3rd Party Advertising

Third party advertiser registrants

  • 1276467 Ontario Limited
  • 1664229 Ontario Limited
  • 1898525 Ontario Limited
  • 2522577 Ontario Inc.
  • Campaign Life Coalition
  • Heidi Stephenson

Becoming a registered third party

Ontario residents, corporations and trade unions that will incur expenses for advertisements related to the promotion, support or opposition of a candidate, or take a position on a “yes” or “no” question on the ballot, in any broadcast, print, electronic, or other medium must register as a third party advertiser. They can begin filing their Notice of Registration on Tuesday, May 1, 2018, at 8:30 a.m. at the Municipal Clerk’s Department.

Who can register as a third party advertiser?

Only the following persons and entities are eligible to file a Notice of Registration:

  • An individual who is normally a resident in Ontario.
  • A corporation that carries on business in Ontario.
  • A trade union that holds bargaining rights for employees in Ontario.
Who cannot register as a third party advertiser?

Persons and entities that are not eligible to file a Notice of Registration include:

  • A candidate whose nomination has been filed under section 33 of the Municipal Elections Act.
  • 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.

Registration information

An individual, corporation or trade union may register as a third party by filing a Notice of Registration at the Municipal Clerk’s office, during regular office hours, beginning Tuesday, May 1, 2018, at 8:30 a.m. Note: During the months of July and August, business hours are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Registration allows a third party advertiser to promote or oppose any candidate running in the municipality (local council, school board, regional offices).

Registration details

The Notice of Registration may not be faxed, mailed or emailed, as an original signature is required.
The individual filing the Notice of Registration will be required to present proof of identity as well as a declaration of qualification signed by the individual or by a representative of the corporation or trade union, as the case may be.

There is no registration fee for third party advertising, but the Clerk must examine the registration and then certify the notice of registration if deemed compliant, or reject the registration.

If third party advertisers want to advertise in more than one municipality, they will have to register in each municipality. This also means that each registration is a separate campaign with its own spending limits. Third party advertisers register in single or lower tire municipalities, not upper tire municipalities. For example, with respect to third party advertisers for Regional Chair, they will be required to register in each lower-tier municipality they wish to advertise in.

Documents needed to register
  • A completed copy of the notice of registration
  • A declaration of qualification signed by the individual or by a representative of the corporation or trade union, as the case may be
  • Proof of identity

Note: Notices of Registration are public documents and are available for inspection at the Municipal Clerk’s office.

Registration period

Notices of Registration may be filed during regular office hours at the Elections Office as of Tuesday, May 1, 2018, at 8:30 am.

The deadline for an individual, corporation or trade union to submit a Notice of Registration is Friday, October 19, 2018, at 4:30 p.m.

Campaign finances

An individual, corporation, or trade union cannot raise or spend any money on third party advertisements that will appear during an election in the Municipality of Clarington until they have registered as a third party and opened a bank account exclusively for the election campaign.

Registered third parties are responsible for keeping records of the financial activities related to their campaign and are required to keep these records until November 15, 2022, when the next council or school board takes office.

Campaign period

The campaign period for a registered third party begins on the day their Notice of Registration is filed and ends on December 31, 2018. On this date, the registered third party's campaign is automatically closed. Registered third parties cannot accept any contributions or incur any expenses after the end of the campaign period.

If at the end of the campaign period, a registered third party’s campaign expenses are greater than their campaign income, their campaign will be in deficit. The registered third party may take action to extend their campaign to do some additional fundraising.

If a registered third party’s campaign has a surplus, the registered third party must pay the surplus to the Municipal Clerk when filing their financial statement.

Extending a campaign

If a registered third party has a deficit at the end of the campaign period, they can extend their campaign for an additional six months to attempt to erase the deficit.

To extend a campaign, a registered third party must:

A campaign period will continue until the earliest of the following:

  • The deficit is erased;
  • The registered third party notifies the Municipal Clerk in writing they are no longer accepting any contributions;
  • June 30, 2019, in the case of a regular election; or
  • Six months from the 45th day after voting day, in the case of a by-election.

Registered third parties that extend their campaign must submit two financial statements by the statutory deadline dates:

  • Filing of Financial Statements - Friday, March 29, 2019, at 2 p.m.
  • Supplementary Financial Filing - Friday, September 27, 2019, at 2 p.m.
Financial statements

Registered third parties are responsible for filing a complete and accurate financial statement by Friday, March 29, 2019, at 2 p.m. The statement covers the period from the day the registered third party filed their Notice of Registration until December 31, 2018.

A registered third party must notify the Municipal Clerk, in writing, of any Court extension by 2 p.m. on Friday, March 29, 2019. Penalties will commence at 2:01 p.m. on Friday, March 29, 2019.

Supplementary financial statements

The final date for registered third parties, who extended their campaign, to file their supplementary financial statement is Friday, September 27, 2019, at 2 p.m. The statement covers the period from the day the registered third parties filed their Notice of Registration until June 30, 2019.

A registered third party must notify the Municipal Clerk, in writing, of any Court extension by 2 p.m. on Friday, September 27, 2019. Penalties will commence at 2:01 p.m. on Friday, September 27, 2019.

Contributions

Campaign contributions are any money, goods or services that are given to a registered third party for use in their campaign, including money and goods that a third party contributes to their own campaign.

  • An amount charged for admission to a fund-raising function.
  • If goods and services are sold for more than their market value at a fund-raising function, the difference between the amount paid and the market value. However, if the amount received for the goods or services is $25 or less, the amount is not a contribution.
  • If goods and services used in the person’s election campaign or in relation to third party advertisements are purchased for less than their market value, the difference between the market value and the amount paid.
  • Any unpaid, but guaranteed, balance in respect of a loan under section 88.17.

Registered third parties must issue a receipt for every contribution they receive. The receipt should show who made the contribution, the date, and the value of the contribution.

The following persons and entities may contribute to a registered third party:

  • Any person who is a resident of Ontario.
  • A corporation that carries on business in Ontario.
  • A trade union that holds bargaining rights for employees in Ontario.
  • The registered third party and, in the case of an individual, their spouse.

The following persons and entities shall not contribute to a registered third party:

  • 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 a local board.

Individuals may contribute a total of $1,200 to a registered third party in relation to third party advertisements that appear during an election in the Municipality of Clarington. Individuals may not contribute more than $5,000 in total to two or more registered third parties registered in the Municipality of Clarington.

Contributions greater than $25 may not be made in cash. All contributions above $25 must be made by cheque, money order, or by a method that clearly shows where the funds come from.
Registered third parties are required to inform each of their contributors of these contribution limits.

Campaigning and sign restrictions

Third party advertisements

A third party advertisement is an advertisement in any broadcast, print, electronic or other medium that has the purpose of promoting, supporting or opposing a candidate, or a “yes” or “no” question on the ballot. This does not include advertisements by or under the direction of a candidate.

All individuals, corporations and trade unions must register before incurring any expense related to third party advertisements appearing between Tuesday, May 1, 2018, and Monday, October 22, 2018.

Mandatory information in third party advertisements

All third party advertisements must contain the following information:

  • The name of the registered third party.
  • The municipality where the registered third party is registered.
  • A telephone number, mailing address or email address at which the registered third party may be contacted regarding the advertisement.
Mandatory information for broadcasters and publishers

Registered third parties must provide the following information to the broadcaster or publisher in writing:

  • The name of the registered third party.
  • 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.
  • The municipality where the third party advertiser is registered.

Broadcasters and publishers are prohibited from running a third party advertisement unless the above-noted information is provided.

The broadcaster or publisher of a third party advertisement is required to retain the following information for a period of four years after the date the advertisement appears:

  • The mandatory information that is required for broadcasters and publishers (the name of the registered third party; the municipality where they are registered; and the contact information for the person who deals with the broadcaster or publisher);
  • A copy of the advertisement, or the means of reproducing it for inspection; and
  • A statement of the charge made for its appearance.

The broadcaster or publisher must also permit the public to inspect these records during normal business hours.

Election signs

The Municipality of Clarington Election Sign By-law 2016-004, as amended, and the Municipal Road Occupancy By-law 2014-022 regulate the placement, maintenance or display of election signs.

Election Signs must also be in compliance with the Region of Durham's Sign By-law (PDF).

Web and social media advertising

An advertisement in relation to an election is not considered a third party advertisement if it incurs no expense for its production and publication. This is applicable to free web and social media advertising (e.g. posts on Facebook, Twitter, or other web and social media platforms are not considered third party advertisements unless the content posted to these platforms incurred expenses for their production or publication). Registration as a third party advertiser is therefore not necessary if the only means of advertising to be engaged is communication through social media platforms (assuming no expenses are incurred to do so).

Web and social media advertising that does incur costs will require registration as a third party advertiser.

Campaign material around a voting place

When a voting place is located within public premises, the entire property of the voting place and all the boundaries associated with it are considered part of that voting place.

When a voting place is located on private premises, such as apartment or condominium buildings, all of the common elements of those buildings are considered part of the voting place. Individual units, however, are not considered common elements and their doors, windows, balconies, etc., do not fall under the jurisdiction of the Municipality of Clarington.

On both public and private premises, "premises" includes the parking lot, adjoining fences, and adjacent road allowances. The Municipality of Clarington utilizes only a specific area for a voting place and has no jurisdiction over adjacent properties, for example, over political signs posted on street corners or passing cars advertising a candidate.

Campaigning at a voting place

The Municipal Elections Act stipulates that no person shall attempt to influence, directly or indirectly, how the elector votes and no person shall display a candidate’s election campaign material or literature in a voting place.

Clothing or accessories that identify a candidate, such as, signs, buttons, slogans, logos, advertising, etc., are not permitted inside a voting place.

Voting screens are checked regularly for markings and campaign literature.

The voting place supervisor is the final arbiter and may take whatever action is deemed necessary to maintain compliance in the voting place.

Third Party Advertisers’ Information Package

Legislation of interest