Saanich North and the Islands MLA to review election expenses

The NDP's Gary Holman part of provincial special committee exploring local election expense limits.

MLA Gary Holman is one of eight legislators on a special committee touring the province, asking people their opinions on local election expense limits.

The committee is holding public hearings today (Nov. 26) in Victoria, and on Nov. 29 in Surrey. The deadline for written submissions is Friday, Dec. 5, 2014.

Holman, who’s the B.C. NDP’s critic for democratic reform, says the committee’s work will be handed over to the Legislature after they meet with elector organizations, election candidates, the public and other stakeholders.

“We are working on recommendations on limited spending and expenses during local elections,” he said, adding donations to candidates and elector organization will be looked at as well.

“It’s not necessarily a big issue in smaller communities,”Holman continued, “but issues do arise and they could still have a disproportionate effect.”

Holman pointed to the case of a lower mainland-area developer that donated around $960,000 to one of Vancouver’s elector organizations.

“We’ve had (expense limits) provincially and federally for years,” he said. “For whatever reason, the rules for local government are lagging behind.”

B.C.’s Minister for Community, Sport and Cultural Development, Coralee Oakes, announced Nov. 17 that the province will examine how campaign spending should be regulated.

Oakes promised there will be new rules on spending and donations from property developers, unions and other donors to municipal council and school board candidates by the next province-wide municipal vote in 2018.

The NDP last week also introduced democratic reform legislation that included a proposed bill called Fairness in Financing Local Government Elections. Holman said the legislation would bring local governments into the 21st century.

“It’s a framework,” he said. “It was a position taken by the NDP in the 2013 (provincial election) campaign.”

Holman said it would deal not only with spending by candidates, but the donations they receive as well.

At the same time, Holman and the NDP introduced two other pieces of proposed legislation, an Electronic Petitions Act and a Whistleblowers Protection Act. The latter, he said, arose out of the Mount Polley mine tailing spill issue.

Holman admitted the NDP-sponsored legislation will probably not go far in a B.C. Liberal Party-dominated Legislature.. Yet, he said he hopes they will spark discussion both in Victoria and on the street.

Written submissions can be made by Dec. 5, 2014 to the special committee by visiting https://www.leg.bc.ca/cmt/leel.

Just Posted

Local cadets gain acceptance to RMC

Military careers one step closer

New Star Cinema project approved

Cameo development gets unanimous council thumbs up

Stelly’s sidewalk gets green light

Federal funding brings project to fruition

Witnesses sought for alleged drunk driver crash in Sidney

Crash happened June 16 on East Saanich Rd. and Canora Dr.

Fake crash warns students about real consequences

Saanich Peninsula emergency crews warn against distracted driving

Victoria Ska and Reggae Fest fills harbour with music

Music festival wraps with free party Sunday at Ship Point

5 fun things to do this weekend in Greater Victoria

Victoria Ska and Reggae Fest, Ride Don’t Hide, Cordova Bay Day and more

Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna suspended for 75 games

23-year-old pitcher faces assault charge

Vancouver Canucks tab Quinn Hughes with No. 7 overall pick in NHL draft

University of Michigan standout was second defenceman picked in first round

Jogger spent two weeks in U.S. detention centre after accidentally crossing B.C. border

Cedella Roman, 19, crossed the border while out for a run

B.C. woman with severely disabled son keeps getting parking tickets

‘There has to be something they could do’

Man brandishes axe during robbery

Mounties were able to locate the suspect within two hours of the incident

‘Creep off’ reporting system aims to track street harassment in Metro Vancouver

Text-based hotline launches to collect public reports on where and when harassment occurs

Happy ending for orphaned bear cubs

Two orphaned bear cubs were captured in Castlegar and sent for rehabilitation.

Most Read