City of Toronto rules and information for Third Party Advertisers.

Election signs and campaign office signs are subject to rules under the City’s Election Sign By-law and the Municipal Elections Act, 1996.

For information about when, where and how signs may be displayed, visit the Municipal Licencing and Standards web page Election Signs and the quick reference guide on Election Sign Placement.

For candidate who have questions relating to election signs:

For election sign complaints, call 311.

MyCampaign:

MyCampaign is a secure web portal for candidates and registered third party advertisers that provides information and other tools relating to their campaign.

For registered third party advertisers:

MyCampaign allows registered third party advertisers to:

  • Access the expense limits (preliminary and final)
  • Access the Electronic Financial Filing System (EFFS)
    • Allows you to enter and track contributions, produce contribution receipts, expenses, fund-raising events and produces the complete financial statement
  • View the Notice of Registration paper
  • Submit contact information that gets posted on the City’s website
  • Create and manage accounts for campaign staff
  • Upload their signature for receipt purposes
  • View resources that will assist with their campaign (e.g., notice to banks, candidates’ guide, forms)

EFFS – Electronic Financial Filing System

EFFS is a free online application that is available to all candidates and registered third party advertisers that allows them to:

  • track and calculate all contributions and expenses
  • print receipts
  • import a scanned signature for receipt purposes
  • create an electronic file of receipts and the ability to email directly to contributors
  • link one contributor to multiple contributions
  • be notified of any contributions that exceed the allowable limit
  • input information about fund-raising functions and activities
  • display contribution information (amount of contributions, list of contributors who contributed over $100) on the financial statement
  • produce the financial statement on the prescribed form
  • submit contributions details electronically with the financial statement
  • set up accounts for campaign staff and monitor the activity of those accounts

After the financial filing deadline, the financial statement and list of contributors who contributed over $100 will be posted on the City’s website. Candidates and registered third party advertisers should notify their contributors that their name, address, amount of contribution and who they contributed to will appear on the website. All financial information is available at http://app.toronto.ca/EFD/main.do.

Candidates for mayor or councillor who plan to participate in the City’s contribution rebate program are strongly encouraged to use EFFS.

Please note: EFFS enables candidates and registered third party advertisers to input information about contributions and contributors for the purpose of filing a financial statement. Until such information is submitted to the City Clerk, it is the responsibility of the candidate or registered third party advertiser to protect the confidentiality of the contributors’ personal information.

How to access EFFS

Candidates and registered third party advertisers can access EFFS through MyCampaign.

Manual

An EFFS manual is available with step-by-step instructions on entering contributions, expenses, fundraisers and producing the financial statement.

Troubleshooting

If registered third party advertisers or their designates are experiencing technical difficulties they can call 416-338-5998 during regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) or email thirdpartyinfo@toronto.ca.

It is the responsibility of the registered third party advertiser to protect any personal information collected for the purpose of filing election forms (eg. Financial Statement), until such time the forms are filed with the City Clerk.

Once filed, documents and materials submitted to the City Clerk are subject to access and privacy provisions of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 and other applicable legislation.

Compliance Audit Information for Candidates and Registered Third Party Advertisers

If a candidate or registered third party advertiser is involved in a compliance audit, they may have the option to have their campaign surplus returned to them and/or to reopen their campaign so that they can raise money to cover expenses related to the audit. See the sections below for further details:

Return of Surplus:

If the candidate or registered third party advertiser has handed over a surplus when they filed their financial statement and has become involved in a compliance audit, they can request the surplus be returned to them.

This request must be made in writing to candidateinfo@toronto.ca. Election Services will return the surplus, with interest, to them via cheque (to be mailed or picked up).

Reopening a Campaign:

The ability for a candidate or registered third party advertiser to reopen their campaign in order to raise money to pay for expenses relating to the compliance audit depends on when these expenses are being incurred.

1. On or before July 2, 2019

If a candidate or registered third party advertiser incurs expenses relating to a compliance audit after their campaign period has ended but still during the supplementary campaign period, they can choose to notify the City Clerk to reopen their campaign period.

This request must be made to candidateinfo@toronto.ca in writing, at which point the following will apply to the candidate or registered third party advertiser:

  • Their surplus, if they had one, is returned with interest.
  • Their campaign period reopens to allow them to accept contributions to pay for expenses relating to the compliance audit.
  • The reopened campaign period ends on July 2.

Additional reporting requirements:

Candidates and registered third party advertisers who reopen their campaign to accept contributions will be required to submit a supplementary financial statement by 2 p.m. on September 27, 2019.

If the candidate is participating in the Contribution Rebate Program, their supplementary financial statement will also need to be accompanied by:

  • An auditor’s report from a licensed auditor under the Public Accounting Act, 2004;
  • Copies of invoices for all expenses incurred after December 31, 2018; and
  • Payment to the City Clerk for any surplus remaining at the end of the reopened campaign period (if applicable).

2. After July 2, 2019

If a candidate or registered third party advertiser incurs expenses relating to a compliance audit after the supplementary campaign period has ended, it is no longer possible to reopen the campaign period.

In this scenario, the following applies to the candidate or registered third party advertiser:

  • They cannot accept any further contributions.
  • Their surplus, if they had one, is returned with interest once a request is made to candidateinfo@toronto.ca in writing. Their surplus can be mailed or picked up.
  • They can only incur expenses relating to the compliance audit.

Additional reporting requirements:

If the candidate or registered third party advertiser did not have a surplus returned to them, there are no additional reporting requirements.

If the candidate or registered third party advertiser had a surplus returned to them, they are responsible for providing additional financial statement(s). Candidates and registered third party advertisers must submit the Financial Statement – Subsequent Expenses – Form 5 every 90 days until either:

  • The surplus is spent; or
  • They are no longer incurring any expenses related to the compliance audit.

At that time, they are responsible for filing a final financial statement by 2 p.m. on the tenth day after the end of their last 90-day reporting period.

Any surplus remaining at the time of filing must be returned to the City Clerk.