Elections Nova Scotia

Advisory - Election Signs and Third Party Advertising

Release date: 
April 21, 2017

For Immediate Release
April 21, 2017

Advisory - Election Signs and Third Party Advertising

Elections Nova Scotia is receiving an increasing number of enquiries about election-related roadside signs, and other forms of advertising, even though an election has not been called.

Before an election call
ENS is advising the public that the Elections Act does not restrict these activities prior to the writ period. Candidates may campaign through door-to-door or public events anytime, and signs may be erected, provided they meet municipal bylaws or provincial transportation 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.

During an election
Once a writ is issued, the Elections Act requires an authorization statement on all signs and advertising, including print, broadcast and online. The statement must be legible and state, “Authorized by the Official Agent for (name of candidate, registered party, individual, organization).” Signs must also be placed at least 60 metres away from any location where voting is taking place.

Third Parties must be registered during the election
According to the Elections Act, a third party is an individual or group that is not a candidate, registered political party, or registered electoral district association. A third party election advertisement is a message that promotes or opposes a registered political party, the election of a certain candidate, or, a candidate's position on an issue within the election period, i.e., from the day the writ of election is issued through election day.

A third party advertisement can be for radio, television, newspaper, the internet or any other type of media. Campaign buttons, clothing, or other items that identify the users as supporters or opponents of any recognized party, candidate or associated issue can also be types of third party advertising.

Once a third party spends $500 or more on election advertising, they are required by the Elections Act to register with Elections Nova Scotia within seven days. Once the writ is issued, third party advertising rules require that the third party identifies itself and it has authorized the advertising. There are limits to how much money can be spent by third parties during the election. Advertising that promotes or opposes the election of one or more candidates in an electoral district must not exceed $2,188.75, and in total, a third party can spend up to $10,943.77 on advertising during a general election.

Please check our website or contact Elections Nova Scotia for further information regarding third party advertising.

Elections Nova Scotia is a non-partisan and independent agency responsible for conducting provincial elections. For more information, please go to electionsnovascotia.ca, call 800-565-1504, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter @electionsns.

Media Contact:        
Andy LeBlanc, Director, Policy & Communications, 902-424-3275, Andy.LeBlanc@novascotia.ca

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