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Transcript of Video on Third Party Regulated Activities

Are you thinking about registering as a third party for a general election or a by-election? This module explains which activities of a third party are regulated, if they take place during the election period. The expenses incurred for these activities are subject to a limit. You can learn more about the expense limit in another module.

The three types of regulated activities are election advertising, partisan activities and election surveys.

Let's talk first about election advertising. From election signs to TV ads, election advertising is an important tool used to convey a message to the public, promoting or opposing a political party or candidate. This also includes issue advertising. For example, if a third party runs a TV ad during the election period on an issue clearly associated with a registered party without identifying the party, it is election advertising. The broader the message, the less likely that a clear association will be found. Every election advertising message requires a tagline, stating that it was authorized by the third party. The tagline must include the third party's name, phone number, and civic or Internet address and be clearly visible or otherwise accessible.

What about partisan activities? They are a wide range of activities, organized by a third party, that take place during the election period to promote or oppose a political entity. They include door-to-door canvassing, sending text messages to voters, posting messages or videos for free on social media, making phone calls or hosting web content promoting a party or candidate. Unlike election advertising, partisan activities exclude any activity that simply takes a position on an issue with which a political entity is associated. So if a third party releases a statement about an economic issue during the election period but does not identify a candidate or a party, this is not a partisan activity.

And finally, let's look at election surveys. These surveys collect data about voting intentions or opinions on issues associated with a registered party or candidate. A third party's election surveys are regulated activities if the third party uses the results during the election period to decide about other regulated activities. For example, at the start of the election, a third party hires a polling firm to ask voters who they plan to vote for. It later organizes door-to-door canvassing based on the results. The survey is a regulated activity.

Please consult the Political Financing Handbook for Third Parties on the Elections Canada website for details about third party activities, prohibitions and reporting obligations.

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