Complaint forces Kelowna mayor to file corrected financial report with Elections B.C. | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Complaint forces Kelowna mayor to file corrected financial report with Elections B.C.

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran was sworn in for a second term by Judge Lisa Wyatt on Nov. 6, 2018. Today he's rushing to file updated financial reports.
May 13, 2021 - 10:28 AM

Corrected financial reports will be filed with Elections B.C. within the next day or two by Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran after a complaint was made about money he raised in 2017.

He raised about $20,000 in 2017 that was spent that year, Basran told iNFOnews.ca today, May 13, prior to the official 2018 Election Period which started on Jan. 1, 2018. Basran was reelected for a second term that year.

“Apparently you have to, at least, let Elections B.C. know you raised money outside the campaign period, which we weren’t aware of and that’s why we didn’t submit the information because it wasn’t a 2018 election expense and the funds weren’t raised for the 2018 election, which is perfectly legal,” Basran told iNFOnews.ca “We are allowed to raise funds outside a campaign period and use those funds to boost social media posts and promote my profile in the community.”

B.C. Elections rules state the Election Period started Jan. 1 and ran to Sept. 21. Then the Campaign Period started on Sept. 22 and ran to voting day, Oct. 20.

Anything spent in those two periods is considered campaign expenses but there is no section in the information put out by Elections B.C. for the 2018 election that specifically dealt with spending in the years leading up to an election year.

In a document showing how to fill out expense declarations forms, it does reference monies carried forward from a previous campaign and “fundraising income.”

Basran understands, from a Daily Courier report, that the issue of his team not declaring the 2017 fundraising came up after a complaint was filed to Elections B.C.

“Somebody has gone to the media and has made this a news story,” he said. “As a result of that news story, we wanted to make sure we did everything right so we, on our own, contacted Elections B.C. and got further clarity and that’s why we’re doing it. We wanted to make sure we did everything right.”

He has not been contacted by Elections B.C. about the complaint.

A B.C. Elections spokesperson said that all monies raised do have to be declared but expenses only apply for the election year.

There are spending limits imposed on candidates in local elections but those, again, only apply to money spent in the campaign year.

In 2018, Basran spent $76,585. That was about $200 less than the maximum allowed by Elections B.C. of $76,781.50.

If a financial agent learns, after the financial report is filed, that it’s incomplete or inaccurate, the agent has 30 days to file a supplemental report.

There are fines of up to $10,000 and imprisonment for up to two years for financial agents who file false or misleading information.

Go here for more information on B.C. Election rules from 2018.


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