Published On: Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Local Election Reforms Take Big Money Out of Politics

Local Election Reforms Take Big Money Out of Politics
The amendments will apply to all local elections starting with the 2018 general local elections and any byelections thereafter, including campaigns for councillors, mayors, electoral area directors and school trustees.

BC - Campaign finance reforms have recently been announced by the British Columbia government will limit the influence of big money on local elections, putting people at the centre of community politics and decisions.

The legislation would ban corporate and union donations, put limits on individual contributions and ban out-of-province donations at the local level.

Contributions for the election campaign of a candidate or elector organization will be limited to $1,200 per donor per year. One donor’s total contributions to the election campaign for an elector organization and all of its endorsed candidates cannot exceed this amount. These changes follow the approach of the proposed provincial Election Amendment Act.

The proposed amendments to the Local Elections Campaign Financing Act follow consultations with key stakeholders such as Elections BC and UBCM, which represents B.C.’s 189 local governments and the Islands Trust.

Once passed, the changes will be retroactive to Oct. 31, 2017, the day after the first reading of the legislation. To allow candidates to transition to the new campaign financing framework, contributions allowed under the former rules and received before Oct. 31, 2017, may be used for the 2018 general local elections.

Quick Facts:

  • An elector organization in local elections is an organization that endorses candidates in a local election. Elector organizations are often referred to as civic political parties.
  • The Local Elections Campaign Financing Act was amended in 2016 to implement expense limits for local elections. These amendments will also come into effect for the 2018 general local elections.