Elections Nova Scotia

The who, where, when of election signs & third-party advertising

All advertising which promotes or opposes any candidate or registered party or takes a position on an issue with which a candidate or registered party is associated, is election advertising. 

May 1, 2017

Election advertising by candidates and parties must bear the words “authorized by the official agent for [name of candidate or registered party]”.

Throughout the election, signs and posters as well as other items identifying a candidate or party cannot be placed within 60 metres of the entrance to a polling location or Returning Office. Placement of signs may be subject to provincial and municipal laws and regulations.

In the Halifax Regional Municipality, people with questions about the placement of election signs should call 311. Municipal rules may vary; please check with the municipal authority in your area if you have concerns. Areas along highways, including some within municipalities, are managed by the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. People who have questions about signs along highways may call a toll-free number 1-844-696-7737 or
email tir-occ@novascotia.ca.

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The following (in italics) is information for HRM residents only, and is posted at the request of HRM Traffic Management:

"As per By-Law S-801, Election Signs are not permitted in HRM Right of Way until the day a writ of election is issued.
Election Signs are not permitted on Municipal Property except as specifically provided for under By Law S-801. Signs must not obstruct the view of traffic. Also, signs must not be installed on utility poles or street trees. All signs should be removed within one week following the election. Further information can be found at
http://www.halifax.ca/election/signage.php.
Please note that signs posing a safety hazard will be removed immediately at the cost of the candidate.
Questions or complaints about Election Signs on HRM Property can be directed to 311."

The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (TIR) permits placement of signs near provincial highways but there are strict regulations as to how and where signs may be erected. Election signs are not permitted within 1000 metres of the centre line of a controlled access highway, or within 60 metres of the end of ramps or controlled access connectors onto connector/non-controlled access highways and must not cause an obstruction or hazard.

In addition, the Elections Act states that no landlord may prohibit a tenant or owner in a multiple-unit residence or a condominium residence to post election signs within their own premises. The size and type of poster may be subject to reasonable conditions by the landlord or condominium corporation.

It is important to note that while reporting signage is crucial to enforcement and safety, Returning Officers do not have the authority to remove signs on private property. They may contact the candidate or their official agent to notify them about the sign, but Elections Nova Scotia does not remove signs.

Advertising for or against political parties or candidates during this election?
Know the rules!

Registered political parties and candidates should already be quite familiar with the rules around election advertising, and we will review some of that here. But, other individuals, groups, or organizations paying for election advertising must register with Elections Nova Scotia as a ‘Third Party’ within seven days of incurring election advertising expenses of $500 or more.

Third Parties have spending limits ($2,188.75) in an electoral district and no more than $10,943.77) in total on election advertising during the general election.

All election-related ads must also indicate who has sponsored the ad. Election advertising by candidates and parties must bear the words “authorized by the official agent for [name of candidate or registered party]”.  A third party shall identify itself in any election advertising placed by it and indicate that it has authorized the advertising.  

Beware, that knowingly spreading false statements about a candidate’s character or conduct during an election is an offence under the Elections Act

More details about election advertising including a few specific rules on election day, are included in an interpretation circular in our circulars section of the electionsnovascotia.ca website.

Return to electionsnovascotia.ca for daily updates during the election period. You may also follow us on Twitter @electionsns and facebook.com/electionsnovascotia

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