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Municipal candidates: Who got best return on campaign dollars?

Now that financial statements from the 2022 municipal election are in, some quick calculations reveal the campaign dollar cost per vote for each candidate
September 2022 file photo of municipal election signs.

Now that financial statements from the 2022 municipal election are in, some quick calculations reveal the campaign dollar cost per vote for each candidate.

More goes into a political campaign than just money. There is a time factor involved as candidates spend the weeks and months leading up to election day knocking on doors, putting up signs, and participating in debates and other community events. Name recognition also plays a role in balancing how much a candidate needs to spend to win election or re-election. The number of votes received obviously brings down the final cost per vote.

All municipal election candidates must file a financial statement, according to the Municipal Elections Act, 1996. This includes candidates who withdrew their nomination, candidates who were not certified and did not appear on the ballot, and candidates who were acclaimed.

Candidates with contributions to declare (including contributions from themselves) or who incurred expenses must fill out the paperwork. If a candidate received contributions or incurred expenses in excess of $10,000, they must include an auditor’s report with their financial statement.

The deadline to submit completed financial statements was the last Friday in March. Supplementary financial statements must be submitted to the clerk by 2 p.m. on the last Friday in September (this year on September 29).

In the mayoral race, the final election results followed the cost-per-vote order. Eventual Mayor Peter Chirico spent the most money by far of any candidate — in either the mayoral or council races — $49,005, more than doubling runner-up Johanne Brousseau's total. In 2018, Al McDonald spent just under $35,000 or $4.26 per vote on his way to his third consecutive victory and final term. 

Brousseau spent the second most among the three mayoral and 29 council candidates on her campaign at $24,202. Chirico, the eventual winner, spent $32,403 on advertising plus another $5,615 on election signs.

To see the submitted financial statements from all mayoral and council candidates, including campaign donor information, click here

2022 - MAYOR

 Peter Chirico*  $49,005.00  7,579    $6.47
 Johanne Brousseau           $24,202.33     6,855      $3.53 
 Leslie McVeety  $857.00  1,121   $0.76




* Denotes elected candidate

Interestingly, while money seemed to play a role in the mayoral race, on the council side of the 2022 municipal election, only three of the 10 elected candidates finished in the top-13 in the highest cost per vote. Gary Gardiner did not incur incur any campaign expenses  in 2022 but likely built a solid base through his 2018 mayoral run when he spent just over $27,000 or about $4 per vote.

Tanya Vrebosch spent a thrifty $0.29 per vote on her way to re-election, joining Gardiner and five other elected councillors (Justine Mallah, Sara Inch, Lana Mitchell, Maggie Horsfield and Mark King) below the $1 per vote threshold.

 See below the cost per vote for each of the 29 candidates, from highest to lowest.



 Dave Mendicino  $16,550.00   3,923   $4.22 
 Sheldon Forgette  $5,826.96   1,924   $3.03 
 Jamie Lowery*  $12,248.83   4,815   $2.54 
 Chris Mayne*  $13,016.74   5,792   $2.25 
 Derek Shogren  $8,128.53   4,113   $1.98 
 Terry Parolin  $4,750.00   3,011   $1.58 
 Francine Boulay  $3,540.00   2,440   $1.45 
 Peter Gregory  $5,250.00   3,670   $1.43 
 Mac Bain*  $6,309.74   4,529   $1.39 
 Ralph Celentano  $4,512.53   3,615   $1.25 
 Ed Valenti  $4,350.00   3,832   $1.14 
 Randall Tilander  $1,701.49   1,552  $1.10 
 Darryl Skinner  $2,415.54   2,439  $0.99 
 Mark King*  $5,449.33   5,789  $0.94 
 Maggie Horsfield*  $5,319.80   6,324  $0.84 
 Scott Kile  $3,410.03   4,176  $0.82 
 Lana Mitchell*  $4,920.00   6,251  $0.79 
 Eric Morgan  $1,554.41   1,961  $0.79 
 Sara Inch*  $4,231.99   5,462  $0.77 
 David Poliquin  $952.00   1,280  $0.74 
 Lance Darnell  $871.14   1,490  $0.58 
 Justine Mallah*  $3,308.11   5,863  $0.56 
 Bill Vrebosch  $1,397.73   3,288  $0.43 
 Levi Besserer  $250.00   629  $0.40 
 Tanya Vrebosch*  $1,405.63   4,880  $0.29 
 Richard Cadotte $20.00 842 $0.02
 Gary Gardiner*  $0  4,553  $0
 Deric Reichstein  not submitted  842  not applicable
 Michael Taylor  not submitted 1,803  not applicable
























Stu Campaigne

About the Author: Stu Campaigne

Stu Campaigne is a full-time news reporter for, focusing on local politics and sharing our community's compelling human interest stories.
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