New rules coming for local election spending

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


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

Rescue boat theft marks third in 3 years for Agassiz-based SAR team

Eight-metre Spirit of Harrison rescue vessel was stolen Friday night, found Saturday morning

CRA scam the email edition targeted the Mounties in Chilliwack

Fraudsters claim to be from the Canada Revenue Agency but the CRA never operates this way

COLUMN: Student voices give me hope for the future

Student Caleb Pennington wanted to know why something was taken off the agenda. So he asked.

Chilliwack newcomers celebrate multicultural community

Local Immigration Partnership helping new Canadians and refugees settle into new life

VIDEO: Rubik’s Rumble a hit at Chilliwack middle school

Students fill gymnasium for first annual tournament focusing on popular puzzle toy

VIDEO: Gun enthusiasts fill Chilliwack venue for antique show

Collectors, proud owners and vendors took part in the event that approaches half a century in age

Canucks snap scoreless streak but fall short in 5-3 loss to Sharks

Swiss forward Timo Meier nets two, including the game-winner, to lead San Jose

4 facts to ring in St. Patrick’s Day

What do you really know about the Irish celebration?

Experts urging caution as rabbits die by the hundreds in B.C. city

Province of B.C. confirms more positive tests for rabbit haemorrhagic disease

Federal government seeks public feedback on pedestrian safety

What safety measures do you think need to improved for pedestrians and cyclists?

Search continues for 10-year-old Montreal boy missing since Monday

Montreal police said they are exploring every possibility in search for Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou

Airline passenger-rights bill claws back protections for travellers: Advocate

Bill C-49 would double tarmac delays, scrap compensation for flights affected by mechanical failures

Canadian research vessel to explore 19th Century shipwrecks

Commissioned this week in Victoria, the RV David Thompson is Parks Canada’s newest vessel

UPDATED: ‘New wave’ of anti-pipeline protests return to Trans Mountain facility

About 100 demonstrators with Protect the Inlet marched to the Burnaby terminal Saturday

Most Read