City Clerk sets out the rules for the Third Party Advertisers - all the numbered company registrations hit the road and left town.

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 10th, 2108



City hall sent out a press release – here is what they want everyone to know about Third Party Advertising in the October 22, municipal election.

The City of Burlington reminds individuals and businesses promoting candidates in the Oct. 22 municipal election to follow the rules of third-party advertising.

City election logo

City has to manage the elections – a lot of grief.

The rules are new to this election and are part of the provincial Municipal Elections Act.

Elected positions include Halton Regional Chair, Mayor and members of City Council for the City of Burlington, trustees for the Halton District School Board and Halton District Catholic School Board and Conseil scolaire Viamonde and Conseil scolaire catholique MonAvenir.
What is third-party advertising?

• Third-party advertising refers to advertisements or other materials that support, promote or oppose a candidate, or support, promote or oppose a “yes” or “no” answer to a question on the ballot.
• Third-party advertising is separate from any candidate’s campaign and must be done independently from a candidate. A candidate running for any municipal council or school board office cannot register to be a third-party advertiser in any municipality.

What isn’t third-party advertising?
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 third-party advertising.
Examples include:
• Posting on social media, such as Twitter, Facebook or Instagram
• Speaking to friends or neighbours
• Sending an email to a group or mailing list
• Internal communications from an employer to their employees
• Communication from a corporation to its shareholders, directors, members or employees or from a trade union to its members or employees
• Advertising about an issue, rather than a candidate or a “yes” or “no” answer to a question on the ballot.

Who can register as 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 doing business in Ontario
• a trade union that holds bargaining rights for employees in Ontario.
• Members may register as individual third-party advertisers and may contribute individually.
• If two or more corporations are owned or controlled by the same person or people, or if one corporation controls another, they are considered a single corporation. If the same person or people own or control multiple corporations, only one of those corporations may register as a third party in a municipality.

Who can’t register as a third-party advertiser?
• Federal and provincial political parties cannot register to be third-party advertisers. Political parties are not permitted to be financially involved in municipal elections.
• 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.

Baird 395

A Third Party advertiser that registered with the city – then de-registered.

Where can a third-party advertiser register?
• To register as a third-party advertiser, an individual, corporation or trade union must register with the municipal clerk.
• Being registered in a municipality allows the third party to advertise to the voters in that municipality. Registered third-party advertisers do not have to tell the clerk which candidate or candidates they are supporting.
• 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.
What rules must third-party advertisers follow?
• Third-party advertisers are required to follow many of the same financial and reporting rules as candidates. A third-party advertiser must provide the following information on all 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.
• If ads are going to be broadcast or published, such as by 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.

What if the rules are broken?
• If a candidate or third-party advertiser breaks the rules, the city clerk will let them know they are in violation.
• The Municipal Election Act requires each municipality to appoint a committee to act on behalf of a municipality or municipalities. The city is part of a joint Compliance Audit Committee through Halton Region with Halton Hills and Oakville.
• The process for submitting a compliance audit application will be made available on closer to the deadline for filing of the candidates’/registered third parties’ financial statements, which is March 29, 2019.

City Clerk Angela Morgan fails to ensure media alerted to Special Council meeting. Her communications people dropped the ball as well.

City Clerk Angela Morgan serves as the Returning Officer for the Municipal election.

What is the role of the city clerk?
• Every municipality has a municipal clerk who runs the election. The municipal clerk is the main contact for registered third-party advertisers and those who want to register.
• Forms such as the registration form and campaign financial statements must be filed with the clerk’s office.

The clerk is also responsible for providing information about spending limits and filing deadlines to third-party advertisers.

Angela Morgan, City Clerk has had her hands full with the Third Party Advertiser registration and then the de-registrations.  She points out that: “Voting is the ultimate citizen engagement. The City of Burlington wants to ensure that all candidates are given a fair chance and that all potential advertisers respect the election process under the Municipal Elections Act of Ontario.”


Related news stories:

Poof – and they were gone.


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3 comments to City Clerk sets out the rules for the Third Party Advertisers – all the numbered company registrations hit the road and left town.

  • Ian

    I see they’ve closed their website ( down – VERY interesting – GOOD INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING PEPPER, let’s hope it makes a difference in the electoral view of big business and their covert activities in trying to influence their candidate of choice!

    For example, I see Judy Worsley’s (Craven’s Crony) large election signs on pretty much all the developer applications and land assembly properties along Plains Rd in Ward 1 – I WONDER WHY.

    Surely, we don’t want another ‘Concrete Craven’ look alike for the next 4 years. WE DO NEED a change SO make your vote count and vote for a more livable Burlington and not for the businesses that have created the current chaos with little regard for anyone but their own financial gains!

  • C Jester

    Lots of rules. All sorts of ways to break them.

    Kind of like the authorities watching a murder, letting the bad guys get away, phoning them to tell them they did a bad thing, saying we may be in touch with you in 2019. Have a nice day.

    And this gives all candidates a fair chance. Thanks for nothing Angela.

  • Hans

    Re: “What if the rules are broken?
    • If a candidate or third-party advertiser breaks the rules, the city clerk will let them know they are in violation.”

    And that’s it???!!! No fines or other punishment? Why or how would that stop any person or corporation from breaking the rules?