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Obtaining authorization to take part in the electoral debate

Summary

If you wish to express your preferences or opinions and these actions incur a cost, you must obtain authorization as a private intervenor.

You can take part in the electoral debate by expressing your preferences or opinions without authorization, as long as your actions do not cost anything. A free publication of a partisan nature on social networks, such as Facebook or Twitter, for example, is not considered an expense. It is therefore permitted.

Rules for participating in the electoral debate

Obtaining authorization as a private intervenor

If you are eligible to vote, you can obtain private intervenor status, which allows you to spend up to $300 on advertising during the election period. The objective of your advertising should be to:

  • Make your opinion known on a matter of public interest or to obtain support for your opinion
  • Promote abstention or the spoiling of ballots

You must pay for your advertising with your own money or the money of your group members. Your advertisements may not promote or oppose, whether directly or indirectly, the election of a candidate.

You can obtain private intervenor status with other people as a group.

To obtain this type of authorization, you must complete the appropriate form and submit it to the returning officer of your electoral division.

A private intervenor cannot be a member of a political party or become one during the election period.

Group of electors

When the private intervenor is a group, the majority of members must be eligible to vote. No legal entity (company, association, trade union, etc.) can be part of the group. Members must designate one person from the group to represent them.

Advertising expenses

Advertising expenses must be paid by the authorized person(s). An advertising expense consists of all the costs incurred by the private intervenor. These costs may be related to the design, production, installation, and distribution of any advertisement, regardless of the technology or medium used.

A paid post on social networks (e.g., Facebook or Twitter) is considered an advertisement. However, regular posts on these platforms do not incur a cost and are therefore not covered by the regulations on the control of election expenses nor the regulations on private intervenors.

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