Want to run for office in Sooke? Here's what you need to know
The election will be held on Saturday, November 15. Residents will cast their ballot at Edward Milne community school, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Results will be announced on November 19.
Council Candidates Seminar
A Council Candidates Seminar will be held on Monday, September 29th, 2014 at 7:00 pm in the Council Chambers at 2205 Otter Point Road.
Running for office is free. Bonnie Sprinkling from the District of Sooke notes that Sooke is one of the few districts that does not require a filing fee to run for office. However, you will still need to fund your campaign. And track your spending. See the separate section below for more details (Track your spending).
According to the Local Government Act (sections 66-68), one can run for any local office if you are a Canadian, are at least 18 on the day of the election, and have not been disqualified from voting. You can NOT run if you are a judge, an employee of the local government, are guilty of an indictable offence AND in custody or in prison, or have been disqualified from running in this particular election. A candidate can run for either mayor or councillor, but not both. Although, you can run for councillor or electoral area director, AND a school board trustee. To run, you need to be nominated by two people who are qualified to vote in Sooke.
Your nomination documents must be filed with the district by October 10, at 4 p.m.
Campaigning can begin whenever you like, although you must formally file all your election contributions and expenses for the disclosure statements within 120 days after the election. Candidates must open a separate bank account to document all campaign contributions and expenses.
Track your spending
According to a pamphlet put out by the provincial government (“Local Election in British Columbia: What Every Candidate Needs to Know”), every candidate must have a financial agent. That can be yourself or an appointed person, and the job is to track campaign contributions and expenses. You must open a separate election campaign account. An anonymous contributions over $50 are not allowed.
From Sooke.ca, “For answers to questions about LECFA election advertising, third party advertising sponsors and campaign financing rules, please contact Elections BC toll-free at: 1-855-952-0280 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org”
Yes, you do get paid, but not nearly as much as those who hold provincial or federal office. According to Bylaw No. 379, effective 2008, the mayor receives $20,000 and councillors receive $10,000, indexed against the official Consumer Price Index. According to the 2013 Statement of Financial Information from the District of Sooke, the mayor received $20,320.04 and each councillor received $10,160.02. In addition, some expenses were covered, for “travel, training, seminars, education, professional dues and other expenses related to their position.”
If you are elected, there’s a lot of work to do. According to the Sooke.ca website, “You should be aware that the duties of elected office are time-consuming.”
Need more information? If you want additional information, Bonnie Sprinkling from the District of Sooke is happy to answer your questions. You can reach her at the district office 250-642-1634. For more information on local elections, go to Sooke.ca and look under Municipal Hall > Local Government for information on Elections. Questions specific to campaigning need to be directed to BC Elections.