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Third Party Advertising

The Municipal Elections Act now includes rules for third party advertising. A third party advertisement is any ad that promotes, supports or opposes a candidate in an election. Updates will be made to this page as new information becomes available.

Register as a Third Party Advertiser

A third party advertiser (any individual, corporation or trade union that causes an election campaign advertisement to appear) is required to register with the City Clerk of the municipality where they want to advertise. Registration is open May 1–October 19, 2018. To become a third party advertiser, you must register with the City Clerk:

The following forms must be completed by the third party advertiser:

  1. Form 7 Notice of Registration Third Party
  2. Declaration of Qualification Third Party Advertiser: IndividualCorporation or Trade Union
  3. FOI Release Form 

Your registration must be filed in person or by an agent at Legislative & Court Services (1st Floor City Hall, 70 Collier Street, Barrie)

Please note: You may not spend money on your campaign, accept contributions or begin advertising until the City Clerk certifies your registration.

Eligibility

You are eligible to register as a third party advertiser if you are:

  • An individual who is normally resident in Ontario.
  • A corporation that carries on business in Ontario.
  • A trade union that holds bargaining rights for employees in Ontario.

You are not eligible to register as a third party advertiser if you are:

  • A candidate whose nomination has been filed under section 33 of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996
  • A federal political party registered under the Canada Elections Act (Canada) or any federal constituency association or registered candidate at a federal election endorsed by that party
  • A provincial political party, constituency association, registered candidate or leadership contestant registered under the Election Finances Act.
  • The Crown in right of Canada or Ontario, a municipality or local board

Advertisement Requirements

Third party advertisers must identify themselves and provide mandatory information on all advertising beginning May 1 until the close of voting on October 22, 2018. Third party advertisements must contain the following information:

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

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a third party advertisement?

A third party advertisement is an advertisement in any broadcast, print, electronic or other medium that has the purpose of promoting, supporting or opposing a candidate in the election, or a “yes” or “no” answer to a question on the ballot.

Third party advertisements do not include:

  • Advertisements by or under the direction of a candidate
  • Issues-based advertising during the election period (with the exception of advertising that has the purpose of promoting, supporting or opposing a “yes” or “no” answer to a question on the ballot)
  • Advertising that does not cost money to post or broadcast, such as comments made on social media
  • Messages distributed by:
    • an individual to their employees
    • a corporation to its shareholders, directors, members or employees
    • a trade union to its members or employees
Who can register as a third party advertiser?

Individuals, corporations and trade unions can register as third party advertisers and can also make contributions to registered third party advertisers.

Candidates cannot register as a third party advertiser, and cannot direct a third party advertiser.

Do campaign finance rules apply to third party advertisers?

Yes, campaign finance rules for third party advertisers are similar to the rules for candidates.

  • Third party advertisers have spending limits and there are contribution limits for those wishing to contribute to a third party advertiser.
  • Corporations and trade unions are permitted to make contributions to third party advertisers, but are not permitted to make contributions to candidates.
  • The maximum contribution from a single contributor is $1,200 to a registered third party advertiser and $5,000 to two or more registered third parties advertisers in a municipality.
How much does it cost to register as a third party advertiser?

There is no registration fee for third party advertisers.

Where can I find a list of registered third party advertisers?

A list of registered third party advertisers will be made available on the this webpage.

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