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Rules for Third Party Advertising

Requirements & Restrictions

No individual, corporation or trade union is permitted to incur expenses for a third party advertisement that appears during the restricted period unless they are a registered third party. Restricted period is the date registration is filed and ends at the close of voting on Voting Day.

Contributions by corporations and trade unions to candidates are banned, however, corporations and trade unions can contribute to third party advertisers. Money, goods and services are considered contributions.

The following are permitted to contribute:

  • An individual who is normally a resident of Ontario;
  • A corporation that carries on business in Ontario;
  • A trade union that holds bargaining rights for employees in Ontario; and
  • The registered third party and in the case of an individual, his or her spouse (subject to s.88.12(5)).


  • Cannot be made or accepted unless registered as a third party
  • Maximum contribution from a single contributor is $1,200 to a registered third party and $5,000 to two or more registered third parties in a municipality.

These contribution limits do not apply to the registered third party if the contribution is made by themselves and the same for an individual third party advertiser, along with his or her spouse.


  • Subject to maximum expense limit (prescribed formula based on the number of electors entitled to vote);
  • Required to record expenses and file a financial statement.

A fundraising function relating to third party advertisements that are to appear during an election cannot be held for an individual, corporation or trade union that is not registered as a third party in a municipality and cannot be held outside the campaign period.

Mandatory Information in Advertisements

The third party advertiser must be registered at the time of the advertisement.

The ad must contain the following:

  • The legal name of the registered third party advertiser (if the third party advertiser is a corporation or trade union, the name of the corporation or trade union must appear, not the name of the representative who filed the registration);
  • The municipality where the third party is registered;
  • A telephone number, mailing address or email address at which the third party may be contacted regarding the advertisement.

A registered third party is not permitted to allow a third party advertisement to appear during the restricted period unless the broadcaster/publisher has been provided the following in writing:

  • Name of the registered third party;
  • Municipality where third party is registered; and
  • Name, business address and telephone number of individual under direction of registered third party.

The broadcaster/publisher retains records with respect to the above, copy of the advertisement/means of reproducing it and the cost. They must retain the record for four years after the date of the appearance of the advertisement and permit inspection during normal business hours.

Municipal Authority to Remove Advertisements

A municipality may require the following to remove to discontinue the advertising:

  • a person who has contravened the provisions for third party advertisers or caused/permitted the contravention;
  • the owner or occupier of the land on which the contravention occurred;
  • a third party advertiser in contravention with the City's Election Sign By-Law.

Third party advertisers are required to identify themselves on campaign advertisements and signs so that it is clear who is responsible for each sign and advertisement that appears or is broadcast.

There is no spending cap on signs.

For more information view the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing's Registered Third Party Guide