August 22, 2013 •
Changes Coming to Local Elections in British Columbia
On August 21, 2013, the British Columbia Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development announced the province will be making changes to the rules regarding local government elections starting in 2014. The rules apply to candidates, elector organizations, and third party advertisers in elections held for municipalities, regional districts, parks boards, the Islands Trust, and boards of education.
According to the press release, this new set of laws include requiring disclosure and registration by third-party advertisers, requiring sponsorship information be displayed on all election advertising, requiring all campaign finance disclosure statements to be filed 90 days after the election, and banning anonymous contributions. Additional changes will allow Elections BC to play a greater role in the enforcement of campaign finance rules in local elections.
The changes are based upon the recommendations of the joint Provincial and Union of BC Municipalities Local Government Elections Task Force.
In September a white paper outlining the government’s intention will be released. Public comment on the white paper will be open until October 23. Once consolidated, the rules for the November 2014 local elections will be introduced as a new campaign finance act in the spring of 2014.
Consultation with key stakeholders will begin in November to consider further legislative changes for the 2017 elections.
Coralee Oakes, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, states in the press release, “These changes are about enhancing transparency and accountability.”
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