Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister Coralee Oakes.

Municipal election reform pledged for 2014 campaign

Province opts to hold back spending limits until 2017

A ban on anonymous contributions in municipal elections is among the reforms the provincial government is pledging to have in place the next time local voters go to the polls to elect councils in November of 2014.

Details on the changes are to be spelled out in a white paper next month.

But Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister Coralee Oakes said additional changes will also require disclosure and registration of third-party advertisers in local government elections.

Sponsorship information will also be mandatory on all election advertising, and campaign finance disclosures will have to be filed within 90 days, instead of 120 days.

Limits on campaign spending for candidates, organizations and third-party advertisers are also coming, but they will be held back for implementation for the 2017 elections in order to allow more time for consultations.

The province is also expected to push municipal campaigns up one month, to run in the third week of October starting in 2017.

Oakes said the changes will improve transparency and accountability, calling them the most significant modernization of local election legislation in nearly two decades.

The changes will apply to elections for municipalities, regional districts, park boards, the Islands Trust and boards of education.

Union of B.C. Municipalities president Mary Sjostrom said she’s pleased with the commitment and said the government’s phased approach should ensure the changes work well for the full range of B.C. communities.

NDP local government critic Selina Robinson was critical of the delay to impose a campaign spending cap and said she’s not sure why the province needs more time and a white paper to act.

“What have they been doing?” she asked, adding six different ministers have had a combined six years to deliver reforms sought by UBCM.

Just Posted

VIDEO: After the trees fell, Hunter Park reopens in Langley City

The rebuilding of the park “has turned disaster into triumph,” mayor says

VIDEO: Two Langley City councillors to run for mayor

Val van den Broek and Paul Albrecht confirm their candidacies

VIDEO: Rollover crash in Langley’s Walnut Grove neighbourhood

No serious injuries reported in Friday night crash

LCS students stage slapstick version of ‘Macbeth’

Farndale Avenue play runs April 25 to 28 at Langley Christian High School

Teen’s outlook positive, despite living with ‘Stone Man Syndrome’

Alexandra Hoodikoff has a conditon that affects one in two million people

VIDEO: Largest LEGO exhibition in British Columbia held at River Rock Casino

Hundreds of builders come from around the world to display their LEGO creations

Hockey for Humboldt charity game Friday

Event in Maple Ridge will benefit bus tragedy victims

Austin Powers ‘Mini-Me’, Verne Troyer, dies at 49

Facebook page confirmed his death Saturday afternoon

Alberta man dead after snowmobile collision on B.C. mountain

The incident occurred on Boulder Mountain Friday morning

B.C. parents grieving teen’s overdose death say it started with opioid prescription

Elliot Eurchuk, 16, died at his Oak Bay home Friday, after taking street drugs

Sunset Beach Park to close for 10 weeks to repair damage from 4-20 event

Vancouver Parks Board said a fence will be placed around the damaged field for ‘major rehabilitation’

16 of 20 fastest improving B.C. schools are public: Fraser Institute

Independent elementary schools remain at top of the chart in think tank’s annual report card

Police probe cause after skateboarder dies in collision with semi-truck

New Westminster police say its not certain whether the skateboarder was in crosswalk or near it

NAFTA: Talks continue through weekend in scramble to get a deal

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland called negotiations ‘perpetual’

Most Read