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Introduction Of Local Election Spending Limits for 2018’s Vote

Fraser Valley – On the heels of the Federal Election, and the millions of dollars spent on advertising, the Province of BC has introduced legislation to limit the amount spent on local civic, municipal and district elections. Victoria is asking for your input on this:

Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister Peter Fassbender introduced legislation , paving the way to implement expense limits for the next local government elections in British Columbia in 2018.  

Expense limits will apply to candidates running for mayor, councillor, electoral area director, Vancouver Parks Board, Cultus Lake Park Board, Islands Trust area trustee and school board trustee. Expense limits will also apply to third-party advertising sponsors.

The legislation sets out the framework for expense limits; the actual amounts would be set by regulation. This bill follows the recommendations of the Special Committee on Local Elections Expense Limits, as outlined in its June, 2015 report. Specifically:

  • For candidates in election areas with less than 10,000 people, the proposed expense limits establish a flat rate of $10,000 for mayoral candidates and $5,000 for all other locally elected offices.
  • For election areas with more than 10,000 people, a per-capita formula determines expense limits.
  • Expense limits for candidates and electoral organizations would apply from Jan. 1 of the election year to election day (the third Saturday of October).
  • Proposed expense limits for third-party advertising sponsors would be five per cent of the expense limit of a candidate in the local election area, with a cumulative, provincewide maximum of $150,000 applicable during a 28-day campaign program.

By tabling the legislation during the current fall session, government is creating a final opportunity for consultation. The Province encourages local election participants, stakeholders and the public to provide input on the proposed approach to expense limits. Parliamentary secretary Linda Reimer will lead ongoing consultation on proposed expense limits.

Comments will be accepted until Nov. 27, 2015. Information is available at:

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