Municipal Election - November 7, 2021

Partisan advertising and election signage

Extract from the Act respecting elections and referendums in municipalities


283. No person may, on the premises of a polling station, use a sign to indicate his political affiliation or support for or opposition to a party, ticket or candidate or ideas promoted or opposed by the latter, or engage in any other form of partisan publicity.
If the party, ticket or candidate promoted by prohibited partisan publicity refuses to stop or remove the publicity after being requested to do so, the returning officer may have it stopped or removed at the expense of the party, ticket or candidate.
The building in which the polling station is located and any neighbouring place where the sign or partisan publicity may be seen or heard by the electors are deemed to be the premises of the polling station.


285.1. Notwithstanding any inconsistent legislative or regulatory provision, election posters and billboards shall not be subject, during an election period, to any restriction or condition except as provided by this Act.
For the purposes of this section, the expression “election period” has the meaning assigned by section 364.


285.2. Election posters and billboards may be placed on any property, other than buildings, of the municipality, the Government, public bodies, state enterprises, school service centres and school boards situated in the territory of the municipality.
Election posters may also be placed on public utility poles.


285.3. Election posters and billboards must be placed so as not to hinder vehicular or pedestrian traffic, interfere visually with road signs or compromise road safety or public security.


285.4. No election poster or billboard may be placed on a classified heritage immovable or on a classified heritage site within the meaning of the Cultural Heritage Act (chapter P-9.002) or in an area declared a national heritage site under that Act.


285.5. No election poster or billboard may be placed on a monument, sculpture, tree, fire hydrant, bridge, viaduct or electrical tower.
No election poster or billboard may be placed on a bus shelter or on a public bench, unless space is provided for that purpose, in which case the applicable rules must be complied with.
No election poster or billboard may be placed on the right of way of a public road that is contiguous to a residential immovable.


285.6. Posters and billboards and their supports must be made of good quality materials and must be safe and kept in good repair.
Posters and billboards must be affixed in such a manner that they can be easily removed.


285.7. Election posters placed on public utility poles must meet the following conditions :

  1. the highest part of the poster must not be more than five metres above ground ;
  2. the poster must not have any metal or wood frame ;
  3. the poster must not be affixed with nails or metal fasteners or with any support that could cause damage to or leave permanent marks on the pole ;
  4. the poster must not obstruct any identification plate on the pole.

Moreover, no election banner, streamer or flag may be affixed to a public utility pole.
Workers who maintain public utility poles may, if they consider it necessary for the purposes of the work to be done, remove any election poster from a pole. Except in an emergency, they shall first notify, as the case may be, the candidate or the authorized party concerned or the private intervenor referred to in Division VIII.1 of Chapter XIII responsible for the poster.


285.8. All election posters and billboards must be removed not later than 15 days after the date fixed for the polling, failing which they may be removed by the municipality or by the owner of the property or poles at the expense of, as the case may be, the party or candidate concerned or the private intervenor responsible for them, following the expiry of a five-day notice to that effect transmitted to the party, candidate or private intervenor.
The notice shall indicate the places where posters or billboards are to be removed. If posters or billboards had to be removed by the municipality or by the owner at the expense of the party, candidate or private intervenor, the bill shall indicate the place and date of removal.


285.9. The party, candidate or private intervenor, as the case may be, shall ensure that the provisions of this chapter are complied with.



636.1. The following persons are guilty of an offence:

  1. every person who erects an election or referendum poster or billboard in contravention of any of the provisions of sections 285.2 to 285.5 or without complying with the conditions set out in the first paragraph of section 285.7 ;
  2. every person who places an election or referendum banner, streamer or flag on a public utility pole.

Under section 430 of the Criminal Code, vandalism of an election sign is considered as a mischief.

430 (1) Every one commits mischief who wilfully

(a) destroys or damages property;
(b) renders property dangerous, useless, inoperative or ineffective;
(c) obstructs, interrupts or interferes with the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property; or
(d) obstructs, interrupts or interferes with any person in the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property.