A third party advertisement is an advertisement in any broadcast, print, electronic or other medium that has the purpose of promoting, supporting or opposing a candidate in the election, or a “yes” or “no” answer to a question on the ballot.

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 2 or more corporations are owned or controlled by the same person or people, or if 1 corporation controls another, they are considered to be a single corporation. If the same person or people own or control multiple corporations, only 1 of those corporations may register to be a third party in a municipality.

There is no restriction against family members of 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.

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

  • A candidate running for any municipal council or school board office
  • Groups, associations or businesses that are not corporations
  • Candidates in the provincial election prior to the Provincial Election Day
  • Federal and Provincial political parties
    Political parties are not permitted to be financially involved in municipal elections.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs has produces a Third Party Advertisers Guide. This guide provides information to those who want to register as third party advertisers for the 2022 municipal council and school board elections. 

This guide is not meant to replace provincial legislation. It provides general information about the rules contained in the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 and other legislation and regulations

Download the Third Party Advertisers Guide