Information for Broadcasters and Publishers
Broadcasters and publishers of political advertising have responsibilities under the Election Finances Act. Elections Ontario provides guidance for the broadcasters and publishers of political advertising on their responsibilities and on how to comply with the Election Finances Act in the Handbook for Broadcasters and Publishers.
In addition to the entity causing an ad to appear, broadcasters and publishers, are required to ensure that all political advertising have proper authorization indicating who sponsored/paid for the advertising. Broadcasters and publishers are also responsible for ensuring that political advertising does not violate the blackout period, and that records are kept for a period of two years after the date the political advertisement appeared and to permit the public to inspect the records during normal office hours.
With the recent changes to the Election Finances Act, in addition to the above responsibilities, persons or entities that sell advertising are now required to be aware when third parties are at risk of exceeding their spending limit, and to make informed decisions when selling advertising to third parties.
Third Parties must file Third Party Political Advertising Interim Reports (TPAR-Interim Reports) promptly after paying or committing to any person or entity to spend any funds on paid political advertising, with a separate report being required each time its aggregate spending increases by an amount of at least $1,000 and when it has reached the applicable spending limit.
While Elections Ontario will publish the filed reports and percentage incurred within the legislated 2-day timeframe, it is suggested that broadcasters and publishers verify directly with Third Parties regarding their available remaining advertising spending limit prior to selling advertising, as filed information may not be updated on the website immediately.
If you plan to broadcast or publish political advertising or third party political advertising during a general election or a by-election in Ontario, please be advised that there are responsibilities and administrative monetary penalties for the failure to comply. These provisions are set out in the Election Finances Act. The Election Finances Act is currently being updated by the Government of Ontario with the recent changes enacted by Bill 254, Protecting Ontario Elections Act, 2021. For further information refer to the Handbook for Broadcasters and Publishers or contact the Compliance Division.
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