Local election financing rules were updated in 2018, and 2014 based on extensive consultation with local governments through UBCM.
2018: Campaign finance reform
In 2014 an all-party special committee on Local Election Expense Limits was established. It drew on the joint UBCM-provincial Local Government Elections Task Force report, and public consultations on expense limits conducted by the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development in 2013 and 2014. UBCM made a submission to the committee during phase one, and a presentation during phase two.
In 2017, UBCM provided feedback to the Minister of Municipal Affairs regarding campaign financing amendments.
Campaign finance reform was legislated in time for the 2018 general local elections.
2014: Recommendations implemented
Most of the recommendations made by the Elections Task Force were implemented in time for the 2014 general local election through the Local Elections Campaign Financing Act. Given the significant changes introduced for the 2014 local elections, government decided not to implement recommended expense limits for 2014 but for the next general local elections in 2018.
UBCM met with Linda Reimer, parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Community, Sport, and Cultural Development to outline UBCM’s policy position on the Province’s 2013 ‘White paper on local government reform,’ which outlined intended legislative changes.
2011: Minor reforms implemented
The initial plan had been to implement election reform for the 2011 general local election, but delays caused UBCM to advocate that the legislation be held for the next election cycle, to give local governments and partners sufficient time to learn the new rules, as explained in a 2011 letter to UBCM members.
The Province agreed to implement the Task Force's recommendations in time for the 2014 elections rather than 2011. As a result, the 2011 local general election was run under the same legislation and regulations as in 2008, with one exception: the eligibility of local government volunteers to run for office within their local government was clarified by regulation.
2009-2010: Elections Task Force
On October 2, 2009, Premier Gordon Campbell announced a joint provincial-UBCM Task Force to make recommendations for legislative changes to improve the electoral process for local government elections across BC.
The 31 recommendations sought to: ensure accountability, enhance transparency, strengthen compliance and enforcement, increase accessibility, and expand education and advice.
The six-member Task Force was co-chaired by Bill Bennett, Minister of Community and Rural Development, and Harry Nyce, UBCM President, and UBCM first vice president Barbara Steele, UBCM third vice president Mary Sjostrom, MLA Donna Barnett and MLA Douglas Horne.