Info for Third Party Advertisers

Requirements

 The Municipal Elections Act  has been amended to include requirements for Third Party Advertisers.  Broadcasters and Publishers must comply with the new laws if they broadcast or publish a third party advertisement.


This page is intended to inform broadcasters and publishers of their new obligations under the Municipal Elections Act, and is for reference only.  For legal advice, please consult legal counsel.

 

Broadcasters or publishers, who wish to conduct third party advertising, must register with the Clerk as a third party advertiser and follow the Act's requirements.


For further information, visit the Government of Ontario's website or contact the Ministry of Municipal Affairs.

Definition of a Third Party Advertiser

Under the Act, a registered third party advertiser is an individual, corporation or trade union that has registered with the Clerk of the municipality where they want to advertise. 


Third party advertisers must register prior to incurring any expenses for the appearance of a third party advertisement, and must comply with requirements including filing a financial statement(s), spending and contribution limits.  A list of registered third party advertisers will be available on this site. 

A candidate in the election cannot direct a third party advertiser.

Definition of a Third Party Advertisement

A third party advertisement is a message in any broadcast, print, electronic or other medium that has the purpose of promoting, supporting or opposing a candidate in the election, or a question on the ballot. 

 

Third party advertisements must contain the following information:

  1. Name of the registered third party;
  2. Municipality where the registered third party is registered; and
  3. Telephone number, mailing address or email address at which the registered third party may be contacted regarding the advertisement

Mandatory Information

  

A registered third party advertiser must provide the following information to the broadcaster or publisher in writing before the third party advertisement appears: 

  • Name of the registered third party
  • Name of the business address and telephone number of the individual who deals with the broadcaster or publisher under the direction of the registered third party
  • Municipality where the registered third party is registered

Maintaining Records

  

The broadcaster or publisher of a third party advertisement must maintain records for 4 years after the date the advertisement appears. These records must contain:

  • Mandatory information as described, and as outlined under section 88.5 (2) of the Act
  • A copy of the advertisement, or the means of reproducing it for inspection
  • A statement of charge made for its appearance.

The public must be permitted to inspect the records during normal business hours.

Charges and Contributions

  

The broadcaster or publisher may not charge a third party advertiser more or less than their normal advertising rate.  If less is charged, the difference is deemed to be a contribution to the third party advertiser.  Providing free advertising is considered a contribution towards the third party advertiser, unless all third party advertisers are offered the same service.

   

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