Kelly Velonis (right) and supporters gathered at the Metis Association building at Stó:lō Nation to watch federal election results roll in on Monday, Sept. 20, 2021. (Eric J. Welsh/ Chilliwack Progress)

Kelly Velonis (right) and supporters gathered at the Metis Association building at Stó:lō Nation to watch federal election results roll in on Monday, Sept. 20, 2021. (Eric J. Welsh/ Chilliwack Progress)

Chilliwack-Hope federal Liberal candidate penalized for financial error in 2019 election

$500 fine to Kelly Velonis a bureaucratic oversight

After the 2019 federal election, Chilliwack-Hope Liberal candidate Kelly Velonis committed a small bureaucratic blunder leading to a $500 fine publicly posted on Monday (March 14).

The administrative monetary penalties (AMP) regime was created in 2019 and is designed to issue fines to candidates and/or their campaign members who contravene the Canada Elections Act related to or involving: illegal voting, communications, third parties, or political financing.

Velonis was fined $500 for failing to appoint a replacement financial agent quickly enough after her first one resigned.

”Kelly Velonis confirmed to the Office of the Commissioner that her financial agent had formally resigned in July 2019, yet Elections Canada’s records indicate that, as of Jan. 10, 2022, a replacement financial agent had not been appointed,” according to a public record of the fine posted online on March 14.

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“There are therefore reasonable grounds to believe that Kelly Velonis failed to appoint a replacement without delay upon the resignation of her financial agent, as required by section 476.6.”

For her part, Velonis said there was confusion with her electoral district association (EDA) as they didn’t realize they had to replace the nomination financial agent prior to the campaign financial agent.

“I left for Greece the day after submitting my package and unfortunately the EDA at the time didn’t realize that the person in the role needed to stay until nomination period became campaign period or until replaced,” Velonis told The Progress.

”I was responsible for my campaign financial agent”

On June 13, 2019, the Commissioner of Canada Elections’ compliance and enforcement toolkit was expanded to include an administrative monetary penalties (AMP) regime.

“In order to maintain transparency, and as required by the Act, a notice that sets out the name of the person or entity that is deemed to have committed a violation, identifies the act or omission or the failure to comply to which the violation relates and sets out the amount of the administrative monetary penalty is published on this website.”

In the March 14, 2022 posting of AMPs there are 10 listed on the website for the Commissioner of Canada Elections, including three from B.C.

Terry Lake’s financial agent Bradley Bostock in the riding of Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo failed to file campaign return 802 days after the deadline. Bostock wa fined $300.

And Omar Ricardo Chin, official agent for Lily Bowman, an independent candidate in Vancouver Centre, never did file a return and was fined $500.


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