Kelowna mayor collected more than $31K to boost social media and profile before election campaign | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna News

Kelowna mayor collected more than $31K to boost social media and profile before election campaign

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran poses for a photo.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/City of Kelowna

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran collected $31,200 in the year before the official run-up to the 2018 municipal election to raise his public profile.

Elections BC documents released today, June 1, show there were 19 previously undisclosed donations to Basran in that time, 14 of which were from corporations, four from individuals and one from an unincorporated business or commercial organization.

The most sizeable donation was $4,000 from McKinley Hillside Limited Partnership, owned by Grant Gaucher. Next were two $3,000 donations; one from Kelowna Motors Ltd. and the other from Bellamy Homes Inc.

Basran was asked by Elections B.C. to submit corrected financial reports for money he raised in 2017.  That money was collected and spent prior to the official 2018 Election Period which started on Jan. 1, 2018, and Basran has said he wasn’t made aware he had to account for it until a recent complaint was  made.

READ MORE: Past campaign donor questions Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran's suitability for leadership

“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 in an earlier interview.

“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.

The donations were made before contribution limits of $1,200 per donor were imposed in 2018.  At that time union and corporate donations were prohibited entirely.

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

In his original campaign financing report to Elections B.C., Basran indicated he raised and spent $76,584 on his re-election campaign in 2018. That was just $200 below the maximum allowable under a provincially-set, population-based limit for anyone running that year to be elected mayor of Kelowna.

There is no penalty for Basran not declaring the 2017 contributions or expenses. He only had to file a supplemental report within 30 days of learning of the error, which he did.

To see the document click here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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