Disclosure rules on way for local elections

Tougher financial disclosure rules are to take effect in time for November elections, but spending limits will come later

Community Minister Coralee Oakes and UBCM president Rhona Martin announce changes to local government elections to be held in November.

VICTORIA – Candidates for municipal and school board elections will have to register with Elections BC and report donations of $50 or more when they run in province-wide elections this November.

Legislation tabled by the B.C. government Wednesday will extend the term of office to four years as well as tightening rules for campaign financing and advertising. Third-party advertisers will also have to register before promoting candidates, and financial disclosures will have to be filed with Elections BC within 90 days of the vote.

Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister Coralee Oakes said the new rules have been developed in consultation with the Union of B.C. Municipalities, and that discussion determined that an outright ban on anonymous donations is too strict. The disclosure rule will also apply to third-party advertisers, who will have to report sources of donations more than $50 and identify themselves in advertising.

Campaign spending limits won’t be imposed until after the elections scheduled for Nov. 15, 2014. Oakes said that measure is complex because the variety of local governments in B.C. is the widest in Canada, including large and small communities, regional districts, school boards, park boards and the Islands Trust that governs the Gulf Islands.

The legislation also moves the date of local elections from November to October, but that won’t take effect until 2018.

UBCM president Rhona Martin, a director of the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, said the move to four-year terms is not a “perfect solution,” but it was supported by a majority of delegates at last year’s convention. In previous votes, some small community representatives said even three-year terms may be too long for a time-consuming commitment with little pay.

The change in reporting rules creates a large task of compliance and enforcement for Elections BC. Oakes said the Elections BC will present its proposed costs to the legislature committee that determines budgets for all independent officers, including the Auditor General.

Just Posted

Woman killed in head-on crash near Vanderhoof

RCMP say driver crossed the centre line and hit a loaded fuel tanker truck

African Children’s Choir making a difference in the world

Waroto Children’s Choir celebrate Christ and caring for community on six month world tour

Snowpack at normal levels, but El Niño is lurking

Despite a warmer than usual winter that has produced a dearth of… Continue reading

Letter: New party with a strong platform could form majority government in B.C.

Voters fed up with BC’s political parties open the door for a new party to enter BC politics

‘Tripod’ delays access to Unist’ot’en camp

Social media rumours of cultural significance quashed, meaning police “exclusion zones” should end.

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Company issues lifetime ban after man jumps from cruise ship

Nick Naydev posted the video last week showing him standing on the balcony of the Symphony of the Seas

Parents in this B.C. city can no longer opt kids out of class for personal beliefs

Change comes as part of ‘big overhaul’ of school district’s learning resources policy approved by board

BC Hydro scammers bilked customers out of nearly $45,000 in 2018

Nearly 2,000 people reported scams to the utility, as they continue to be more common

Good news: Peak flu season over in B.C.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control says that while peak season is over, rates remain high this time of year

High court ruling allows long-term expats to vote in byelections across Canada

Supreme Court decision enfranchised an estimated one million or more Canadian expats to be able to vote

B.C. university students dumpster dive to shed light on food waste

Eating only from dumpsters, the students hope to raise money for food banks in Northern Canada

B.C. woman posts to Facebook after she and nephew reported missing for days

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

Unruly passenger forces B.C.-bound flight to divert to Calgary

Police say charges are pending against a woman in her 40s

Most Read