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Anyone campaigning for either a "yes" or "no" vote on the store hours referendum in Sudbury needs to register with the clerk's office, the city says.

Sudbury's mayor and city council have been warned to stay away from the debate over store hours for the next year.

The city's clerk said any candidates running in next year's election need to be careful when commenting on the contentious issue, because there will be three referendum questions posed to voters in 2014 on regulating when businesses open and close.

Anyone campaigning for either a "yes" or "no" vote on the store hours referendum needs to register with the clerk's office, the city says.

Scrapping the store hours bylaw was a major platform plank for Mayor Marianne Matichuk in the last election. She said she'll be consulting a lawyer before the campaign begins.

"It's been so long in the community that people know, it's not like I have to come out and say it. Everybody knows where I stand. Now, it's up to the community to make that a reality."