Expense limits are the second phase of the Local Government Elections Reform process. The two-phase approach allows campaign participants to first become familiar with a new, separate Act with new rules around transparency, accountability and enforcement before adding expense limits into local elections.
The intent of the engagement regarding expense limits is to gather information through public feedback and talking to key stakeholders, such as local governments, to help inform the development of expense limits. Expense limits framework legislation would then be developed for the next local elections after 2014.
The concept of expense limits for election participants was one of the recommendations made by the Local Government Elections Task Force. The Task Force viewed expense limits as a way to increase accessibility and fairness by leveling the playing field among candidates; encouraging candidate participation; and reducing the need for large contributions to fund expensive campaigns.
The Expense Limits Discussion Paper is now available to review. The Discussion Paper includes information on the history of the Task Force recommendations in relation to expense limits and also provides an overview of the proposed “starting points” for developing expense limits, some facts on campaign spending in BC local elections, and discussion questions. Government is inviting feedback on the Discussion Paper until January 31st, 2014.