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

PQB crime report: Thieves pilfer cash, root beer and hand sanitizer

Oceanside RCMP receive 249 complaints in one-week period

Solutions in sight for Parksville Qualicum Beach doctor shortage

With feasibility study funded, group shares vision of ‘campus of healthcare’

Raise the curtains: New outdoor theatre coming to Parksville

A $204,000 boost comes from Island Coastal Economic Trust

‘Handmade for Hope’ will run at Orca Place in Parksville

Grant received; program will run in different room

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

Miller nets winner as Canucks edge Sabres 6-5 in OT

Roussel, Leivo tally two apiece for Vancouver

‘Norovirus-like’ outbreak interrupts Bantam hockey showcase in Greater Victoria

Several athletes were sent home, quarantined on the ferry

$578: that’s how much your first distracted driving ticket will cost with recent premium hikes

Over 50 per cent of Canadians admitted to using phone while driving last year, according to study

Kelowna man attempts to steal bait bike from RCMP parking lot

38-year-old Brian Richard Harbison is facing several charges

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

Second warning on romaine lettuce from California region as another E. coli case reported

Two cases of E. coli have been reported in relation to the illness in the U.S.

Residents in B.C. city could face 133% tax hike in ‘worst case’ lawsuit outcome: report

An average home could see a tax increase of $2,164 in one year

B.C. pharmaceutical company’s stocks double in value after successful lupus drug trial

More than 40 per cent of patients using voclosporin saw improvements in kidney function

Most Read