As a result of Canada’s new stringent transparency laws, Google Canada will ban all political ads on its AdEx platform during Canada’s 2019 federal election. 

The “Elections Act,“ enacted in late 2018, requires online platforms to maintain a registry of political and “partisan“ ads that the platforms publish, whether directly or indirectly.  Google’s AdEx platform is entirely automated and, as a result, it appears there is currently no capability to create such a registry. 

In addition to technological hurdles, Google is faced with determining what qualifies as a “partisan” ad. With little time before the next Canadian federal election, Google has determined it would be too much work to comply with the Elections Act registry requirements.