New rules coming for local election spending

Minister Coralee Oakes says donation and spending limits will be in place for the 2018 municipal elections

Community

VICTORIA – Municipal election campaigns are like mushrooms that pop up every few years, with voters still in the dark about who’s fertilizing them with how much money.

That’s why the B.C. government waited until the first elections for four-year municipal terms were held to examine how campaign spending should be regulated, says Coralee Oakes, B.C.’s minister for community, sport and cultural development.

Oakes promised there will be new rules on spending and donations from property developers, unions and other donors to municipal council and school board candidates by the next province-wide municipal vote in 2018. A legislature committee started working on it in October, with recommendations due by Nov. 27.

“What we found is that for a lot of the organizations, if you’re not in election mode, they are not formed,” Oakes said. “So we knew that if we were to do stakeholder engagement, we need to do it when the elections were happening.”

Some urban municipalities see substantial campaign donations from special interests, with only the requirement of disclosure long after votes are counted. In Vancouver, where developers and civic worker unions spend heavily, Mayor Gregor Robinson’s Vision Vancouver party and challenger Kirk Lapointe’s Non-Partisan Association were pushed to voluntarily disclose their major donors before Saturday’s vote.

Imposing campaign reform on local governments is an awkward task for the ruling B.C. Liberals, who have refused to give up their multi-million-dollar advantage in corporate donations over the NDP and other challengers.

NDP leader John Horgan said Monday the opposition will soon table its annual private member’s bill calling for the elimination of corporate and union donations from provincial campaigns, as has been done in other provinces and at the federal level.

 

Just Posted

Caps camp slated for May 24-26 in Parksville

Playoff run increased demand; early bird ticket offer still open

Lake Cowichan council adds bite to animal control bylaw

Cruelty concerns encourage Lake Cowichan council to give its animal control bylaw sharper teeth

Business notes: Cowichan food recovery project provides skills training, feeds community

Six local job seekers will gain work experience in business, marketing social… Continue reading

Carl Weber column: Back in motion

Begin gardening slowly. Listen to your body.

UPDATE: Four victims identified in deadly Penticton shooting spree

John Brittain, 68, faces three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder

4 victims killed in Penticton shooting spree remembered at vigil

John Brittain, 68, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder

Limits on chinook sport fishing could cause devastating economic ripples

Vancouver Island fishing guides concerned over salmon sport catch reductions to save declining stock

B.C. awaits Kenney’s ‘turn off taps,’ threat; Quebec rejects Alberta pipelines

B.C. Premier John Horgan said he spoke with Kenney Wednesday and the tone was cordial

Snowbirds arrive on Vancouver Island for annual spring training

VIDEO: Acrobatic air team back in Comox for annual spring training

Vancouver Island restaurant among Canada’s most sustainable eateries

Locals in Courtenay only B.C. or small city establishment to make the top six list

Federal government extends deadline to make Trans Mountain decision to June 18

The National Energy Board endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline on Feb. 22

Prince George sweeps to first-ever BC Hockey League crown

Spruce Kings beat Vernon Vipers 3-1 in the Okanagan Wednesday for 13th straight playoff win

Hwang’s first MLS goal lifts Whitecaps to 1-0 win over LAFC

Vancouver picks up first victory of season

Most Read