Spending caps recommended for local elections

Formula sets limits on candidates for mayor, councillor and school trustee for communities bigger than 10,000 people

  • Jun. 29, 2015 7:00 a.m.

VICTORIA – Candidates for a council seat in a small community should be able to spend no more than $10,000 to run for mayor and $5,000 for a council or school board seat, says a legislature committee on local election financing.

For larger communities, a population-based formula would limit a mayoral campaign for a city of 150,000 residents to just under $90,000, with other municipal candidates limited to half that. The formula would limit a candidate for mayor of Victoria, population 80,000, to about $50,000, while Surrey’s population of 470,000 would mean a cap of $160,000 to run for mayor.

The small-town limits apply to communities up to 10,000 residents. For larger ones, mayoral candidates would be limited to $1 per capita for the first 15,000 people, 55 cents per capita up to 150,000, 60 cents per capita for 150,000 to 200,000 and only 15 cents for communities larger than that.

Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart, who chaired the committee as it toured the province, said the limits are aimed to make running for local government “accessible and affordable,” while recognizing the vast difference between political campaigns in large cities and those in small communities.

The spending limits still have to be endorsed by the legislature, but the B.C. Liberal and NDP members of the committee endorsed them unanimously. They are part of a series of local election reforms that included extending terms to four years.

The committee wants third-party advertisers limited to five per cent of what a mayoral candidate is allowed to spend. The spending limits would be in effect starting on Jan. 1 of each election year.

B.C. is joining Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador in placing spending limits on at least some of their local elections.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

MISSING: VicPD seeks 33-year-old man last heard from in August

Scott Grier could have been travelling in Alberta, police say

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

New Sooke businesses popping up, amid turbulent market

‘I’m not quitting on these guys’, says company owner

Sooke girl who battled cancer hosting bottle drive for Tour de Rock

Event planned under Sooke’s SEAPARC sign on Sept. 19 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

West Shore RCMP seize rifle, dozens of replica firearms from Langford home

Suspect is 62-year-old man with a lengthy criminal record, say police

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

‘Not criminally responsible’ hearing slated for man convicted of Abbotsford school stabbing

Gabriel Klein was found guilty in March of killing Letisha Reimer, 13, in 2016

B.C.’s 1st mental health and addictions minister won’t be seeking re-election

MLA Judy Darcy is the fifth cabinet minister not intending to run in the next election

Remote B.C. tourism lodge staffed for coastal clean up instead of wilderness tours

The Great Bear Rainforest is home to exotic wildlife — and international trash

Vancouver’s shuttered aquarium searching for financial solution amid pandemic

The aquarium needs about $1 million a month to cover its costs

Most Read