Third party advertisers are required to follow many of the same financial and reporting rules as candidates.

Unlike candidates, third party advertisers cannot appoint scrutineers to observe the voting, or to be present when votes are counted.

Identification on advertising

A third party advertiser must provide the following information on all of its advertisements, signs and other materials:

  • the legal name of the registered third party advertiser (if the third party advertiser is a corporation or trade union, the name of the corporation or trade union must appear, not the name of the representative who filed the registration)
  • the municipality where the third party advertiser is registered
  • a telephone number, mailing address or email address where the third party advertiser can be contacted

A registered individual cannot act on behalf of a group or organization that is not eligible to register as a third party advertiser. For example, if Chris Smith is the president of a business improvement association (BIA), the signs and materials must identify Chris Smith as the person responsible for the advertising, not the BIA.

If ads are going to be broadcast or published (for example, on a radio station or in a newspaper), the ad must contain the information required above, and the third party advertiser must also provide the broadcaster or publisher with the following:

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

Any additional content of signs is not regulated under the act.

Sign bylaws

A municipality may have rules in place about when signs can be put up, and how signs may be displayed on public property.

If you plan to reuse signs from the last election, you should be aware of rules on the use of leftover advertising campaign inventory.

The third party advertiser is responsible for removing their signs after voting day. The municipality may require a sign deposit or have penalties for failing to remove signs. Contact the municipal clerk for more information.

Advertising on voting day

The Municipal Elections Act, 1996 does not prohibit campaigning or advertising on voting day. While there are restrictions on advertising for federal and provincial elections on voting day, these “blackouts” do not exist for municipal council and school board elections.

The Act prohibits campaign material in a voting place. The voting place could include the entire property of a building that has a voting place inside it, including the parking lot. A third party advertiser is not allowed to have brochures, buttons, signs or any other advertising material in the voting place.

Wrapping up the advertising campaign

After voting day, the third party advertiser must remove any signs or other advertisements that have been put up, including online ads.

Usually, advertising campaigns must end on December 31. However, since December 31, 2022 is a Saturday, the deadline moves to January 3, 2023. The advertising campaign must end on January 3, 2023, unless it has a deficit and the third party advertiser informs the clerk in writing that they are going to extend their campaign. Once the campaign has ended, the third party advertiser should close the designated bank account and prepare the financial statement.

Financial statements must be filed with the clerk by 2 p.m. on Friday, March 31, 2023.