Community

Municipal election reform pledged for 2014 campaign

Province opts to hold back spending limits until 2017

A ban on anonymous contributions in municipal elections is among the reforms the provincial government is pledging to have in place the next time local voters go to the polls to elect councils in November of 2014.

Details on the changes are to be spelled out in a white paper next month.

But Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister Coralee Oakes said additional changes will also require disclosure and registration of third-party advertisers in local government elections.

Sponsorship information will also be mandatory on all election advertising, and campaign finance disclosures will have to be filed within 90 days, instead of 120 days.

Limits on campaign spending for candidates, organizations and third-party advertisers are also coming, but they will be held back for implementation for the 2017 elections in order to allow more time for consultations.

The province is also expected to push municipal campaigns up one month, to run in the third week of October starting in 2017.

Oakes said the changes will improve transparency and accountability, calling them the most significant modernization of local election legislation in nearly two decades.

The changes will apply to elections for municipalities, regional districts, park boards, the Islands Trust and boards of education.

Union of B.C. Municipalities president Mary Sjostrom said she’s pleased with the commitment and said the government’s phased approach should ensure the changes work well for the full range of B.C. communities.

NDP local government critic Selina Robinson was critical of the delay to impose a campaign spending cap and said she’s not sure why the province needs more time and a white paper to act.

“What have they been doing?” she asked, adding six different ministers have had a combined six years to deliver reforms sought by UBCM.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Police watchdog investigating after Abbotsford man seriously injured during arrest

Abbotsford police used ‘less lethal firearm’ and dog in arrest of man believed to have gun

UPDATED: Mission spray park closed after children suffer swollen eyes, burns

Mission RCMP are investigating incident that injured several children

RCMP ask for assistance to find missing Chilliwack man

Raymond Gene Jarvis has been missing since early July

Chilliwack RCMP seeing surge in telephone-based tax scam

Victims are phoned by someone claiming to represent the Canada Revenue Agency, demanding money

Chilliwack Chiefs alum Jordan Kawaguchi named captain of North Dakota Fighting Hawks

The high scoring forward will lead UND into the 2020-21 NCAA Div-1 hockey season

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

RCMP searching for culprit behind needle-filled lemons left on Coquitlam-area trails

The two lemons found were thrown away leaving police with little evidence

NDP wants Lower Mainland MLA removed from BC Liberal caucus for alleged homophobia

BC Liberal leader, some MLAs apologize for Christian magazine ads but Laurie Throness doubles down

B.C. health officials pleased with likely extension of Canada-U.S. border closure

Health Minister Adrian Dix says the situation is ‘very serious in the United States’

‘Perfect storm’ led to bad year for mosquitos near Fraser River

High river levels and lots of rain meant many eggs hatched this year

South Surrey mom frustrated by city’s response after son, 10, has severe reaction to park grass 

City of Surrey parks manager says ‘potential steps’ to address concern under review

Thousands of dollars of stolen rice traced to Langley warehouse

Police raid seizes $75,000 in ‘commercial scale’ theft case

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Most Read