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

Snowfall warning issued for Kootenay passes

Up to 35 cm of snow expected Monday night and Tuesday.

Avalanche Canada issues special public warning

Very weak layer buried under recent snow a cause for concern

Nelson-area man wants trapping laws changed after dog killed

Louis Seguin’s 10-month-old Australian shepherd died in a body-gripping trap last month

West Kootenay highways a mess as heavy snowfall continues

‘Roads are very icy, people have to be patient and have to slow down’

VIDEO: Ex-NASA engineer pranks mail thieves with glitter bomb trap

Package thefts are common this time of year, but YouTuber Mark Rober used his engineering skills

Lightning top Canucks 5-2 in feisty battle

NHL’s No. 1 team too much for Vancouver

FortisBC says you can return to normal gas use following pipeline fire

Utility says increased pipeline capacity, warmer weather have allowed supply to reach normal levels

CSIS collected info on peaceful groups, but only in pursuit of threats: watchdog

Security Intelligence Review Committee says fears unjustified after reviewing evidence, testimony

Canada ranks 16th on annual gender gap list

This is the second year Canada has placed 16th in the World Economic Forum’s list

VIDEO: Tornado rips through city west of Seattle

Reports indicate five to seven homes damaged in Port Orchard, Wash.

Trial date postponed for man charged with killing Abbotsford police officer

Oscar Arfmann’s trial pushed back from January to May 2019

Privacy watchdog says legal cannabis buyers should use cash, not credit

Some countries could bar entry to individuals if they know they have purchased cannabis

‘A start:’ Alberta critical of Ottawa’s $1.6B package for ailing energy sector

A further $150 million is to be used for clean growth and infrastructure projects

Most Read