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

Convicted animal abuser to return to B.C. court May 21

Catherine Jessica Adams is facing a breach of probation charge

Concerns over democracy as Senate committee votes to nix oil tanker ban

Critics of the Senate’s recommendation to kill Bill C-48 say it goes against popular will

Northwest Fire Centre open burn ban lifted

Recent rain, cooler temperatures have lowered the region’s fire risk

Telkwa pot plant application passes review

Cannabis company claims new Health Canada regulations are working in its favour

Red cedars dying in northwestern B.C. from drought

There was a 75 per cent decline in precipitation for the months of February and April

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of Victoria Day

How much do you know about the monarch whose day we celebrate each May?

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

Most Read