead of time. This shows that you are taking the steps to understand your community better. Think about ways you can connect with your audience and find similarities in the concerns they have.
Be respectful. When interacting with tenants and other candidates, remain calm and collected. Avoid making negative comments.

If other candidates are being disrespectful, the moderator will intervene to make sure the meeting continues in a respectful manner.

Community Representative: Election Day information 

What you need to know for Election Day:
• You are not allowed to campaign in your building or near the polling station on Election Day.
• No one is allowed to linger in the polling station. Once you have submitted your vote, you must leave the polling station. Only polling station staff and authorized volunteers are allowed.

What voters need to know for Election Day:
• Each voter must present identification at the time of registering at the polling station.
• All tenants over the age of 16 are eligible to vote.
• Tenants may only vote once and can only vote in their designated polling station.
• Voters will get a blank ballot initialed by the Poll Captain. Once they receive their blank ballot, they must go behind the voting screen, mark their ballot, fold it and place it in the ballot box.

What happens once voting ends on Election Day:
All voters may return to the polling station once voting closes for a public ballot count and announcement of the results. Two tenant volunteers will participate in the public counting of the ballots. When all observers arrive, the ballot box will be opened for the public count to begin. All votes are recorded on a public tally sheet and results are documented in a poster template and posted in the community. The results will also be communicated to all tenants. The tenant volunteer must sign-off on the results in a form attached with the ballot box. Results will also be posted in the building and communicated to all tenants.

What happens if there is a tie?
If there appears to be a tie after counting all the ballots, votes will be recounted. If there is still a tie, the Poll Captain will declare a tie and pack up the poll. The Poll Captain then will ask the candidates if they want to either negotiate a winner or flip a coin. If candidates cannot agree on either option, then a by-election will be held. Candidates will have to sign a note indicating they agree to a by-election. The by-election will only be held for the candidates who are tied.

If a tenant is unable to vote, can someone else vote on their behalf?
Yes. This process is called proxy voting. Proxy voting is a form of voting whereby you may delegate your voting power to someone else to vote on the candidate of your choice on your behalf. In order to do so, a voter must present a completed Proxy Voting Consent Form to the Poll Captain. It is the Poll Captain’s responsibility to check to see if the form is signed, the voter is on the voters’ list and the proxy voter is also on the voters’ list and has not presented a previous proxy.

What if a tenant can’t leave their home to vote?
A physical polling station will be set up in each community on Election Day. However, TCHC staff and tenant volunteers will be going door to door to connect with tenants who are not able to leave their unit or do not feel comfortable voting at the polling station. The staff and volunteers will attend each unit and bring a ballot and pencil so the tenant may vote. The staff member will return the ballot to the poll station, deposit it in the ballot box and give the Poll Captain the name of the voter to cross off the list.

Resources:

Phase one: elections restarting

Pre-COVID-19 pause of engagement activities