Information for Broadcasters and Publishers
Broadcasters and publishers have responsibilities under the Election Finances Act.
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.
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.
No broadcaster or publisher may charge more for political advertising at election time than it would normally charge anyone else for an equivalent amount of space or time during the same period.
A broadcaster or publisher charging less for space or time than it would normally charge anyone else for an equivalent amount of space or time over the same period must have the difference between the normal rates and what they charge considered a contribution. In this case, the contribution rules regarding eligible contributors and the contribution limits apply.
A broadcaster may provide time without charge to registered political parties and candidates in accordance with the policies of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and the provisions of the Broadcasting Act (Canada). The provision of such free time to political parties or candidates is not considered a contribution or an election expense for the purposes of the Election Finances Act.
News media, publishers and broadcasters should not publish, broadcast or transmit political advertising during the blackout period. The blackout period is the day before election day and election day.
The blackout period does not apply to genuine news reporting.
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.
For full details of what is included in TPAR-Interim Reports and Advertising Spending Limits and Applicable Periods, see the CFO Handbook for Third Parties.
2022 General Election Third Party Advertising Expenditures Summary as of July 23, 2021
The non-election period commenced on Monday, June 14, 2021, and the election period will commence on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 with the issuance of the writs.
The spending limit during the non-election period for the 2022 General Election is $637,200. This amount will increase in 2022 due to annual indexation. A third party must not spend more than $25,488 in any electoral district.
|#||Third Party Name||Percentage of Applicable Spending Limit Spent/Committed to (%)||Amount of Applicable Spending Limit Remaining ($)|
|1||Canadian Union of Public Employees|
|2||Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 966|
|3||Environmental Defence Canada||0.77%||$632,293.00|
|4||Fair Vote Canada||0.10%||$636,585.72|
|6||Laborers' International Union of North America, Ontario Provincial District Council|
|7||Ontario Federation of Labour|
|8||Ontario Medical Association||19.16%||$515,117.46|
|9||Ontario Nurses Association|
|10||Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation|
|11||Peterborough and District Labour Council|