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Opinions wanted on local election spending

Election signs are still a go-to campaign tool but a possible restriction on election spending might change that in future local elections.
March 26, 2015 - 8:27 AM

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - Fresh off the heels of the fall municipal election a special committee is now looking at whether spending limits should be put in place for candidates and third party advertisers.

The provincial government committee will speak with stakeholders and the public over the coming weeks to discuss whether a limit should be put in place. A total of eight public meetings will be held March 30 to April 9 and online submissions and surveys will be accepted until Friday, April 17.

“We want to continue hearing from British Columbians about what would be appropriate local elections expense limits for candidates and third party advertisers,” Committee Chair and Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart said in a release.

The only two local hearings will be held in Kamloops on April 1 and Penticton on April 2. The Kamloops meeting will be at the Holiday Inn on Tranquille Road from 4 to 7 p.m. while the Penticton meeting will be the next day from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Penticton Lakeside Resort on Lakeshore Drive. Those wanting to make a presentation must register beforehand.

Submissions are also being accepted in written, audio and video form and an online survey is being conducted until April 17 as well.

A final report, with recommendations, will be released by June 12, 2015. The first phase of the mandate had the committee look at the principles for local election expense limits, and a report on that element was released in December.

Financial disclosure statements were released in February. In Kelowna a slate of candidates spent more than $50,000 in an attempt to get elected while mayoral candidates throughout the region spent as much as $76,000.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at jstahn@infonews.ca or call 250-819-3723.

News from © iNFOnews, 2015

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