The Municipal Elections Act now includes a framework for third party advertising. The framework will come into effect on April 1, 2018, so that the rules will be in place for the 2018 municipal election.
Who is a third party advertiser?
A third party advertiser is any individual, corporation or trade union that causes an election campaign advertisement to appear. A third part advertiser is required to register with the Town Clerk of the Town of Newmarket.
What is a third party advertisement?
A third party advertisement is a message in any medium (billboard, newspaper, radio, etc.) that supports or opposes a candidate or a “yes” or “no” vote on a question on the ballot. Third party advertising does not include issues-based advertising so groups that do public outreach can continue their issued-based advocacy work throughout the municipal election period.
Advertising that does not cost money to post or 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 and unions can register as third party advertisers and can also make contributions to third party advertisers. Third party advertisers will need to register with the municipality where they want to advertise. If they want to advertise in more than one municipality, they have to register in each municipality. Registration allows a third party advertiser to promote or oppose any candidate that the electors in the municipality can vote for (local council, school board trustee positions and regional or county council offices).
Third party advertising must be done independently of candidates, who are not able to direct a third party advertiser. Candidates are not able to register as third party advertisers.
What are the requirements for third party advertising?
If approached by Third Party Advertisers, it is very important that you adhere to the following mandatory rules:
- By Section 88.4 of the Act, broadcasters and publishers may only permit third party advertisements to appear between May 1, 2018 and Election Day (October 22, 2018);
- A registered third party must provide the following information to the broadcasters or publisher in writing before the third party advertisements appears:
- The name of the registered third party;
- The 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;
- The municipality where the registered third party is registered;
What information must third party advertisements include?
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 part advertiser may be contacted regarding the advertisement
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 witshing to contribute to a thrd 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 party advertisers in a municipality
How to register
Registration opens beginning May 1 to October 19, 2018. Forms will be available in April 2018. Your registration must be filed in person or by an agent at:
The Town of Newmarket
Elections Office - Legislative Services
395 Mulock Drive
If you want to advertise in more than one municipality, you must register in each municipality you want to advertise
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