VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — A flyer from a People’s Party of Canada candidate that confused some North Vancouver voters is not intentionally misleading, according to Elections Canada.
A flyer distributed in support of Azmaimin Jadavji shared some stylistic similarities with materials put out by Elections Canada, but it followed all of the rules the Elections Act.
“There needs to be an intent to mislead. The information is accurate and the source of the advertising is identified as a candidate,” says a spokesperson in an email.
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The agency explains there are only two things that are explicitly prohibited in campaign materials.
First, it is illegal to impersonate a candidate or the Chief Electoral Officer. This flyer does not do that because it doesn’t include the Elections Canada logo, nor does it claim the information is coming from Elections Canada. It does list contact information for the agency, and information about where and when to vote–but that’s allowed. Second, paid advertising must have a tagline indicating which candidate has authorized the material.
“Other than the tagline and the prohibition on falsely misrepresenting yourself, the Act does not regulate the content of election advertising. It is not an offence under the Act to share publicly available information about voting from Elections Canada (as this flyer is doing),” says a spokesperson.
If, for example, the flyer included misinformation about where, when or how to vote, the agency would also get involved.
Elections Canada encourages anyone who may be confused about whether the literature they receive is from the agency to visit their website, where they post all of their official materials.