2004 Legislative Session: 5th Session, 37th Parliament

The following electronic version is for informational purposes only.
The printed version remains the official version.


BILL M 207 -- 2004


(An Act Limiting Government Advertising During
Elections and By-Elections)


WHEREAS in June 1996 B.C.'s Auditor General issued a report which said in part that:

"Advertising undertaken either shortly before or after an election writ is issued should have a clear commercial or essential community information purpose and be necessary at that particular time. It should not give grounds, through its content or timing, for a claim that it is being used for partisan political gain."

AND WHEREAS the public has responded favourably to the advice of the Auditor General on this matter:

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, enacts as follows:

Election Act

1 Section 1 of the Election Act, R.S.B.C., c. 106, is amended by adding the following definition:

"Government Advertising" means any communications through written or electronic media, funded in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, by taxpayers' dollars administered by the Provincial Government.

2 Section 235 (under Part ll -- Election Communications) is amended by adding:

Government Advertising

235  (a) Government advertising is prohibited during the campaign period of either a general election or a by-election except as allowed by regulation as established under this act.

(b) Government advertising is prohibited during the 4 months leading up to a general election except as allowed by regulation as established under this act.

3 Section 264 (Offences in relation to election advertising and other promotions) is amended by adding:

(3)  (a) A government that contravenes Section 235 commits an offence.

(b) The Premier of a government that commits an offence under subsection (3) (a) is liable to a fine of not more than $5,000.

4 Part 13 -- General is amended by adding:

Regulations regarding Government Advertising

284 Regulations specific to Section 235 will be written by a non-partisan committee established by unanimous consent of the Legislature of British Columbia.

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