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

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.

 

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

Just Posted

As a former reporter and editor at the Tribune, Diana French carries on sharing her ideas through her weekly column. (Photo submitted)
FRENCH CONNECTION: Skating rink welcomed

This lake one will not last long but is still worth it

Jim Hilton pens a column on forestry each week for the Quesnel Observer.
FOREST INK: New batteries close to industrial level applications

The good news is the hope that this cost should come down each year

Researchers in B.C. say earlier than usual return of bats or dead bats can indicate trouble, such as signs of white-nose syndrome. (Cathy Koot photo)
Public help is essential for monitoring for bat disease

Anyone finding a dead bat is asked to report it to the BC Community Bat Program

Sandi Griffiths is the region’s new district manager of transportation for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
New MOTI district manager takes the wheel in Williams Lake

Sandi Griffiths replaces Todd Hubner who retired recently

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Most Read