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Broadcasters and Publishers

There have been recent changes to the Municipal Election Act, 1996 that broadcasters and publishers should be aware of. Major changes include requirements on what information local Candidates need to provide, and the introduction of Third Parties (people advertising on behalf of Candidates or issues/questions on the ballot) and their requirements to provide similar information. This information does not negate the broadcaster or publishers requirement to adhere to other relevant legislation or other regulatory requirements.

Election Campaign Advertisements 

The Act defines an “election campaign advertisement” as an advertisement in any broadcast, print, electronic or other medium that has the purpose of promoting or supporting the election of a candidate.

Candidates 

Candidates are people that have filed a Nomination Form (Form 1) with the City of Peterborough Clerk’s Office. Nomination Forms are commissioned (with the commissioners signature and stamp) at the time of filing. Only registered Candidates are able to raise or spend money related to their election campaign. You may ask to see their copy of the Nomination Form.

Candidate Requirements

An election campaign advertisement purchased by or under the direction of a Candidate must identify the Candidate. The Candidate must also provide the following information to the broadcaster or publisher in writing:

  1. The name of the Candidate.
  2. The name, business address and telephone number of the individual who deals with the broadcaster or publisher under the direction of the Candidate.

A broadcaster or publisher must not allow the advertisement to appear unless these conditions have been met.

Third Parties

Third Parties are individuals, corporations or trade unions that support one or a number of Candidates, or a question on the ballot (referendum). Third Parties must file their Registration Form (Form 7) with the City of Peterborough Clerk’s Office in order to advertise to the voters in the municipality. Registration Forms are commissioned and certified (with the commissioners signature and stamp) at the time of filing. Only certified Third Parties are able to raise or spend money related to their Third Party advertisements. You may ask to see the copy of Third Party’s Registration Form. The Clerk has legislative authority to request the removal of advertisements from Third Parties that have not registered.

Third Party Requirements

An election campaign advertisement purchased by or under the direction of a registered Third Party must identify:

  1. The name of the registered Third Party.
  2. The municipality where the Third Party is registered.
  3. A telephone number, mailing address or email address at which the registered Third Party may be contacted regarding the advertisement.

The representative of the Third Party must also provide the following information to the broadcaster or publisher in writing:

  1. The name of the registered Third Party.
  2. 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.
  3. The municipality where the Third Party is registered.

A broadcaster or publisher must not allow the advertisement to appear unless these conditions have been met.

Issues-Based Advertising

Anyone wishing to advertise on an issue that is not about a specific candidate or a question on the ballot (referendum) may continue to do so as any typical advertiser.

Fees

A broadcaster or publisher may not charge a Third Party or Candidate more or less than their normal advertising rate. Unless offered to all Third Parties and/or all Candidates, charging less (or offering free) advertising is deemed to be a contribution.

Records

The broadcaster or publisher of an election campaign advertisement must maintain records containing the following information for a period of four years after the date the advertisement appears and shall permit the public to inspect the records during normal business hours:

  1. The information provided to the broadcaster or publisher in writing
  2. A copy of the advertisement, or the means of reproducing it for inspection.
  3. A statement of the charge made for its appearance.