VIDEO: Andrew Weaver calls for reform of local government

‘Corrosive influence’ of union, corporate donations should be banned

WATCH: BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver, MLA Oak Bay-Gordon Head speaks at the annual UBCM in Vancouver. http://ow.ly/j8dY30ftedw

Posted by BCLocalNews.com on Wednesday, September 27, 2017

B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver called for a new approach to local politics the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention Wednesday, by reforming campaign donations as is being proposed at the provincial level.

Speaking to local politicians from across the province in Vancouver, Weaver called for removing the “corrosive influence” of union and corporate donations from B.C. politics, that he said has contributed to a top-down approach to development at the provincial level.

Weaver is supporting NDP legislation to do the same for provincial parties, replacing them with a taxpayer subsidy that may be partially phased out after four years. That legislation does not extend to local governments.

Weaver gave the example of ski resort development proposals in B.C. Jumbo Glacier Resort was proposed for the Kootenays after “developers got together with government … to market that idea to the people,” Weaver said. The Jumbo project stalled due to local opposition and went more than 10 years without provincial approval.

Another ski resort proposal at Valemount was proposed locally by the same developers, and received approval because it first gained support from the local community and First Nations, Weaver said.

UBCM delegates supported the idea of campaign finance reform, with several noting the pressure on local officials from property developers and civic worker unions to influence their decisions. But their resolution asking the B.C. government to extend provincial rules to local governments was referred to the UBCM executive for more study after several objections were raised.

One objection was that extending the provincial law to municipal governments may entail municipal taxpayers paying a subsidy for local elections based on the votes they received in the previous election. One delegate pointed out that would give a huge advantage to incumbent mayors and councillors, effectively freezing out challengers for council or regional district seats.

Delegates voted in favour of Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps’ amendment to rule out public subsidies, but that didn’t satisfy everyone.

Maple Ridge Coun. Craig Speirs said local governments need to develop their own recommendations, to protect independent slates. North Cowichan Coun. Al Siebring objected to the idea of “one size fits all” regulations for small communities and cities the size of Vancouver.

The effect of third parties such as municipal unions who exert influence without donating money was also cited as an issue not addressed in provincial legislation.

Want more on UBCM?

Just Posted

Group seeks to build honorary RCMP sculpture in Sooke

Sooke RCMP officers work long hours protecting the community, and a local… Continue reading

Refugee family gets help with rent

Sooke council changes scope of $3,600 grant

Central Saanich police chase down speeding biker

A motorcyclist from the Lower Mainland was caught on the Tsawout reserve… Continue reading

Sooke high school welcomes new principal

Laura Fulton was formerly vice principal at Belmont High and Spencer Middle schools

Sooke Mayor Maja Tait seeking re-election

So far, Maja Tait only declared candidate in mayor’s race

Solitary-confinement veto a chance to address mental health: advocate

B.C. Supreme Court made the landmark ruling Wednesday

Winter storm coming to B.C. this weekend

The bets are on as to how much snow the province will actually get in the coming days

B.C. civil rights group files complaint about RCMP arrest of man who later died

Dale Culver, a 35-year-old Indigenous man was arrested in Prince George last July

Lawyer says former B.C. government aide ‘barely guilty’ in ethnic vote scandal

Brian Bonney pleaded guilty to a breach of trust charge

Quite a few tears as homemade quilts distributed to residents of Ashcroft Reserve, Boston Flats affected by last summer’s fire

Quilters in B.C. and Alberta worked through the summer and fall to create more than 100 quilts.

B.C. coast loggers celebrate history, hope for improvement

Truck Loggers Association awaits B.C. NDP government’s new direction

Global Affairs aware of report of two Canadians kidnapped in Nigeria

The foreigners were heading south from Kafanchan to Abuja when they were ambushed around Kagarko

Saanich lights up Layritz Park with solar-powered lights

Saanich plans to install more solar-powered lights after installing them in Layritz… Continue reading

Whistler role in potential Calgary Olympic bid would be welcome: IOC

Calgary is mulling whether to vie for the 2026 Games, and could look to facilities in B.C.

Most Read