Elections Legislation Introduced

UBCM President Rhona Martin joined Minister Coralee Oakes last week to announce the introduction of two bills that will implement recommendations from the 2010 Local Government Elections Task Force. 

The first bill, Local Elections Campaign Financing Act (LECFA) defines various forms of election campaigns and advertising; sets out requirements for campaign accounting and for third party advertising. The new Act also addresses transparency and disclosure requirements, administrative responsibilities and outlines a new role for Elections BC in the area of compliance and enforcement.   The second bill, Local Elections Statutes Amendment Act (LESAA) accompanies LECFA and outlines how election participants will transition to the new campaign finance rules.

This act also makes further changes to local elections by:
  • Extending the terms of office for local elected officials from three to four years.
  • Moving the general voting day from November to October, beginning in 2018.
Current rules that permit anonymous contributions of $50 or less will be maintained. This requirement will also apply to third-party advertisers effective immediately.  The Task Force had originally recommended a full ban on anonymous contributions.

Task Force recommendations related to establishing expense limits are still under development. 

President Martin expressed her support for the introduction of the legislation but also signaled the need for an ambitious outreach plan to ensure all election participants are aware of the new rules, noting that time is short between now and the November 2014 elections.

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