VICTORIA - Significant changes to local government election rules will be put in place for the 2014 elections, announced Ida Chong, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.
In July 2010, the Province gave the "green light" to proceed with the recommendations of the Local Government Elections Task Force to take effect this fall. However, due to tight timelines for spring legislation and the complexity of the planned changes, government has decided it is best to proceed instead for 2014.
The recommendations constitute the most substantial changes to local elections legislation in nearly two decades. In addition, thousands of election participants across the province need to be educated on the changes prior to them taking effect.
The Province remains strongly committed to the recommendations of the Local Government Elections Task Force, and will continue to work with the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) and with other stakeholders, including Elections BC, the Local Government Management Association and the BC School Trustees' Association to ensure these changes are implemented for the 2014 elections.
Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Ida Chong -
"We understand UBCM and some local governments may be disappointed that these changes won't be in place for this year's elections. However, our highest priority must be to help ensure local elections run smoothly, without confusion, and that all participants have an opportunity to understand and follow the rules. We also heard concerns that it was too late to proceed with changes of this magnitude during an election year as campaign activities are already underway. This decision gives all those involved in local elections the time required for these changes to be implemented successfully."
* The Local Government Elections Task Force was a joint endeavour of UBCM and the Province.
* The Local Government Elections Task Force recommendations include:
o Imposing expense limits on candidates, elector organizations and third-party advertisers.
o Requiring disclosure by third-party advertisers.
o Requiring sponsorship information on all election advertising.
o Making campaign finance disclosure statements available earlier and in an electronically searchable form.
o Establishing a key role for Elections BC in enforcement of campaign finance rules.
o Changing the date of the election from November to October.
o Enacting a separate act for campaign finance rules.
For more information on the Local Government Elections Task Force report and recommendations, go to: www.localelectionstaskforce.gov.bc.ca
Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development
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