Nov. 15 may be four months away, but the provincial government is already encouraging residents to start thinking about the next municipal election.
“Citizen engagement is the lifeblood of democracy. I encourage all B.C. citizens to stay informed about their local government and fully participate in local government elections,” said Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Coralee Oakes. “There are many ways to participate in local democracy, whether as a voter, a candidate or campaign volunteer. Take your choice, but do participate.”
Earlier this year, the provincial government approved the first significant local elections reforms in 20 years.
Voters, candidates, elector organizations, third party sponsors and individuals or organizations that have acted as campaign organizers need to understand the new rules. B.C. citizens can now access on-line local election guides detailing how to participate in local elections. The Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development publishes guides on-line for: voters, candidates, elector organizations and how to support a candidate.
The Ministry has also developed a new brochure highlighting elections rules that every candidate needs to know. Citizens can get a copy of the brochure at local MLA offices or access the information on-line at: www.cscd.gov.bc.ca/lgd/elections_home.htm
As part of the new local elections campaign finance requirements, Elections BC has a new role in local elections to provide education and to ensure compliance and enforcement of local elections campaign finance and third-party sponsor advertising rules. Elections BC expanded its website to include information for the public, candidates, elector organizations, third-party sponsors and individuals or organizations that have acted as campaign organizers. For details, visit: www.elections.bc.ca/lecfa.
Requirements that are new for the 2014 General Local Elections include:
• Candidates, elector organizations and other election participants must file campaign finance disclosure statements with Elections BC within 90days after an election, rather than 120.
• Sponsorship information must be included on all election advertisements.
• Third-party sponsors must register with Elections BC and file disclosure statements.
• All campaign disclosure statements will be published on-line by Elections BC.
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