FAQ and Third-Party Advertisers

Third Party Advertisers

 What is a Third Party Advertisement?
The Municipal Elections Act now includes a framework for third party advertising. A third party advertisement is an advertisement in any broadcast, print, electronic or other medium that promotes, supports or opposes a candidate, or a “yes” or “no” answer to a question on the ballot. Advertisement includes traditional ads as well as materials such as brochures or signs. Third party advertising is separate from any candidate’s campaign, and must be done independently from a candidate. The Municipal Elections Act, 1996 sets out a restricted period for third party advertising. 
 What is not a Third Party Advertisement?

Activities that do not involve spending money, such as discussions or expressing an opinion about a candidate (or an answer to a question on the ballot) are not considered to be third party advertising. Examples include:

  • speaking to friends and neighbours
  • posting on social media, such as Twitter, Facebook or Instagram
  • sending an email to a group or mailing list
 Who can be a Third Party Advertiser?

 Only those who have registered can spend money on third party advertising. The following are eligible to register as a third party advertiser:

  • any person who is a resident in Ontario
  • a corporation carrying on business in Ontario
  • a trade union that holds bargaining rights for employees in Ontario

If two or more corporations are owned or controlled by the same person or people, or if one corporation controls another, they are considered to be a single corporation. If the same person or people own or control multiple corporations, only one of those corporations may register to be a third party in a municipality.

There is no restriction against family members or campaign staff of candidates registering to be third party advertisers. However, third party advertising must be done independently of the candidate. If a person with close ties to a candidate wishes to register they should consider how these activities may look to the public and how they would be able to demonstrate that they were not working in co-ordination with the candidate.

 Who cannot be a Third Party Advertiser?

 A candidate running for any Municipal Council or School Board Office cannot register to be a third party advertiser in any municipality.

Groups, associations or businesses that are not corporations are not eligible to register and may not spend money on third party advertising in municipal elections. For example, neighbourhood associations, clubs or professional associations cannot register and cannot make contributions to third party advertisers. Members may register as individual third party advertisers and may contribute individually.

Candidates in the Provincial election cannot register. They may register after the Provincial election, when they are no longer candidates.

Federal and Provincial political parties cannot register to be third party advertisers. Political parties are not permitted to be financially involved in municipal elections.

Registering as a Third Party Advertiser

 An individual, corporation or trade union must register with the Municipal Clerk to be a third party advertiser in a municipality.

Being registered in a municipality allows the third party to advertise to the voters in that municipality. A third party advertiser can support or oppose any candidate or candidates who will be voted on by the people in that municipality. This includes candidates running for local Council and School Trustee.

Third party advertisers do not need to decide before they register which candidate or candidates they want to support or oppose, and they do not have to tell the Clerk what their intentions are.

A third party can only advertise to voters in the municipality where they are registered. There is no limit on the number of municipalities where a third party can register. If a third party wants to advertise to voters in more than one municipality they must register in each municipality where they wish to advertise.

Where to Register

 An individual or a representative of a corporation or trade union must file a Notice of Registration (Form 7) with the Municipal Clerk in person or by an agent. It must have an original signature – the form may not be a copy, and may not be scanned and submitted electronically. There is no registration fee.

The Municipal Clerk must be satisfied that that the individual, corporation or trade union is eligible in order to certify the registration, and may require that identification or additional documents be provided.

A person who is filing as the representative of a corporation or a trade union should make sure that they can provide proof that they are authorized to act on the corporation or trade union’s behalf.

How do Campaign Finance Rules apply to Third Party Advertisers?
Most campaign finance and reporting rules that apply to candidates will also apply to third party advertisers. Third party advertisers will have spending limits and there will be contribution limits for those wishing to contribute to a third party advertiser. Corporations and unions will be permitted to make contributions to third party advertisers, but will not be permitted to make contributions to candidates.
 Election Signs

The municipality has rules in place about when signs can be put up, and how signs may be displayed on public property. Third Party Advertisers must adhere to the Township of Douro-Dummer, Peterborough County and Ministry of Transportation (MTO) sign by-laws.

The Third Party Advertiser is responsible for removing their signs after voting day and are strongly encouraged to place election signs on private property with the permission of the property owner. The Township has the authority to remove any signs deemed to cause a safety hazard.

Identification on Advertising

A third party advertiser must provide the following information on all of its advertisements, signs and other materials:

  • the legal name of the registered third party (if the third party 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 where the third party can be contacted

A registered individual cannot act on behalf of a group or organization that is not eligible to register as a third party advertiser. For example, if Chris Smith is the president of a business improvement association (BIA), the signs and materials must identify Chris Smith as the person responsible for the advertising, not the BIA.

If ads are going to be broadcast or published (e.g. on a radio station or in a newspaper), the ad must contain the information required above, and the third party advertiser must also provide the broadcaster or publisher with the following:

  • the name of the registered third party
  • the name, business address and telephone number of the individual who deals with the broadcaster or publisher under the direction of the registered third party
  • the municipality where the third party is registered

Frequently Asked Questions - 2022 Elections

When is the next Municipal Election?

The next municipal election will be held Monday, October 24, 2022.

Candidates will be able to file nomination papers from Monday, May 2, 2022 up until 2 p.m. on Friday, August 19, 2022.

 Who can vote?
 Anyone can vote in a Municipal Election who, on the day of the election, is:
  • 18 years of age or older
  • a Canadian citizen; and
  • either a resident of the municipality or a property owner or tenant or the spouse or same sex partner of an owner or tenant in the municipality during a specified time just before the election.

Your name must be on the voters’ list in order for you to cast a ballot.

 Who can't vote?
 The following individuals cannot vote in a Municipal Election:
  • a person serving a sentence of imprisonment in a penal or correctional institution;
  • a corporation; or
  • a person convicted of a corrupt practice for an election held within four years of voting day.

A person who is acting as an executor or in any other representative capacity (e.g., power of attorney), cannot vote on behalf of the person they are representing unless they have been appointed as a voting proxy.

How is my information collected?

The Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) is responsible for collecting the information of residents in Ontario (name, date of birth, citizenship and school support) in order to create a Preliminary List of Electors for Municipal and School Board Elections. Municipalities will use the Preliminary List of Electors to prepare their Voters Lists for the 2022 Municipal and School Board Elections.

One of the ways MPAC collects this information is through voterlookup.ca. Here, Ontarians can add their name and the names of other members of their household to a secure database and confirm or update their information. This helps ensure that each municipality has the most accurate information possible for the 2022 Municipal and School Board Elections.

Take a few minutes to verify your information at voterlookup.ca and encourage your friends and family to do the same.

When should I expect to receive my PIN in the mail? 
Individual PINs will be mailed to eligible electors so that they are received approximately three (3) to five (5) days prior to the first voting day. 
What if I don’t get a PIN in the mail by Election Day?
If you are an eligible elector and on the official Elector List, but you did not get a PIN in the mail by the start of the election period, you can request a replacement PIN.  If the Election Official’s records indicate you were sent a PIN in the mail then the original PIN will be disabled and cannot be used to cast a vote in the election.  A replacement PIN will be issued to you if the original PIN has not been voted and you provide appropriate identification.
What if I lose my PIN?
If an elector loses or misplaces their PIN they should contact the Township of Douro-Dummer. The Election Official can decide to replace the missing PIN if it has not already been voted. They will determine if a voter has to travel to the Township Office and sign a form, and then receive a replacement for the missing PIN or if a replacement PIN can be issued over the phone. The original lost or missing PIN will be disabled and it will not be able to be voted in the election.
How do I access the voting system?
Voting instructions will be included in the Voter Instruction Letter mailed to each eligible elector on the official Elector List.  Included in this information are instructions on how to access the voting system.  Voters can cast their ballot using their telephone or cell phone and calling a toll free number.  Voters using personal computers will use the Internet to visit a website that will allow them entry into the secure voting system where they can cast their vote.
Once a vote has been confirmed, can it be changed?
No.  Once a vote has been confirmed it cannot be changed.  This process is the same as dropping the ballot into the ballot box in a traditional paper based election ensuring complete voter anonymity and secrecy of ballot.  The system does not know how the ballot was voted; only that the PIN was used in the election to cast a vote and thus it cannot be removed from the vote count
Will there be election/voting assistance available?

YES – There will be a “Help Centre” where additions, deletions and corrections can be made to the Voters’ List and to provide assistance and clarification on the election process. It is supplied with a telephone and internet connection to accommodate voting during the Voting Period. The ability to vote at the Help Centre will be limited to regular office hours during the Voting Period, save and except on Voting Day when the offices will remain open until 8:00 pm.

This is not to be considered a “Polling Station”.

There is also a “Voter Help Desk” wherein a telephone number and email address will be provided which voters may contact to receive remote assistance with telephone and internet voting. The Voter Help Desk is open throughout the voting period during posted hours.