Third Party Advertisements 

A third party advertisement is a message in any medium (print, broadcast, electronic platform, etc.) that supports or opposes a candidate or a “yes” or “no” question on the ballot.

Third party advertising does not include issue-based advertising, or advertising that does not incur a cost. Third party advertisements cannot be made by or under the direction of a candidate.

In order to ensure clarity regarding who has placed an ad, third party advertisements must include

  • The name of the registered third party
  • The municipality where the third party is registered
  • A telephone number, mailing address or email address at which the registered third party may be contacted regarding the advertisement
  • Advertisements placed by candidates must also include the name of the candidate and contact information, but do not need to state the municipality the candidate is running in.

Only the following are eligible to register as a third party advertiser:

  • 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

The following are not eligible to be a registered third party:

  • a nominated candidate
  • 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

Most of the campaign finance rules that apply to candidates also apply to registered third party advertisers. This includes spending limits and contribution limits for those wishing to contribute to a third party.

Corporations and unions may also make contributions to third party advertisers, but are not permitted to contribute to a candidate’s campaign.

The above information can be found in Section 88.6 of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996, and will also be included in third party registration packages (which will be available at City Hall beginning May 1st, 2018).