Information for Third Party Advertisers

What is Third Party Advertising

A third party is any person or entity that is not a political party, candidate or constituency association, and that engages in political advertising.  Ontario residents, corporations and trade unions that will incur expenses for advertisements related to the promotion, support or opposition of a candidate or a "yes" or a "no" question on a ballot, in any broadcast, print, electronic, or other medium (billboard, newspaper, radio etc) must register as a third party advertiser. 

Does not include:

  • An advertisement by and under the direction of a candidate;
  • Where no expenses are incurred by the person/entity in relation to the advertisement;
  • When given or transmitted by an individual to employees, by a corporation to its shareholders, directors, members or employees or by a trade union to it's members or employees.

Advertising that does not cost money to post or to broadcast, such as comments made on social media, will not be considered to be third party advertising.

Who Can Register as a Third Party Advertiser?

Individuals, corporations or trade unions are eligible to register as a third party advertiser provided that they have formally registered with the local Clerk as a third party advertiser.

Registrations can be accepted by the Clerk, or a designate, between the 1st day for filing nominations - May 1, 2018, and the Friday before Voting Day in a regular election - October 19, 2018. There is no registration fee for third party advertising, but the Clerk must examine the registration and then certify the notice of registration if deemed compliant, or reject the registration.

Who Cannot Register as a Third Party Advertiser?

  • A Municipal candidate whose nomination has been filed under section 33.
  • 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.

If third party advertisers want to advertise in more than one municipality, they will have to register in each municipality.

Mandatory Information in Third Party Advertisement

The third party advertiser must be registered at the time of the advertisement.

The ad must contain the following:

  • Name of registered third party;
  • The municipality where the third party is registered;
  •  telephone number, mailing address or email address at which the third party may be contacted regarding the advertisement.

A registered third party is not permitted to allow a third party advertisement to appear during the restricted period unless the broadcaster/publisher has been provided the following in writing:

  • Name of the registered third party;
  • Municipality where third party is registered; and
  • Name, business address and telephone number of individual under direction of registered third party.

The broadcaster/publisher retains records with respect to the above, copy of the advertisement/means of reproducing it and the cost. They must retain the record for four years after the date of the appearance of the advertisement and permit inspection during normal business hours.

Municipal Authority to Remove Advertisements

A municipality may require the following to remove to discontinue the advertising:

  • A person who has contravened the provisions for third party advertisers or caused/permitted the contravention;
  • The owner or occupier of the land on which the contravention occurred.

Third party advetisers are required to identify themselves on campaign advertisements and signs, so that it is clear who is responsible for each sign and advertisement that appears or is broadcast.