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Neither citizens nor businesses may incur expenses to promote or oppose the election of a candidate during the election period

During the election period, you cannot engage in an activity that:

  1. Has a partisan impact: for example, by promoting or opposing the election of a candidate;
  2. Has an associated cost, such as :
    • printing documents, such as posters or leaflets;
    • creating a website.

The same rule applies to legal persons such as companies, associations and unions.

All election expenses must be paid and authorized by the official agent of a candidate or political party.

All political parties and authorized independent candidates must have their own official representative to manage their revenues and current expenditures. In an election period, an official agent must also be appointed to manage election expenses.

Why are only official agents permitted to incur election expenses?

Election expenses are capped at the same amount for all candidates in a given electoral division. It is a question of fairness so that all candidates have similar budgets to spend to promote their candidacy.

To enforce this rule, only the official agents of political parties and of authorized independent candidates may incur election expenses. This rule also ensures greater transparency, since all expenses must subsequently be presented in a report that is audited in order to preserve electors' confidence in our democratic system.

A few examples of illegal partisan activities in an election period

  • A person may not pay for a Facebook advertisement designed to promote or oppose a measure proposed by a party.
  • A business may not purchase a newspaper advertisement to take position on an action carried out by a candidate.
  • No one may print, at his or her own costs, posters designed to promote a candidate in his or her workplace or any other public place.
  • An association may not support a candidate on its website because there is usually a cost associated with this website's creation and maintenance.

Do you want to express your preferences or opinions?

You may do so as long as there are no costs associated with your actions. You can also obtain authorization as a private intervenor.

A private intervenor is an elector or group of electors who is permitted to spend up to $300 on advertising during the election period in order to:

  • express his or its views on a matter of public interest or obtain support for these views;
  • encourage electors to spoil their ballot paper or abstain from voting.

However, the advertisement must not directly promote or oppose the election of a candidate.

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