UBCM Addresses Election Reform: Conveys Support for Four-year Term

Support for a phased approach to elections reform, a call for four-year terms, and a request to allow Vancouver to make rules related to greater limits on spending and contributions and provide for greater disclosure, were key topics discussed at a meeting between UBCM and Parliamentary Secretary, Linda Reimer, MLA.

On September 25, 2013, UBCM President Rhona Martin and First Vice-President Sav Dhaliwal met with MLA Linda Reimer to convey UBCM's feedback on the Province's recently released White Paper on Local Government Elections Reform.  UBCM reiterated its support for the phased approach that would implement changes in 2014 to improve accountability, transparency, and compliance and enforcement, but defer implementation of expense limits until further consultations take place. President Martin expressed support for the phased approach recognizing that more work needed to be done on how best to set expense limits that would work for all of the election players.  One of the key messages to MLA Reimer was the need for information, education and advice about the changes to ensure that all players are aware of the new rules and processes that will be in place for 2014.

With the endorsement of resolution 2013-B94, requesting a move to a four-year term, First VP Dhaliwal advised the Parliamentary Secretary of the new policy position by the UBCM membership.  Member endorsement of B94 overturned previous UBCM policy established in 2010 that had defeated a request for a four-year term. In addition, at the 2013 Convention, members confirmed their support for no corporate vote and adopted new policy in support of Vancouver's request that would allow the City to make rules for election campaign finance that place greater limits on campaign spending and contributions, and provide for greater disclosure.

The UBCM President and Vice-President concluded the meeting by indicating that they look forward to additional opportunities to provide feedback on elections reform in response to subsequent comments from the membership.

Members are encouraged to provide feedback on the White Paper by the October 23 deadline.

For further information on elections reform please visit the Local Government Elections section of ubcm.ca.

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