Secondary menu

Canada Elections Act

Part 16

Communications

Interpretation

Definitions

319. The definitions in this section apply in this Part.

"election advertising"
« publicité électorale »

"election advertising" means the transmission to the public by any means during an election period of an advertising message that promotes or opposes a registered party or the election of a candidate, including one that takes a position on an issue with which a registered party or candidate is associated. For greater certainty, it does not include

"election survey"
« sondage électoral »

"election survey" means an opinion survey of how electors voted or will vote at an election or respecting an issue with which a registered party or candidate is associated.

"network"
« réseau »

"network" means a network as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Broadcasting Act, but does not include a temporary network operation as defined in that subsection.

"network operator"
« exploitant de réseau »

"network operator" means a person or undertaking to which permission has been granted by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to form and operate a network.

"prime time"
« heures de grande écoute »

"prime time", in the case of a radio station, means the time between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., and, in the case of a television station, means the hours between 6 p.m. and midnight.

Election Advertising

Message must be authorized

320. A candidate or registered party, or a person acting on their behalf, who causes election advertising to be conducted shall mention in or on the message that its transmission was authorized by the official agent of the candidate or by the registered agent of the party, as the case may be.

Government means of transmission

321. (1) No person shall knowingly conduct election advertising or cause it to be conducted using a means of transmission of the Government of Canada.

Application

(2) For the purpose of subsection (1), a person includes a group within the meaning of Part 17.

Election advertising posters

322. (1) No landlord or person acting on their behalf may prohibit a tenant from displaying election advertising posters on the premises to which the lease relates and no condominium corporation or any of its agents may prohibit the owner of a condominium unit from displaying election advertising posters on the premises of his or her unit.

Permitted restrictions

(2) Despite subsection (1), a landlord, person, condominium corporation or agent referred to in that subsection may set reasonable conditions relating to the size or type of election advertising posters that may be displayed on the premises and may prohibit the display of election advertising posters in common areas of the building in which the premises are found.

Blackout period

323. (1) No person shall knowingly transmit election advertising to the public in an electoral district on polling day before the close of all of the polling stations in the electoral district.

Interpretation

(2) The transmission to the public of a notice of an event that the leader of a registered party intends to attend or an invitation to meet or hear the leader of a registered party is not election advertising for the purpose of subsection (1).

Definition of "person"

(3) For the purpose of subsection (1), a person includes a registered party and a group within the meaning of Part 17.

Exceptions

324. Subsection 323(1) does not apply in respect of

S.C. 2001, c. 21, s. 16.

Prohibition – prevention or impairment of transmission

325. (1) No person shall prevent or impair the transmission to the public of an election advertising message without the consent of a person with authority to authorize its transmission.

Exception

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply with respect to

Election Opinion Surveys

Transmission of election survey results

326. (1) The first person who transmits the results of an election survey – other than a survey that is described in section 327 – to the public during an election period and any person who transmits them to the public within 24 hours after they are first transmitted to the public must provide the following together with the results:

Additional information – published surveys

(2) In addition to the information referred to in subsection (1), the following must be provided in the case of a transmission to the public by means other than broadcasting:

Report on survey results

(3) A sponsor of an election survey shall, at any time during an election period after the results of the survey are transmitted to the public, provide, on request, a copy of a written report on the results of the survey, as transmitted under subsection (1). The report shall include the following, as applicable:

Fee may be charged

(4) A sponsor may charge a fee of up to $0.25 per page for a copy of a report provided under subsection (3).

Broadcast of surveys not based on recognized statistical methods

327. The first person who transmits the results of an election survey that is not based on recognized statistical methods to the public during an election period and any person who transmits them within 24 hours after they are first transmitted to the public must indicate that the survey was not based on recognized statistical methods.

Prohibition – causing transmission of election survey results during blackout period

328. (1) No person shall knowingly cause to be transmitted to the public, in an electoral district on polling day before the close of all of the polling stations in that electoral district, the results of an election survey that have not previously been transmitted to the public.

Prohibition – transmission of election survey results during blackout period

(2) No person shall transmit to the public, in an electoral district on polling day before the close of all of the polling stations in that electoral district, the results of an election survey that have not previously been transmitted to the public.

Application

(3) For the purpose of this section, a person includes a group within the meaning of Part 17.

329. [Repealed]

S.C. 2014, c. 12, s. 73.

Broadcasting outside Canada

Prohibition – use of broadcasting station outside Canada

330. (1) No person shall, with intent to influence persons to vote or refrain from voting or vote or refrain from voting for a particular candidate at an election, use, aid, abet, counsel or procure the use of a broadcasting station outside Canada, during an election period, for the broadcasting of any matter having reference to an election.

Prohibition – broadcasting outside Canada

(2) During an election period, no person shall broadcast, outside Canada, election advertising with respect to an election.

Non-interference by Foreigners

Prohibition – inducements by non-residents

331. No person who does not reside in Canada shall, during an election period, in any way induce electors to vote or refrain from voting or vote or refrain from voting for a particular candidate unless the person is

S.C. 2001, c. 27, s. 211.

Political Broadcasts

Appointment of Broadcasting Arbitrator

332. (1) A Broadcasting Arbitrator shall be appointed by the Chief Electoral Officer without delay after the consultations described in section 333. The Broadcasting Arbitrator shall be

Term of office

(2) The term of office of the Broadcasting Arbitrator shall expire six months after polling day at the general election next following his or her appointment.

Removal for cause

(3) The Chief Electoral Officer may remove the Broadcasting Arbitrator from office only for cause.

Eligible for re-appointment

(4) A Broadcasting Arbitrator whose term of office has expired is eligible to be re-appointed.

Salary

(5) A Broadcasting Arbitrator shall be paid the salary or other remuneration that may be fixed by the Chief Electoral Officer.

Convening of representatives

333. (1) The Chief Electoral Officer shall hold a meeting of two representatives of each registered party represented in the House of Commons at that time, or if Parliament is dissolved, at the time of dissolution, designated in writing by their party leader, for the purpose of holding consultations to choose a Broadcasting Arbitrator. The meeting shall be held within

Chairperson

(2) The Chief Electoral Officer shall designate the Chairperson at the meeting referred to in subsection (1) and at all subsequent consultations.

Report

(3) The representatives of the registered parties referred to in subsection (1) shall make a report signed by each of them to the Chief Electoral Officer of the results of their consultations no later than

Vacancy during election period

334. In the event of the death, incapacity, resignation or removal of the Broadcasting Arbitrator during the election period of a general election, the Chief Electoral Officer shall appoint a new Broadcasting Arbitrator without delay.

Broadcasting time to be provided to registered parties

335. (1) In the period beginning on the issue of the writs for a general election and ending at midnight on the day before polling day, every broadcaster shall, subject to the regulations made under the Broadcasting Act and the conditions of its licence, make available, for purchase by all registered parties for the transmission of political announcements and other programming produced by or on behalf of the registered parties, six and one-half hours of broadcasting time during prime time on its facilities.

When broadcaster affiliated with network

(2) If a broadcaster is affiliated with a network, the part of the broadcasting time to be made available under subsection (1) that may be determined by agreement between the broadcaster and the network operator shall be made available by the network operator during the portion of the broadcaster's prime time broadcasting schedule that has been delegated to the control of the network operator.

S.C. 2001, c. 21, s. 17.

Request for meeting

336. (1) The Broadcasting Arbitrator shall convene a meeting of representatives of all registered parties to consult on the allocation of broadcasting time made available under section 335 within 30 days after the receipt of a written request from the chief agent of a registered party, or six months after the Broadcasting Arbitrator takes office, whichever is earlier.

Time of request

(2) The written request may not be made until the Broadcasting Arbitrator has been in office for 60 days.

Chairperson

(3) The Broadcasting Arbitrator shall act as Chairperson at any meeting referred to in subsection (1).

No allocation

337. (1) A registered party shall not be allocated broadcasting time if, after receiving notice of the meeting referred to in subsection 336(1), the party

Agreement on allocation

(2) Unanimous agreement of the registered parties on the allocation of the broadcasting time is binding on all registered parties.

Broadcasting Arbitrator decides when no agreement

(3) If unanimous agreement is not reached within four weeks after the meeting referred to in subsection 336(1), the Broadcasting Arbitrator shall allocate the broadcasting time, and that allocation is binding on all registered parties.

Factors in allocation

338. (1) Subject to subsections (3) to (5), in allocating broadcasting time, the Broadcasting Arbitrator shall give equal weight to

The Broadcasting Arbitrator shall in addition give half the weight given to each of the factors referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b) to the number of candidates endorsed by each of the registered parties at the previous general election, expressed as a percentage of all candidates endorsed by all registered parties at that election.

Allocation where merger of parties

(2) Subject to subsections (3) to (5), in allocating broadcasting time in the case of the merger of two or more registered parties, the Broadcasting Arbitrator shall

No allocation in excess of 50%

(3) In no case shall the Broadcasting Arbitrator allocate more than 50% of the total of the broadcasting time to a registered party.

Allocation of time in excess of 50%

(4) If the calculation under subsection (1) would give more than 50% of the total of the broadcasting time to a registered party, the Broadcasting Arbitrator shall allocate the excess amount to the other registered parties entitled to broadcasting time on a proportionate basis.

Discretion re allocation

(5) If the Broadcasting Arbitrator considers that an allocation determined in accordance with subsection (1) would be unfair to a registered party or contrary to the public interest, the allocation may be modified, subject to subsections (3) and (4), in any manner that the Broadcasting Arbitrator considers appropriate.

Notification of allocation

(6) The Broadcasting Arbitrator shall, as soon as possible, give notice in writing of every allocation of broadcasting time made by the Broadcasting Arbitrator or by the registered parties to

The notice shall advise an eligible party referred to in paragraph (b) that it has 30 days after the receipt of the notice to request that broadcasting time be made available to it, for purchase, under section 339.

New parties entitled to broadcasting time

339. (1) Subject to subsection (4), every eligible party referred to in paragraph 338(6)(b) that makes a request as described in subsection 338(6) within the time referred to in that subsection is entitled to purchase broadcasting time in an amount equal to the lesser of

Parties not entitled to time

(2) An eligible party referred to in paragraph 338(6)(b) is not entitled to have any broadcasting time made available to it under this section if the party

Broadcasting time to be provided to new eligible parties

(3) In addition to the broadcasting time to be made available under section 335, and within the period referred to in that section, every broadcaster shall, subject to the regulations made under the Broadcasting Act and to the conditions of its licence, make available, for purchase by every eligible party entitled to broadcasting time under this section, broadcasting time in the amount determined under this section for the eligible party for the transmission of political announcements and other programming produced by or on behalf of the eligible party during prime time on that broadcaster's facilities.

Maximum of 39 minutes

(4) The maximum amount of broadcasting time available for purchase by eligible parties under this section is 39 minutes and, once that amount of broadcasting time is reached, all entitlement under this section shall be altered or established to be of whatever number of minutes or portions of minutes is necessary so that all eligible parties requesting time under this section receive the same amount of time within the 39-minute limit.

Reallocation in case of deregistration

340. (1) If a registered party to which broadcasting time has been allocated under this Part is subsequently deregistered, the Broadcasting Arbitrator, within two weeks after publication in the Canada Gazette of the notice of deregistration, shall convene the representatives of the remaining registered parties and eligible parties to which broadcasting time has been allocated for the purpose of reallocating that party's broadcasting time.

Reallocation in case of loss of eligibility

(2) Where an eligible party to which broadcasting time has been allocated under section 339 subsequently ceases to be an eligible party, the Broadcasting Arbitrator, within two weeks after the cessation of eligibility, shall convene the representatives of the remaining registered parties and eligible parties to whom broadcasting time has been allocated for the purpose of reallocating that party's broadcasting time.

Exception

(3) If the deregistration or cessation of eligibility referred to in subsection (1) or (2), respectively, occurs after the issue of the writs for a general election, the broadcasting time that was allocated to the deregistered party or to the party that has ceased to be eligible shall not be reallocated.

S.C. 2003, c. 19, s. 5.

Reallocation in case of merger

341. If two or more registered parties merge after an allocation of the broadcasting time to be made available under section 335, the Broadcasting Arbitrator shall without delay convene the representatives of the registered parties, including the merged parties, for the purpose of reallocating the broadcasting time allocated to all registered parties.

Broadcasters to be notified

342. (1) The Broadcasting Arbitrator shall notify the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission of every allocation under sections 337 and 338 and every entitlement under section 339 as soon as possible after it is made or requested and the Commission shall notify every broadcaster and every network operator of every such allocation and entitlement without delay after it is made and again immediately after the issue of the writs for the next general election.

Information to parties

(2) The Broadcasting Arbitrator shall, on request, provide all registered parties and all eligible parties referred to in paragraph 338(6)(b) with the names and addresses of all broadcasters and network operators.

Annual review

343. (1) In each of the calendar years after the calendar year in which an allocation of broadcasting time has been made under sections 337 and 338 or an eligible party has requested and has become entitled to broadcasting time under section 339, the Broadcasting Arbitrator shall convene and chair a meeting of the representatives of all registered parties to review the allocation or entitlement.

Reduction to six and one-half hours

(2) If, at a meeting referred to in subsection (1), it is determined that the total broadcasting time allocated or requested exceeds six and one-half hours, the Broadcasting Arbitrator shall reduce the allocated or requested time to six and one-half hours on a proportionate basis and that reduction shall be final and binding on all registered parties and eligible parties.

Definitions

344. (1) The definitions in this subsection apply in subsections (2) and (5).

"commercial time"
« temps commercial »

"commercial time" means any period of two minutes or less during which a broadcaster normally presents commercial messages, public service announcements or station or network identification.

"program time"
« durée de l'émission »

"program time" means any period longer than two minutes during which a broadcaster does not normally present commercial messages, public service announcements or station or network identification.

Notice of preference by party

(2) Each registered party and each eligible party entitled to purchase broadcasting time under this Act shall, not later than 10 days after the issue of the writs for a general election, send a notice in writing to each broadcaster and each network operator from whom it intends to purchase broadcasting time, setting out its preference as to the proportion of commercial time and program time to be made available to it and the days on which and the hours during which that time as so proportioned is to be made available, but at no time shall that party obtain broadcasting time before the 5th day after the notice is received by the broadcaster or network operator.

Consultation to reach agreement

(3) Every broadcaster or network operator who receives a notice under subsection (2) shall, within two days after its receipt, consult with representatives of the registered party or eligible party that sent the notice for the purpose of reaching an agreement on the requests contained in it.

When no agreement

(4) If no agreement is reached under subsection (3) within two days after the commencement of the consultation required by that subsection, the matter shall be referred to the Broadcasting Arbitrator who shall decide on the requests without delay and give notice of his or her decision to the broadcaster or network operator and to the representatives of the registered party or eligible party that made the requests.

Factors in decision

(5) In making a decision under subsection (4), the Broadcasting Arbitrator shall take into account the following principles:

Decision binding

(6) A decision of the Broadcasting Arbitrator under subsection (4) is final and binding on the registered party or eligible party, as the case may be, and the broadcaster or network operator.

Free broadcasting time

345. (1) In the period beginning on the issue of the writs for a general election and ending at midnight on the day before polling day at that election, every network operator shall, subject to the regulations made under the Broadcasting Act and to the conditions of its licence, make available, at no cost, to the registered parties and eligible parties referred to in subsection (2), for the transmission of political announcements and other programming produced by or on behalf of those parties, broadcasting time as determined under that subsection if the network formed and operated by the network operator

Determination of free broadcasting time

(2) For the purpose of subsection (1), the minimum amount of broadcasting time that a network operator is to make available shall be no less than the amount of free broadcasting time made available by it at the last general election and shall be made available as follows:

Free time not election expense

(3) The value of free broadcasting time made available to a registered party under this section shall not be taken into consideration in calculating its election expenses within the meaning of section 407.

Determination of population reached

(4) For the purpose of subsection (1), a network is deemed to reach

S.C. 2001, c. 21, s. 18.

Broadcasting Arbitrator to prepare guidelines

346. The Broadcasting Arbitrator shall, not later than two days after the issue of the writs for a general election, prepare and send to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission a set of guidelines respecting

C.R.T.C. to prepare and send guidelines

347. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission shall, not later than four days after the issue of the writs for a general election, prepare a set of guidelines respecting the applicability of the Broadcasting Act and the regulations made under that Act to the conduct of broadcasters and network operators in relation to a general election and send them, together with the set of guidelines sent by the Broadcasting Arbitrator under section 346, to all broadcasters and network operators.

Prohibition relating to rates charged

348. No person shall charge a registered party, any other political party or a candidate or a person acting on behalf of any of them,

S.C. 2001, c. 21, s. 19.



Federal Electoral Legislation – Contents