Special Committee on Local Elections Expense Limits: don’t rush it, do it right

(Victoria, 2 November 2014) – IntegrityBC is calling on the Special Committee on Local Elections Expense Limits to take a step back, consider the needs and interests of stakeholders, and then reschedule its public hearings and consultations.

The first phase of the committee’s work will consider “principles for the relationship between elector organizations and their endorsed candidates with respect to expense limits; and principles for establishing expense limits for third party advertisers.”

Two of the committee’s four public meetings will take place in Vancouver and will be held one week before election day. The consultation on the first phase ends on November 21.

“The government has had four years since the Local Government Elections Task Force made its recommendation on limits and yet the only window they could find to schedule consultations was on days that overlap with the current election cycle,” said IntegrityBC executive director Dermod Travis. “Province-wide limits can’t even be put in place before 2018.”

Adding insult to injury, the committee sent out a notice on the afternoon of October 28, inviting some “key stakeholders” to provide input at public meetings, the first of which was scheduled to take place less than a day later.

“Nothing could speak more eloquently to how the government views public consultation,” said Travis.

While the committee has offered some key stakeholders a conference call option “upon request,” and a possible “final meeting” four days after local elections on November 15, their disregard for providing adequate notice to all stakeholders and their decision to conduct virtually the entire process while local elections are underway makes a mockery of the importance of the committee’s work.

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For more information:

Dermod Travis, Executive Director