When Should I Complain?

Use of MP Office Signs

The manual on Members' Allowances and Services, issued by the Board of Internal Economy of the House of Commons contains direction on the consequences of dissolution of Parliament. The manual explains that while offices may remain open to provide services to constituents during the election period, they may not be used for election-related purposes. Signs that have served to provide constituents with the location of these offices – and that continue to be displayed during the election period – are permitted.

If signs that have served to provide notice of the location of the constituency office are used for campaign purposes, they are "election advertising" and are be subject to financial reporting requirements under the Act. Expenses associated with election advertising, such as campaign signs, flyers (householders) or other promotional materials, must be included as part of a candidates electoral campaign return and submitted within four months after polling day. The Chief Electoral Officer publishes these returns on the Elections Canada Web site at www.elections.ca. Failure to report, or properly report, election expenses can lead to enforcement action.

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