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What is NOT considered advertising under Elections Canada

NOTE: Elections Canada does NOT mandate advertising prior to election period.

The following is not election advertising:

  • the transmission to the public of an editorial, a debate, a speech, an interview, a column, a letter, a commentary or news
  • the distribution of a book, or the promotion of the sale of a book, for no less than its commercial value, if the book was planned to be made available to the public regardless of whether there was to be an election
  • the transmission of a document directly by a person or a group to their members, employees or shareholders, as the case may be
  • the transmission by an individual, on a non-commercial basis on the Internet, of that individual’s personal political view
  • the making of telephone calls to electors
  • in some cases, the transmission of election messages over the Internet (see details below)
  • door-to-door canvassing, unless canvassers distribute election advertising such as pamphlets

Advertising over the Internet

Election messages communicated over the Internet are election advertising only if:

  • they meet the general criteria for election advertising (see “What is election advertising?” above), and
  • they have, or would normally have, a placement cost

Any other messages communicated over the Internet are not election advertising.

Placement cost is the cost charged to purchase advertising space (for example, the cost of placing an advertisement on a social media site or the cost of placing an advertisement banner on a website).

Note: The cost to host and update the third party’s own website is not a placement cost.

The following election messages communicated over the Internet are not election advertising:

  • messages sent or posted for free on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook
  • messages sent by email or through other messaging services (including texts sent through a cellular or mobile network)
  • content posted on the third party’s website

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