Today the BC government tabled legislation that would ban union and corporate donations for school board, municipal and regional district elections. An individual donation limit of $1200 was also introduced.
The BC Green Caucus is thrilled to support this new bill. We have been pushing for this for a number of years and we welcome its introduction today. Below I reproduce the press release that we issued in response to this announcement.
I’ll provide a more thorough analysis when I speak to the bill at second reading later this week.
B.C. Green caucus welcomes government’s move to ban big money from municipal elections
For immediate release
October 30, 2017
VICTORIA, B.C. – Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green Party, and Adam Olsen, party spokesperson for campaign finance reform and for municipal affairs, welcomed the government’s move to extend campaign finance legislation to municipal elections. If passed, the move would ensure that the 2018 municipal elections would fall under the new rules.
“I am thrilled for the municipalities of this province that their next elections will be free of the influence of big money,” said Weaver.
“The undue influence of corporate and union donations, particularly from sectors like the real estate development, has eroded British Columbians’ trust that their government is putting their interests first. The B.C. Greens have long pushed to reform the status quo that has made B.C. notorious around the world. 2017 will go down in history as the beginning of the end of the wild west of B.C. campaign finance.”
Olsen added that the move shows that the government has finally heard the pleas of B.C. municipalities for campaign finance reform. Campaign finance reform has been the official policy of the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) since a resolution was passed in 2015.
“I am very pleased that the provincial government is finally listening to municipalities,” said Olsen.
“As a Central Saanich councillor, I used to come away from UBCM conventions feeling frustrated that the concerns of local government were not heard by the province. This demonstrates that the message has finally gotten through. Local governments around the province can now look forward to 2018 election campaign that puts the focus squarely on the people of their communities.
“We are currently going through the bill and look forward to discussing it in greater detail.”
Jillian Oliver, Press Secretary
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