Third Party Advertising

Key Dates

May 1, 2018 first day for third party advertisers to register
October 19, 2018 last day for third party advertisers to register
December 31, 2018 campaign period ends and last day to accept contributions
March 29, 2019 last day to file financial statements and auditor's reports

Registration Form

General Information

What is third party advertising?

Third party advertising is a paid message placed in any medium (broadcast, print or electronic) by an individual (other than the nominated candidate), corporation, or trade union, that supports or opposes a candidate for council, mayor or a school board.

What are the requirements for third party advertising?

A third party advertiser is required to register with the town clerk if they want to advertise.  Until the clerk certifies the registration, the third party advertiser may not pay for any advertising/promotion on behalf of a candidate.  Effective April 1, 2018, the Municipal Elections Act includes rules for third party advertising.

Who can register as a third party advertiser?

Individuals, corporations and trade unions in Ontario can register as third party advertisers and can also make contributions to third party advertisers.  Third party advertising must be done independently of candidates.  Candidates cannot register as a third party advertiser and cannot provide direction to a third party advertiser.

Who cannot register as a third party advertiser?

The following are not permitted to register:

  • municipal election candidates
  • federal and provincial political parties, constituency associations, registered candidates and leadership contestants
  • federal and provincial governments, municipalities, or local boards

What information must be included in advertisements?

Third party advertisements must contain the following:

  • 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 third party may be contacted regarding the advertisement

What are the obligations of media outlets regarding third party advertising?

A broadcaster or publisher must ensure that the following information is provided to them, from the third party advertiser, for any advertisement running between May 1 and October 22, 2018:

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

The broadcaster or publisher must retain this information including a statement of the charge for the advertisement and a copy of the advertisement or means of reproducing it.  This record must be retained for four years after the date the advertisement appeared and the public must be able to view these records during normal business hours.

Where can I get more information on third party advertising?

You can visit the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Ministry of Housing website which has a guide for third party advertisers.