Third party advertising includes any advertisement in broadcast, print, electronic or other medium that has the purpose of promoting, supporting or opposing a candidate or a municipal question on the ballot.

On this page:

  1. About third party advertising
  2. Eligibility
  3. Register
  4. Resources

About third party advertising

Third party advertising includes any advertisement in broadcast, print, electronic or other medium that has the purpose of promoting, supporting or opposing:

  • a candidate
  • a municipal question on the ballot

Third party advertising does not include:

  • an advertisement by or under the direction of the candidate
  • when no expenses are incurred by the person, corporation or trade union, in relation to the advertisement
  • advertising or communication that is given to or transmitted by an individual to employees, by a corporation to its shareholders, directors, members, or employees or by a trade union to its members or employees

Third party advertising does not apply to "issues". This allows advocacy groups to continue their issue-based advocacy and community work during the municipal election.

Third parties who want to advertise in the election will have to register in each municipality where the third party intends to advertise. Registration allows a third party to promote or oppose any candidate or question on the ballot in the local election.

Candidates may not direct a registered third party advertiser. Candidates may not coordinate, organize or govern how a registered third party advertiser displays and/or produces election advertisements.


Eligibility

The following persons and entities are eligible to register as a third party advertiser:

  • an individual normally a resident in Ontario
  • a corporation that carries on business in Ontario
  • a trade union that holds bargaining rights for employees in Ontario

The following persons and entities are not eligible to register as a third party advertiser:

  • a municipal candidate
  • 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

Register

The Province of Ontario's Third Party Advertisers Guide includes information about:

  • registration
  • responsibilities of registered third party advertisers
  • finance rules
  • compliance and enforcement
  • completing the financial statement
  • information for broadcasters and publishers

Download the guide

Registration process

The Municipal Elections Act, 1996, as amended, provides that a third party advertiser’s campaign period begins on the day they file a registration. We will share a preliminary expense limit and other election documents with third party advertisers at the time of filing their nomination.

Registered Third Party Advertisers cannot spend or raise money for their election until a registration is filed.

Registrations can only be made using the prescribed form that is signed by the person being registered.

Registrations for the 2022 municipal election are open between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. from May 2 to October 21, 2022.

Download the registration form

Book an appointment

We encourage you to book an appointment to register as a third party advertiser. Your appointment will help with reviewing the required documents, establish a point of contact and makes sure the required staff are available to receive the registration.

Follow these steps to book an appointment:

  1. choose your preferred date and time from our appointment booking system (appointments times are one hour but may not take the full hour)
  2. add your name and email and submit the request

When you arrive at City Hall with completed forms and identification, check in with staff who will direct you to the Small Business Center, Election Desk.

Request an appointment


Resources

To help with your registration, there are city and provincial resources available online.

City resources

Please review our third party advertiser resources to help you after you file.

Provincial guide

The Province of Ontario's Third Party Advertisers Guide includes information about:

  • registration
  • responsibilities of registered third party advertisers
  • finance rules
  • compliance and enforcement
  • completing the financial statement
  • information for broadcasters and publishers

Download the guide