Spending caps recommended for local elections

Formula sets limits on candidates for mayor, councillor and school trustee for communities bigger than 10,000 people

  • Jun. 29, 2015 7:00 p.m.

VICTORIA – Candidates for a council seat in a small community should be able to spend no more than $10,000 to run for mayor and $5,000 for a council or school board seat, says a legislature committee on local election financing.

For larger communities, a population-based formula would limit a mayoral campaign for a city of 150,000 residents to just under $90,000, with other municipal candidates limited to half that. The formula would limit a candidate for mayor of Victoria, population 80,000, to about $50,000, while Surrey’s population of 470,000 would mean a cap of $160,000 to run for mayor.

The small-town limits apply to communities up to 10,000 residents. For larger ones, mayoral candidates would be limited to $1 per capita for the first 15,000 people, 55 cents per capita up to 150,000, 60 cents per capita for 150,000 to 200,000 and only 15 cents for communities larger than that.

Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart, who chaired the committee as it toured the province, said the limits are aimed to make running for local government “accessible and affordable,” while recognizing the vast difference between political campaigns in large cities and those in small communities.

The spending limits still have to be endorsed by the legislature, but the B.C. Liberal and NDP members of the committee endorsed them unanimously. They are part of a series of local election reforms that included extending terms to four years.

The committee wants third-party advertisers limited to five per cent of what a mayoral candidate is allowed to spend. The spending limits would be in effect starting on Jan. 1 of each election year.

B.C. is joining Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador in placing spending limits on at least some of their local elections.

 

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

Just Posted

City councillors decide not to waive business license fines in Rossland for 2020

Instead, the city will try to issue business license refunds for business struggling financially due to COVID-19

Castlegar wedding shows love conquers all

Brandon Melanson and Kimberly Patricia Melanson were married at Millennium Park last week.

Selkirk College starts COVID-19 emergency fund for students

The college has set aside up to $30,000 in matching funds for donations

New multi-use trail network coming to Red Mountain in Rossland

Kootenay Columbia Trails Society will help to build 5.8 kilometres worth of trails this summer

FortisBC offers 90-day bill deferrals to customers impacted by COVID-19

Customers can apply for the relief program through the utility’s website

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

B.C. sorting medical equipment sales, donation offers for COVID-19

Supply hub has call out for masks, gowns, coronavirus swabs

B.C. records five more deaths due to COVID-19, 45 new cases

A total of 838 people have recovered from the virus

Major crimes investigating sudden death of North Okanagan child

The 8 year old was flown to Kelowna General Hospital and died hours later

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Most Read