Parliamentary Committees

Special Committee recommends local elections expense limit amounts


June 26, 2015

Legislative Assembly – Province of British Columbia

VICTORIA – The all-party Special Committee on Local Elections Expense Limits today released its unanimous report on local elections campaign spending limits.

In jurisdictions with a population less than 10,000, the committee recommends expense limits of $10,000 for mayoral candidates and $5,000 for all other candidates including councillor, school trustee, electoral area directors, and Islands Trust representatives.

In jurisdictions with a population 10,000 or more, the committee recommends a per capita formula to reflect that the size of the community significantly affects a candidate’s campaign costs. To ensure the expense limits are meaningful, the committee also recommends that the spending limits apply to candidates beginning January 1 in the calendar year of the local elections.

“We heard from the public that running for local government must be accessible and affordable. Our recommendations allow reasonable spending, while promoting fair and accessible local elections,” said committee chair Jackie Tegart. “The committee’s report recognizes the importance of local government and the need for fair local elections in a democratic system of governance.”

“The committee unanimously agreed to recommend flexible expense limits which recognize the different needs of smaller and larger communities as well as the differences between mayoral candidates and candidates for other locally elected offices,” added deputy chair Selina Robinson. “We thank the many individuals and organizations that contributed to our work.”

The committee’s work was based on significant public consultation, a review of spending data from 2014 local elections campaign finance disclosure statements, and careful consideration of important public policy questions. The committee posted the 2014 local elections spending data used to inform its recommendations on its website, along with the report containing its detailed recommendations. 

The committee’s recommendations for expense limits amounts build on its December 2014 report, endorsing principles of fairness, neutrality, transparency, and accountability in local elections. The committee’s report, along with further information on the committee’s work, is available at:

Members of the Special Committee on Local Elections Expense Limits are:

Jackie Tegart, MLA Fraser-Nicola (chair);
Selina Robinson, MLA Coquitlam-Maillardville (deputy chair);
Mike Bernier, MLA Peace River South;
Gary Holman, MLA Saanich North and the Islands;
Marvin Hunt, MLA Surrey-Panorama;
Jenny Wai Ching Kwan, MLA Vancouver-Mount Pleasant;
Linda Reimer, MLA Port Moody-Coquitlam
Sam Sullivan, MLA Vancouver-False Creek

For further information:

Kate Ryan-Lloyd
Deputy Clerk and Clerk of Committees
Victoria, B.C. V8V 1X4
Telephone: 250 356-2933 (collect)
Toll-free: 1-877-428-8337
Fax: 250 356-8172