Ward 6 Coun. Richard Pootmans

Ward 6 Coun. Richard Pootmans says he's not sure yet if he'll run again in 2017, but says he thinks he'll know soon. (CBC )

Many candidates are still doing paperwork from last October's election, but they'll soon be able to start working on the next campaign.

Due to a change in provincial law, municipal candidates can register any time after Jan. 1 if they want to run in 2017.

Potential candidates now have four years to raise money, so long as they register and the information is on the city`s election website.

Coun. Richard Pootmans says the new rules essentially mean that, like federal and provincial politics, full-time campaigning has come to the municipal arena.

The Ward 6 councillor says he isn’t sure yet if he’ll run in 2017, but says he expects, like others, he will figure that out soon and register.

“My guess is as people sort of sort through when they want to have their fundraisers after they`ve made decisions about running again or not, we`ll probably see that happen during the year.”

Returning officer Barb Clifford says it protects donors from people who collect money but don`t run for office.

“That`s not necessarily in Calgary but it has happened, that this has occurred and the people have just gone with the money. Where? We don`t know.”

She warns potential donors not to hand out money to anyone not registered on the city’s site.

“If they're being asked, they can go to this website and say yes, this person is registered to raise funds and then do their donation, if they're not on the list, then they're not registered to accept money or campaign for funds,” said Clifford.

Unlike federal or provincial candidates, anyone running municipally who accepts donations cannot give tax receipts.

With files from Scott Dippel/CBC