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Money in Politics Campaign

Summary of Court Case on

Limits on Third Party Advertising During Elections

Set out below are documents relating to the federal third party election ad-spending limits, and the court case challenging the limits that Democracy Watch intervened in, as part of it's Money in Politics Campaign

Beginning in 1999, Democracy Watch campaigned to add constitutional limits under the federal Canada Elections Act to the amount non-political parties (so-called "third parties") could spend on paid advertising during election campaign periods.  In 2000, the Act was changed to set limits of no more than $150,000 nationally (and $3,000 in each riding) during federal elections (the limits increase each year on April 1st based on the inflation rate, and as of April 1, 2008 were $183,300 nationally and $3,666 in each riding). 

As past limits had been, the new limits were challenged in court, and Democracy Watch intervened in favour of the paid advertising spending limits when the case was reviewed by the Alberta Court of Appeal (in 2002) and then the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC - in 2004).

Democracy Watch has continued to defend the limits in public debates since the May 2004 SCC ruling upholding the limits, as follows:
(in reverse chronological order)

Page last updated March 30, 2009