Media Bulletin - Important Reminders for Media on Election Day

TORONTO, Sept. 15 /CNW/ - Elections Ontario would like to remind members of the media of important provisions and regulations for the September 17 by-election in the Electoral District of St. Paul's.

    
    1. Advertising Blackout

    Ontario law imposes blackout periods on political advertising at
    different times during a by-election period. For the September 17 by-
    election in the Electoral District of St. Paul's, there was a blackout on
    political advertising from August 19 to August 25, 2009. There will also
    be a blackout on political advertising on the day before Election Day,
    September 16, 2009 and on Election Day, September 17, 2009.

    During this time, no party, constituency association or candidate, third
    party and no person, corporation or trade union, whether acting with or
    without the party's, association's or candidate's consent, shall arrange
    for or consent to political advertising that appears during the blackout
    period.

    In addition, no broadcaster or publisher shall allow political
    advertising to appear during the blackout period. This ban applies to all
    media, including the Internet.

    It should be noted that the blackout period does not apply to genuine
    news reporting.

    2. Limits for still and video photography

    Media are also reminded that filming is not permitted in a provincial
    polling place. Media must film from outside the voting location and not
    from the doorway of the polling place.

    An exception has been allowed by the Chief Electoral Officer for media
    who wish to obtain still or video photography of a candidate casting
    their ballot. Candidates must make prior arrangements with the local
    returning officer for written consent to be provided for admission to a
    polling place. Still/video cameras are not permitted in the polling place
    without advance permission.

    Any media admitted to the polling place for the above purpose must be
    aware that they are not to approach, film or photograph any other voters,
    even if the voters give their consent.

    3. Close of polls and election night results

    News media representatives may be in attendance at the St. Paul's
    returning office at the close of polls. Media are advised to make
    arrangements with the returning officer in advance.

    Live election results will be available on the Elections Ontario website
    www.elections.on.ca. The website will detail the number of votes cast for
    each candidate and the number of polling places reporting. Live results
    on polling night are unofficial.

    Elections Ontario is the non-partisan agency responsible for administering
provincial elections, by-elections and referenda.

    Disponible en français


    Quick Reference Guide
    Political Advertising
    August 2009
    

Important information for all advertising departments

ADVERTISING RULES

Electors in the Electoral District of St. Paul's will be voting in a provincial by-election scheduled for September 17, 2009.

Advertising outlets in broadcast, publishing and other mediums must meet certain legal obligations when conducting business. The Election Finances Act also has rules governing advertising by or on behalf of candidates, constituency associations, political parties and third parties during elections.

More detail is provided in Guideline G23 (found in the media section on www.elections.on.ca).

Below is a summary of the most important points for political advertising.

BY-ELECTION BLACKOUT PERIODS

For the September 17 by-election in the Electoral District of St. Paul's there will be a blackout on political advertising from August 19 to August 25, 2009 and on the day before Election Day, September 16, 2009 and on Election Day, September 17, 2009.

The prohibition against the publication of political advertisements does not apply to:

    
    -  genuine news reporting
    -  the publication of advertising, on polling day or the day before
       polling day, in a newspaper that is published once a week or less
       often and whose regular day of publication falls on that day
    -  an advertisement on the Internet or in a similar electronic medium, if
       posted before and not altered during a blackout period
    -  an advertisement in the form of a poster or billboard, if posted
       before and not altered during a blackout period

    A blackout period restriction does not apply to:

    -  advertising of public meetings in constituencies
    -  announcing the location of candidate or constituency offices
    -  advertising for volunteer campaign workers
    -  announcing services for electors by candidates or constituency
       associations respecting revision of lists of electors
    -  announcing services for electors on polling day
    -  any other matter respecting administrative functions of constituency
       associations
    

The above is based on the provision that such advertisements, announcements and other matters are done in accordance with the guidelines of the Chief Electoral Officer found on www.elections.on.ca.

LIMITS ON RATES TO BE CHARGED

During a campaign, no person or corporation shall charge a registered party, constituency association, candidate or third party or any person, corporation or trade union acting with the party's, association's, candidate's, or third party's consent, a rate for making political advertising available in any broadcast, print, electronic or other medium that exceeds the lowest rate the person or corporation charges anyone else for the same amount of equivalent advertising space or time during that period.

AUTHORIZATION OF POLITICAL ADVERTISING

All political printed advertising, handbills, placards, posters and broadcast or telecast advertisements shall bear or make reference to the name of the registered party, constituency association, third party, or person, corporation or trade union authorizing the political advertising. This includes:

    
    1. The name of the person, corporation, trade union, registered party,
       registered constituency association, registered third party that is
       causing the political advertisement to appear.
    2. The name, business address and telephone number of the individual who
       deals with the broadcaster or publisher on behalf of the person or
       entity mentioned in paragraph 1.
    3. The name of any other person, corporation, trade union, registered
       party, constituency association or third party that is sponsoring or
       paying for the political advertisement.

    The broadcaster or publisher of a political advertisement shall maintain
records for a period of two years after the date the political advertisement
appeared and shall permit the public to inspect the records during normal
office hours.

    A record maintained shall contain the following:

    -  the information required in paragraphs 1., 2. and 3. (above)
    -  a copy of the political advertisement, or the means of reproducing it
       for inspection
    -  a statement of the charge made for its appearance

    A political advertisement in any medium shall name:
    -  the person, corporation, trade union, registered party, constituency
       association or third party that is causing it to appear; and
    -  any other person, corporation, trade union, registered party,
       constituency association or third party that is sponsoring or paying
       for it.
    

SOURCE Elections Ontario

For further information: For further information: Elections Ontario Media Relations: (416) 212-6186, 1-866-252-2152, media@elections.on.ca; Election Finances Division, Elections Ontario, Telephone: (416) 325-9401, Toll Free: 1-866-566-9066, www.elections.on.ca


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