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Activities to educate third parties on the new regimeCEO Appearance: Supplementary Estimates (B) 2019-20

Fact Sheet

Subject: Activities to educate third parties on the new regime

Key Message

  • We have developed several tools to increase awareness about the new third party rules, including videos, an infographic, social media vignettes and frequently asked questions, and we also updated the handbook to assist third parties in the application of the new rules.
  • Third parties represent a diverse collection of individuals, groups and corporations that are not usually known to Elections Canada before they register, making any outreach activities challenging.
  • Additional outreach efforts were undertaken to alleviate confusion about what constitutes issue advertising.


  • New third parties rules capture a broader array of activities than the previous rules which were limited to election advertising.
  • These changes may require third parties to register with Elections Canada, even though they did not have to in past elections.
  • The Canada Elections Act also includes a pre-election period with spending limits for third parties and registered parties.
  • Elections Canada prepared and disseminated, through its website, social media accounts and a social media digital campaign, several new tools to raise awareness and assist third parties:
    • A roadmap (infographic)
    • Frequently Asked Questions
    • The Handbook for third parties
    • Four (4) political financing videos
    • Social media vignettes
    • Information sessions (Webex) in July 2019. [two out of four were cancelled due to low participation]
    • Participation at a workshop in Toronto (May 2019) with members of the Agency’s stakeholder network
  • The Agency also reached out to previously registered third parties in federal, provincial and territorial elections (when the information was available) to proactively inform potential third parties about the new rules.
  • The Political Entities Support Network received over 425 inquiries on the application of the new rules (from December 2018 to November 2019).
  • Legal Services also responded to many questions from third parties’ legal counsels.
  • Despite outreach efforts, there was confusion about issue advertising, particularly in the context of climate change.
    • The CEO issued a statement on August 20, 2019 to clarify third party requirements.
    • We offered training to a group representing a large number of potential third parties (The group did not take advantage of this training opportunity)
    • A number of specific responses were provided to individual groups (and lawyers) that contacted us on this aspect of the regime
  • The cost of the social media digital campaign was 15k.
  • The cost of videos and vignettes production was 87k.
  Registered Third Parties (TPs) Interim Reports
42nd GE 115  
43rd GE 147

124* from 51 different TPs

*since election day, we have received 7 additional interim reports for a total of 131

As of March 9, 2020, the following are statistics about third party filing of campaign returns:

  • Returns received: 118
  • CEO’s extension: 36
  • 11 had not filed or sent in an extension request in time