An individual, corporation or trade union must register with the municipal clerk to be a third party advertiser in a municipality. Third party advertisers can register in any lower-tier or single-tier municipality (city, town, township, etc..). Third party advertisers cannot register in an upper-tier municipality (a region or county).
Being registered in a municipality allows the third party advertiser to advertise to the voters in that municipality. A third party advertiser can support or oppose any candidate or candidates who will be voted on by the people in that municipality. This includes candidates running for local council, school trustee and candidates running for offices on an upper tier council.
Third party advertisers do not need to decide before they register which candidate or candidates they want to support or oppose, and they do not have to tell the clerk what their intentions are.
A third party advertiser can only advertise to voters in the municipality where they are registered. There is no limit on the number of municipalities where a third party advertiser can register. If a third party advertiser wants to advertise to voters in more than one municipality they must register in each municipality where they want to advertise.
For example, if a third party advertiser wanted to advertise for or against a candidate running for an office that is voted on by people in more than one municipality, such as a school trustee or regional chair, they would need to register in each municipality.
Deadline to register
An individual, corporation or trade union can register to be a third party advertiser beginning on May 1, 2022, and can file a registration until the close of business on Friday, October 21, 2022. As May 1 is a Sunday, you may not be able to file your registration until May 2, 2022 when the clerk’s office is open.
Where to register
Clerks can decide to allow registrations to be filed electronically. If your municipality allows electronic filing, contact the clerk for more information about how to register.
If electronic filing is not allowed in your municipality, an individual or a representative of a corporation or trade union must file a Notice of Registration (Form 7) with the municipal clerk in person or by an agent. It must have an original signature – the form may not be a copy and may not be scanned and submitted electronically. There is no registration fee.
The municipal clerk must be satisfied that that the individual, corporation or trade union is eligible in order to certify the registration and may require that identification or additional documents be provided.
A person who is filing as the representative of a corporation or a trade union should make sure that they can provide proof that they are authorized to act on the corporation or trade union’s behalf.
The clerk must certify your registration in order for you to begin your campaign as a registered third party advertiser.
Changing your mind
Withdraw your registration
If you want to end your advertising campaign before voting day, you can withdraw your registration by notifying the clerk in writing. The deadline to withdraw your registration is:
- the Friday before voting day for a regular election
- the last day the clerk’s office is open prior to voting day for a by-election
Become a candidate
If you are a registered third party advertiser and decide to become a candidate instead, your third party advertising campaign automatically ends when the clerk receives your nomination to become a candidate.
You must keep your advertising campaign separate from your candidate campaign. This means:
- you cannot transfer any contributions or expenses from your advertising campaign to your candidate campaign
- you must file a financial statement for your advertising campaign
- you must file a separate financial statement for your candidate campaign.
For more information about running for office, please see the Candidates’ Guide.
Registering in more than one municipality
If a third party advertiser registers in more than one municipality, each of those registrations is considered to be a separate advertising campaign. Once the third party advertiser registers, they must keep each advertising campaign separate, and ensure that they follow the rules in each municipality where they are registered:
- The identification required on signs, advertisements and other materials must indicate that the third party advertiser is registered in that municipality.
- There must be a separate bank account for each campaign.
- Contributions may not be shared between the advertising campaigns – if a contributor has given money to the advertising campaign in municipality A, that money cannot be used to fund expenses in municipality B.
- If the third party advertiser wants to use the same signs or the same advertisement in more than one municipality, the separate advertising campaigns can produce a “joint” advertisement. The advertisement would indicate that the third party advertiser is registered in both municipality A and municipality B, and each advertising campaign would pay for its share of the expense for the advertisement.
- The third party advertiser must file a separate financial statement in each municipality where they were registered. The financial statement must reflect the financial activities relating to advertising in that municipality.