Members may use the constituency office allowance for communications with constituents which could be in the form of a newsletter, inserts in special event programs, household flyers, print or online communications, social media, radio, signage, bus shelter advertisements, or television advertisements. The content of these advertisements and messages is restricted to outlining constituency office activities, constituency office contact information, and the role played by the Member in the legislative process. Advertisements may also announce special events or send greetings from the Member.
Members cannot print, mail, publish, or distribute, at the expense of the Legislative Assembly, any material seeking financial support or containing any identification or information of a partisan, political nature.
For the purposes of the Guide, “partisan activities” means:
- The solicitation of money or votes to be given to a candidate or political party;
- The solicitation of memberships to be purchased for a political party;
- The distribution or display of materials that include references to or use of political party logos, websites, or publications;
- Activities that relate to the internal administration, organization, conventions, meetings, or communications of a political party or constituency association; or
- Activities that relate to a leadership contest or nomination contest for a political party.
For greater certainty, a Member’s advocacy or policy statement or opinion, or provision of information about a program or service, is not considered to be a partisan activity if it relates to either of the following:
- Activities related to the proceedings of the Legislative Assembly or its committees;
- Activities undertaken in representing the Member’s constituency or constituents.
All constituency office communications must:
- Contain contact information for the constituency office.
- Be objective, factual, and explanatory.
- Be free from political party slogans, images, names, and identifiers.
- Not use the primary colour associated with a party in a dominant way unless an item is commonly depicted in that colour or unless the colour is commonly associated with the theme that is the subject of the communication.
It is the responsibility of each Member and their staff to ensure that communications paid for using constituency office funds are in accordance with this Guide.
The role of Financial Services is not to review and approve constituency office communications. However, Financial Services may provide interpretive guidance, if requested by a Member or a Constituency Assistant, on the content of proposed constituency communications.
If a Member contracts for a service to facilitate communication, the Member shall, where reasonably possible, contract with a person who is licensed and insured to carry out that service.
Members are personally liable for the cost of any communications that are determined to be ineligible under this Guide by the Subcommittee on Administration and Operations of the Legislative Assembly Management Committee.
Members may utilize the Assembly’s visual identity in their communications. Alternatively, the provincial Coat of Arms may be used.
The following table provides some examples of eligible uses of constituency office funds:
|Greetings from the Members, both individually and collectively as part of a group, such as statements to constituents during holiday times (Christmas, the Lunar New Year, Hanukkah, etc.), and support of local community events.|
|Announcing an event such as a town hall meeting, a constituency office open house, a constituency picnic, or a seminar or forum on a constituency topic.|
|Requesting feedback from constituents on any specific topics or issues.|
|An update report from the Member in regard to their work on various initiatives within the constituency.|
|An update report from the Member in regard to their work in the legislative process.|
|Sponsoring an event organization in exchange for some form of advertising received, such as an advertisement in an event program.|
|Advertising (i.e., the Member’s name and contact information) in a sports or community organization’s published material or on-line site.|
The following table provides some examples of ineligible uses of constituency office funds:
|Advertising/communications using party colours, names, logos, slogans, images, names, or other identifiers.|
|Politically partisan advertising or communications. Communications should not be used to promote a particular position or influence public opinion on a matter before the House.|
|Content that disparages any party or Member.|
|Boosted social media links to partisan content and/or social media handles/links to social media party affiliations.|
|Links to partisan webpages, including but not limited to party webpages.|
|Advertising which solicits funds or promotes Constituency Associations.|
|Conducting or commissioning of surveys about voting intentions.|
|Exclusionary advertisements (i.e., only specific individuals are invited to an event).|
|Sponsoring communications for another organization in which no advertising is received.|
|Soliciting contributions or donations in any form and for any organization, group or individual.|
|Providing financial assistance to organizations, groups or causes or their internet sites (i.e., golf tournaments, concerts, festivals, charitable activities, sports teams, etc.).|
|Content that promotes the personal interests of the Member (for example, their business).|
Members are not permitted to communicate/advertise using constituency office funds effective the day the writs of election are issued. Any previously paid for communications must be completely through the system and no longer airing before the writ is issued. Any advertisements that have been pre-booked must be withdrawn even if they have been paid prior to the issuance of the writ. Additional election period communications guidance is available in the Transition Guide.