The Edmonton Journal reported yesterday that the Alberta Federation of Labour intends to take down its Better Way Alberta campaign website once the next Alberta provincial election campaign begins. [UPDATE – the Alberta election was called today and will be held on May 5th]
The AFL inquired with Elections Alberta whether the videos posted on the Better Way Alberta website and on Youtube would be subject to the Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act (Alberta) (the “EFCDA“). If so, the AFL would have to register as a third party, or take down the videos during the Alberta election campaign.
I asked the AFL how Elections Alberta responded, and they forwarded me the email that Elections Alberta sent them. The email confirmed that if the “allocated cost” of the videos was greater than $1000, then the AFL would have to register or remove the videos. The allocated cost was calculated by dividing the total number of days that the advertising was posted by the number of days in the election campaign, then multiplying that by the cost of the election advertising.
Despite having spent the money to prepare the videos before the election campaign, the EFCDA will still apply to the videos in this case if the advertising is posted throughout the entire election campaign.
This serves as an important reminder for third parties that if there is political advertising on their websites during the election campaign in Alberta, they should ensure that the EFCDA does not apply to them, or register with Elections Alberta if it does.