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Recent amendments to the Local Authorities Election Act (LAEA) include rules governing the finances and accountability of third parties that intend to engage in election advertising.  The section to refer to in the LAEA is Part 8: Third Party Advertisers.

Election Advertising Period:

Election advertising is the transmission to the public by any means during an election period (May 1 to October 18, 2021) of any election advertising that includes:

  • promote or oppose the election of a candidate
  • canvassing for the benefit of a candidate; and
  • organizing events where the primary purpose of the event is to promote or oppose a candidate.

Registration of Third-Party Advertisers:

Third Party Advertisers must register with the Town of Bonnyville Returning Officer if they:

  • collect or plan to collect $1,000 in contributions (maximum of $30,000), or
  • spend or plan to spend $1,000 on expenses (no limitations).

Third Party Advertisers can engage in election advertising if they:

  • are approved by the Local Jurisdiction, or
  • do not exceed the $1,000 threshold.

Third Party Election Advertising Offences:

Under Section 187 of the LAEA, a Third Party that contravenes a provision of this Part is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding:

  • $10,000 if the third party is an individual;
  • $100,000 if the third party is a trade union, employee organization, corporate or other organization.

Any allegations or complaints can be referred to the Elections Commissioner’s Office at 310-000 then dial (780)644-1250.

Records:

A registered third party shall retain all of the records of that registered third party for a period of 3 years following the date on which the financials statements, returns or reports required under the LAEA for the period to which the records relate are required to be filed.

Collusion Reference in the LAEA:

Alberta Municipal Affairs and Elections Alberta want to ensure candidates and third-party advertisers are aware of Section 166(2) of the LAEA which states:

Section 166(2):  A candidate shall not collude with a third party to circumvent, or attempt to circumvent, a contribution limit or an expense limit set out in Part 5.1 or an expense limit set out in this Part.

Note:  The information on this page is provided for reference only.  Additionally, third party advertisers are subject to further requirements in the LAEA.  Third party advertisers are advised to refer to the LAEA and obtain legal advice regarding the full extent of their obligations.

Complaints about third party advertisers can be directed to the Alberta Election Commissioner office at 310-0000 then dial 780-644-1250.

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