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.
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.