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.

Just Posted

BCSS grads come home to celebrate 50 years

*Hairstyles and outfits may have changed since graduation

Boundary District Arts Council folds amid financial questions

The last board took over in November and could not find receipts for $8,000 in spending

Residents push Grand Forks council to support with flood buyouts

Staff estimate a $6.6 million difference between pre and post-flood value for Grand Forks buyouts

MP warns of scam after catching Facebook Messenger imposter account

Wayne Stetski issues warning about an imposter messenger account that is using his profile photo

Grand Forks mulls in-kind options to support flood buyout residents

$6.6 million difference between pre and post-flood value for Grand Forks buyouts

VIDEO: Missing teens named as suspects in three northern B.C. killings

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted in the deaths of Lucas Fowler, Chynna Deese, unknown man

Horgan hints at Daylight Saving Time changes after record survey response

More than 223,000 online surveys were submitted in the government’s public consultation

Coroner investigating after body recovered from Okanagan Lake

Penticton fire department assisted the RCMP with the recovery of a body Saturday

Overdoses overwhelming in B.C. Interior

Part two: Who’s affected by the current opioid crisis

Kelowna cab driver charged with sexual assault

RCMP received a report May 28 alleging a taxi passenger had been sexually assaulted by a cab driver

Jurors talk about trial of U.S. man convicted in 1987 murders of B.C. couple

Three jurors offer a window into deliberations during the trial

Tubing world record broken on Vancouver Island

But record for length of tubes linked together still has to be confirmed

The Beaverton’s sharp satire thrives in polarized political climate

Canadian TV series’ third season to air Tuesday on CTV after “The Amazing Race Canada”

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

Most Read