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.

Just Posted

Construction of LNG Canada plant still on hold

Construction will only begin following a positive final investment decision

VIDEO: Watch ex-Kitimat video director Stephano Barberis’ new reel, featuring his own new music

Breathe of My Leaves music project debuts ‘Chimera’ album of electronic sounds

Sulphur dioxide pollution over Kitimat could be eliminated after 2024

New process will eliminate SO2 as a byproduct

Kitimat, Terrace home sales up from 2017

Optimism surrounding a potentially positive LNG decision one of the factors

B.C. Green Party pushes for wild salmon commissioner

The role would serve as a unifying force in the provincial government

VIDEO: Canadian Forces help flood-ravaged Grand Forks residents heal

Sgt. Bradley Lowes says the military is used to dealing with traumatic times

Chilliwack Chiefs make history with first RBC Cup win

In front of a huge and noisy crowd, the Chiefs claimed their first-ever national junior A title.

UPDATED: Majority of flood evacuees in Kootenay-Boundary allowed to return home

Officials hope to have all 3,000 people back in their homes by Monday night

B.C. Lions bring back 6-time all-star offensive lineman Jovan Olafioye

He was acquired by the Montreal Alouettes last year.

Whitecaps rally for 2-2 draw with FC Dallas

Vancouver climbed out of a two-nil hole to tie FC Dallas 2-2

B.C. VIEWS: Making sense of climate policy

Flood and fire predictions have poor track record so far

Chilliwack Chiefs moving on to RBC Cup final after thrilling win over Ottawa

Kaden Pickering scored the winning goal in the 3rd period as Chilliwack won their semi-final 3-2.

VIDEO: As floodwaters recede, crews assess the damage to Grand Forks’ downtown

More than four dozen firefighters and building inspectors came out to help

Wellington Dukes pull off epic upset of Wenatchee at RBC Cup

The Dukes are off to the championship game after downing the Wild 2-1 Saturday at Prospera Centre.

Most Read