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Public Notice Resources

Government has a duty to inform Canadians about its programs, services, policies and decisions.  Open and transparent communication from government to Canadians is vital and the proper dissemination of public notices assures that the public is informed about important changes that will impact their lives.

If public notices were available only online, residents would be responsible for searching the web to find out information that could affect their communities. How will residents know when and where to look for things like:

  • Street closures
  • Land use/zoning bylaw changes
  • Preparation of assessment rolls
  • Buying and selling of public lands
  • Notice to expropriate land for public use
  • Public hearings
  • Elections/By Elections/Abandonment of poll
  • Bids/Tenders/Request for proposals
  • Employment opportunities
  • Proclamations
  • Annexation intentions
  • Changes to fees and charges
  • Approval of the municipal budget
  • Council remuneration

Canadians have a right to be properly notified of actions and activities that will affect their daily lives.  Public notices in newspapers preserve and protect this legal requirement.

There are two components to public notices:

  1. Informing the public of the notice, and
  2. Providing access to the information pertaining to that notice.

Advertising is one of many ways the Government ensures that individuals, families and businesses have the information they need to exercise their rights and responsibilities and to make decisions about their health, safety and security.

“Public access” does not mean “public notice”

Publishing public notices in newspapers is vital to the democratic process of a community.  In most cases the newspaper is also the only printed record of history for a community.  Once printed, it cannot be altered, erased or hidden.  It is critical to keep public notices in the public record with newspapers.  If not, the door is open to misuse of office, government corruption and less accountability.

Making information accessible online does not mean the public has been informed.  Online public notices can only be effective if the public knows where to look and is willing to take time out of their day to go searching for them.

More than 8 out of 10 Canadians read their local newspaper, so when a public notice is published in printed newspapers the likelihood is far greater that it will get noticed by its target audience.  And two thirds of Canadians feel that the most appropriate medium for communicating government programs and services is newspapers.

Canadians want government advertising in newspapers 2018

Fact Sheets and Presentations

Latest News about Public Notices

Webinars about Public Notices

Best Practices for Public Notice
(Online Media Campus – Recorded March 2, 2017)

For more information, please contact Kelly Levson, Director of Marketing and Research, at klevson@newsmediacanada.ca.