Policy 1.3.10: Political Advertising

Effective: May 5, 2005
Responsibility: Vice-President, Legal Services, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary


The CBC/Radio-Canada considers it a part of its mandate as a public broadcaster to support the democratic process during general elections. The objectives of this policy are: i) to allow qualified political parties participating in a general election to present their views directly to the voters whose support they are seeking; ii) to ensure the equitable allocation of commercial time among qualified parties; iii) to satisfy the requirements of applicable laws and regulations; iv) to ensure consistent management of political advertising.

The CBC/Radio-Canada accepts political advertising messages on its main television services during federal, provincial and territorial general election periods. On its other television services and on radio, the CBC/Radio-Canada accepts political advertising only as required by the Canada Elections Act and in accordance with the allocation made by the federal Broadcasting Arbitrator.

In federal elections, qualified political parties are those that have been registered by the Chief Electoral Officer and new parties that have had their application for registration accepted by the Chief Electoral Officer. In provincial and territorial elections, qualified political parties are those that are duly registered with the provincial or territorial Chief Electoral Officer and participate in the election by fielding candidates.

The CBC/Radio-Canada does not accept political advertising from groups other than qualified political parties or from individuals. The CBC/Radio-Canada does not accept program sponsorship, closed-captioning sponsorship, or product placement of a partisan political character.

Political advertising is sold in such a way as to ensure equitable allocation of time among qualified parties in accordance with CRTC regulations. It is scheduled in such a way as to ensure the integrity of programs and their environment. The CBC/Radio-Canada will not broadcast election advertisements that may imply, or give the appearance of, an endorsement on the part of the CBC/Radio-Canada or raise doubts as to its neutrality.

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