Another Saanich municipal election candidate has been slapped with a fine for violating campaign financing rules.
Elections BC issued a monetary penalty on Tuesday (Nov. 15) to Saanich council candidate Vernon Lord, after he was found to have sponsored election advertising without an authorization statement during the campaign period.
On Sept. 24, Elections BC received a complaint regarding lawn signs that promoted Lord for Saanich council, but lacked authorization statements.
According to Adam Barnes, Elections BC director of investigations, Lord told investigators that he had only used 20 lawn signs, all of which had been reused from his previous campaign in 2018.
Lord admitted that he didn’t know if the signs had previously had authorization stickers that had fallen off while in storage, or if they simply failed to have an authorization statement to begin with.
Section 44(1) of the Local Elections Campaign Financing Act requires that a candidate sponsoring election advertising identifies the financial agent of the advertisement, indicates that it was authorized by the financial agent and provides a B.C. telephone number, email address or B.C. mailing address at which the financial agent can be contacted.
Elections BC ultimately issued a penalty of $150 to Lord because the nature of the violation wasn’t egregious, the signs likely had a market value of approximately $500 and the Saanich council candidate fixed the signs once informed of the omission, according to Barnes. Lord has also never been previously fined by Elections BC.
Last week, former Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes and Victoria council candidate Janice Williams were also issued fines of $150 and $100, respectively, by Elections BC for similar reasons.
Lord is required to pay the penalty to the Chief Elections Officer of B.C. within 40 days. He finished with 3,822 votes in the 2022 Saanich council race.
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