B.C. Premier John Horgan takes questions outside his legislature office, April 25, 2018. (Black Press)

Municipal election loophole will be fixed, premier says

Union, corporate donations still allowed for slate party ‘operational’ needs

A loophole that allows municipal election organizations to collect corporate and union donations will be fixed before province-wide elections next fall, B.C. Premier John Horgan says.

Elections BC confirmed earlier this month that municipal parties can accept donations outside the new campaign rules, as long as they are for “operational” uses outside of the election period, which is now every four years.

The B.C. NDP government passed legislation last fall to make municipal election donations match their new provincial rules, restricted to a maximum of $1,200 a year from individual B.C. residents only. The $1,200 cap for individuals also applies to electoral slates and their endorsed candidates, putting declared slates in larger communities at a disadvantage compared to independent candidates.

RELATED: NDP moves to limit local election money

Horgan told reporters Wednesday that the government is prioritizing its legislation, which is piling up since the NDP government’s first budget this spring. Changing the municipal election rules to eliminate the loophole for electoral slates is a priority for this spring, he said.

“This was an issue that was raised by the Chief Electoral Officer,” Horgan said. “It didn’t come up in a review of the bill, so we’re taking a look at that.”

B.C. Liberal MLA Todd Stone presented a private member’s bill earlier in the week to address the issue, after Vancouver’s Non-Partisan Association indicated it would be using corporate and union donations to maintain its organization between elections.

B.C. Liberal MLA Peter Milobar presented another private member’s bill Wednesday, aimed at restricting provincial parties from appointing “corporate or union entities” from being given guaranteed positions on political party executives. The bill appears aimed at the NDP’s practice of designated union positions on the party executive.

“If passed, this bill will ensure entities that are banned from donating money to political parties will not have influence through guaranteed positions of power,” Milobar said.

BC legislatureMunicipal election

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

Just Posted

Burglar swims across Columbia River to evade Trail police

RCMP Cpl. Devon Reid says the incident began the evening of Thursday, Feb. 20

Supreme Court of Canada will hear Sinixt appeal May 12

B.C. has appealed aboriginal hunting case through several levels of court starting in Nelson in 2016

Fire destroys Fauquier restaurant

Early-morning blaze destroys Mushroom Addition

Salmo RCMP report drug bust

Fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine were seized along with Canadian cash

B.V. Nitehawks beat Leafs, seize Murdoch Division title

Beaver Valley Nitehawks knock off the Nelson Leafs 4-2 in final division-deciding game on Saturday

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

Royals, Elvis, Captain Cook: Hundreds of wax figures find new life in B.C. man’s home

Former director of Victoria’s Royal London Wax Museum still hopes to revive wax figure tourism

Teck CEO says Frontier withdrawal a result of tensions over climate, reconciliation

Don Lindsay speaks at mining conference, a day after announcing suspension of oilsands project

‘Hilariously bad’: RCMP looking for couple with forged, paper Alberta licence plate

Mounties said the car crashed when it lost a wheel but the duo ran away as police arrived

UPDATE: Two missing scout leaders found near Sooke after swollen creek traps troop

Third leader and scouts located, prior to search for two leaders who’d gone for help

Harvey Weinstein found guilty of sex crimes in landmark #MeToo trial

The cases against the Hollywood mogul started the #MeToo movement

CRA puts focus on paper returns as tax-filing season opens

The federal tax collector expects to handle about two million paper returns this calendar year out of roughly 26 million filings

Teck withdraws application for Frontier mine, citing discourse over climate change

The Vancouver-based company said it will take a $1.13-billion writedown on the Frontier project in Alberta

Most Read