British Columbians now have six weeks to review proposed significant changes to local elections legislation — including campaign finance rules — through a white paper released Monday, Sept. 9 by Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Coralee Oakes.
The white paper provides an overview of the proposed Local Elections
Campaign Financing Act (LECFA) describing each part of the act and a draft of the legislation proposed for introduction in spring 2014.
• Disclosure and registration by third-party advertisers.
• Sponsorship information requirements for all election advertising.
• A campaign finance disclosure statements to be filed 90 days, rather than 120, following an election.
• Banning anonymous contributions.
• Enabling a key role for Elections BC in the compliance and enforcement of campaign finance rules in municipal elections.
Specific examples of the changes include:
• All sponsorship contributions and value of third-party advertising must be disclosed and significant contributors providing $100 or more to an election must be identified.
• Candidates and elector organizations election advertising must have sponsorship identification, authorization statement and contact details.
• Candidates and elector organizations must record campaign period expenses.
• Third-party advertising sponsors must register with Elections BC before sponsoring any election advertising.
Interested parties have until Oct. 23, 2013, to submit their comments. In November 2013, a separate stakeholder engagement process on expense limits begins that will inform further legislative changes slated for 2017 local elections.
The white paper is available on the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development's website at: www.localgovelectionreform.gov.bc.ca
The proposed new LECFA incorporates the majority of the recommendations proposed by the joint provincial-UBCM Local Government Elections Task Force and it is the first time local election campaign rules will be in a separate, standalone act which, if passed, takes effect November 2014.
Changes to the campaign finance rules are the most extensive in nearly two decades and this Act will assist in providing clarity as well as establish Elections BC's new role in compliance and enforcement.