New Advertising Rules for Broadcasters and Publishers

Municipal elections will take place on Monday, October 22, 2018.

This notice is intended to inform broadcasters and publishers of their obligations under the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 (the Act) related to candidate and third party advertisements during the upcoming municipal election. This document is for reference only. For legal advice, please consult legal counsel.

Candidate advertisement

A candidate advertisement is a message in any medium (e.g. broadcast, print or electronic) that a candidate purchases or directs to promote or support their election.

Advertisements must identify the candidate and contact information.

Third party advertisement

A third party advertisement is a message in any medium (e.g. broadcast, print or electronic) that promotes, supports, or opposes a candidate in the election or a "yes" or "no" answer to a question on the ballot.

Between May 1 and October 22, 2018, third party advertising is subject to restrictions.

Individuals, corporations and trade unions who wish to conduct third party advertising must register with the municipality where they want to advertise. A list of registered third party advertisers for each municipality will be regularly updated and available at each municipality’s website.

Third party advertisements must contain the following information:

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

Obligations for broadcasters and publishers

Broadcasters and publishers must follow new requirements when running a candidate or third party advertisement, including:

1. Mandatory information

Mandatory information must be provided to the broadcaster or publisher in writing before the advertisement appears.

For a candidate advertisement:

  • Name of the candidate
  • Name, business address and telephone number of the individual who deals with the broadcaster or publisher under the direction of the candidate

For a third party advertisement:

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

2. Maintaining records

The broadcaster or publisher of a candidate or third party advertisement must maintain records for 4 years after the date the advertisement appears. The public must be permitted to inspect the records during normal business hours.

These records must contain:

  • Mandatory information described in section 1 (above)
  • A copy of the advertisement or the means of reproducing it for inspection
  • A statement of the amount charged for its appearance

3. Broadcasters or publishers as registered third party advertisers

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

4. Ongoing obligations

Broadcasters and publishers should also be mindful of their ongoing obligations relating to contributions under the Act.

Additional resources