Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Deadline for Election Expense Review comments is coming up

The Province of British Columbia is at the midway mark of their review of Local Government Elections Expense Reform, with the second phase of the review regarding Expense limits nearing its end and with it, the opportunity for the public to provide commentary on the various proposals and talking points of the issue.

The proposal for expense limits for election participants was one of the recommendations made by the Local Government Elections Task Force, which began its work in 2010 with a number of recommendations to modernize and reform local government finance rules.

Consultation on a white paper on the theme was completed in October with a Discussion paper on that theme was released for review in November.

It provides much in the way of background on the topic and the history of Task Force Recommendations.

You can review that document here.

Some of the key points that have come out of the Task Force discussion phase include:

The Province would set the expense limits

Candidates and third party advertisers would be subject to expense limits

Expense limits would be sensitive to population size

Expense limits would also apply in Board of Education elections

Elections BC would enforce the limits as apart of its role in enforcing campaign finance rules

The Provincial Government is inviting feedback on the Discussion paper, accepting comments until January 31st.

There are three ways to provide your comments to the Reform process

By way of email at:  localgovelectionreform@gov.bc.ca

Or through the mail at:

Local Government Elections Reform
Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development
PO Box 9847
STN Prov Govt
Victoria BC V8W 9T2

The topic of the electoral reform prospects is one that caught the interest of Councillor Joy Thorkelson, she made mention of the looming deadline at the January 6th session of City Council, urging both the city's council and residents to learn more about the topic and to offer their comments on the proposals.

The topic also came up for discussion at the most recent School District 52 session.

Any legislative amendments that are recommended by stakeholders and approved by the Legislature will come into effect for local elections after 2014.

The full review of the process, featuring much of the background information on it can be found from the website dedicated to the theme, which you can find here.

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