Digital landscape changing the rules
GATINEAU, QC–Elections Canada is issuing guidance regarding political ads during pre-election and election periods.
The goal of this new document is to help online platforms and advertisers comply with transparency requirements in accordance with recent changes to the Canada Elections Act (the Act) that will come into force in June. The guidance was developed in consultation with the Commissioner of Canada Elections.
“We’re outlining for digital platforms—and advertisers—their new requirements under the Act, which include a greater degree of transparency”, says Chief Electoral Officer Stéphane Perrault.
The Act will require that any website or application that meets legislated numbers of monthly visits and where partisan or election ads are displayed during the regulated pre-election period and election campaign to create a registry of those ads.
Each registry entry will have to include
> an electronic copy of the ad displayed on the platform
> the name of the person who authorized the ad
Political entities, including third parties, also have new obligations under the law. They must provide platforms with the information necessary to maintain a registry.
Elections Canada has been in contact with online platforms and will continue to engage with them where appropriate.
“The digital landscape is constantly evolving, and it will be important for the law to keep pace with change. We have to stay on top of emerging issues and learn from what happens in other jurisdictions around the world. We will assess what happens during the election, and if we see areas where the Act could be improved, we will make recommendations in our post-election report to Parliament,” Mr. Perrault says.