Denied Cowichan candidate feels cheated out of his right to run in election

Denied Cowichan candidate feels cheated out of his right to run in election

John McDonald’s candidacy turned down due to lack of auditor

John McDonald feels cheated out of his right to run as a candidate in the provincial election, scheduled for Oct. 24.

McDonald said he started campaigning as an independent candidate in the Cowichan Valley riding months before the election was called in September, but Elections BC denied his application when he recently went to file it before the deadline on Oct. 2.

He said a clause in the BC Elections Act states that all candidates in provincial elections are required to appoint an auditor, even if the candidates don’t intend to spend nearly as much on their campaigns as those running for established parties with deeper pockets.

RELATED STORY: LESS THAN HALF OF B.C. VOTERS DECIDED JUST WEEKS AWAY FROM SNAP ELECTION: POLL

According to the legislation, an audit of candidates is required after the election if the value of political contributions or election expenses reported is $10,000 or more.

Audits are not required for those who spend less than $10,000, unless requested by the Chief Electoral Officer, but all are required to appoint an auditor on their applications regardless.

“I intended to run as an independent candidate and I wasn’t planning to take money from anyone,” said McDonald, who unsuccessfully ran for a seat on the Cowichan Valley school district’s board of trustees in the last municipal elections.

“I have just $863 for all my expenses. I checked with many auditors, chartered accountants and other professionals in the Valley and none would sign my application form because they said it wasn’t necessary, with some saying it would likely cost between $10,000 and $15,000 for me to have an audit done.”

RELATED STORY: NDP, LIBERALS MAKE FREE COVID-19 VACCINE PROMISE ON B.C. ELECTION TRAIL

Andrew Watson, the communications director for Elections BC, acknowledged that all candidate applications for the provincial election are required to appoint an auditor under the B.C. Elections Act, even if their campaign contributions and expenses are low.

He said the clause in the legislation has been in place for at least the last several provincial elections.

“I have never heard of a situation where a candidate had problems finding someone to sign their application papers like this, and we do have 24 other independent candidates who filed their papers by the deadline on Oct. 2 with no similar problems,” Watson said.

“We usually ask candidates to file their papers early so issues like this can be discovered and there is still time to come up with a plan to deal with it. We do what we can to support candidates, and do our best to make them aware of all the requirements of the legislation.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

BC politicsBC Votes 2020

Just Posted

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

Chris Wilkinson
Chris Wilkinson column: This could be the worst thing done to you during the pandemic

As a result, all of us will contend with more ‘scarcity’ thinking and mindset.

The Crofton trailer park home where the bodies of two people were found. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Mom still waiting for answers after daughter and her fiance found dead in Crofton

Pair discovered dead in their Crofton home in May identified as Rachel Gardner and Paul Jenkins

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

Robert’s column
Robert Barron column: Looking forward to 39 Days of Summer

I have always been a big fan of live music.

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

One Reconciliation Pole and two Welcome Figures were unveiled during a ceremony in honour of truth and reconciliation on National Peoples Indigenous Day at the Vancouver School District in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, June 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Horgan marks Indigenous Peoples Day by urging recognition of systemic racism

National Indigenous Peoples Day has been marked in Canada since 1996

A man makes his way past signage to a mass COVID-19 vaccination centre at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians encouraged to see mRNA shots as interchangeable as more 2nd doses open up

Doctors urge people not to hesitate if offered Moderna after getting Pfizer for their first shot

Chief of Defence Staff Jonathan Vance sits in the front row during a news conference in Ottawa on June 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Defence committee rises without report on Vance allegations

Committee had been investigating the government’s handling of complaints against former defence chief

The Coquihalla Lakes washroom is getting upgrades. (Submitted)
Coquihalla to get upgrades to aging washrooms

The Ministry of Transportation is providing $1 million in funding to upgrade 3 rest areas

The Crofton trailer park home where the bodies of two people were found. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Mom still waiting for answers after daughter and her fiance found dead in Crofton

Pair discovered dead in their Crofton home in May identified as Rachel Gardner and Paul Jenkins

Most Read