Elections BC is reminding all those running to be councillors, mayors and school board members of the rules limiting how much they can spend during the upcoming official campaign period.
Beginning Saturday (Sept. 17) and running until Oct. 15, candidates, endorsing organizations and third party advertising sponsors are limited to certain levels of spending.
The allowed amounts vary greatly depending on the region a person is running in and what position they are vying for. Those running for mayor may be allowed to spend up to $10,797.83 in smaller communities like 100 Mile House, or up to $231,767.60 in a larger area like Vancouver. Prospective councillors have lower limits at about half that of mayors.
Those running for school board trustee can spend between $5,398.92 and $122,614.43, depending on the district. Limits are also set for prospective electoral area directors, local community commissioners, regional trustees, park board commissioners and the Island Trust Local Trust Area trustees.
There are also rules specific to advertising spending during the campaign period. Third-party advertisers can spend between $809.84 and $11,588.38 on a candidate, depending on the region and position being ran for. They are all registered with Elections BC and can be found at elections.bc.ca.
During the campaign period, election advertising includes “any communication to the public that promotes or opposes, directly or indirectly, the election of a candidate or an elector organization endorsing a candidate, as well as any communication that takes a position on an issue associated with a candidate or elector organization,” as well as paid canvassing. Exceptions include free news coverage, social media posts, websites, inter-organization communication and individuals expressing their views on a non-commercial basis.
Individuals who are B.C. residents and either have Canadian citizenship or permanent residency can contribute up to $1,250 to each third party sponsor. People are not allowed to make indirect contributions by using the money or property of another person or organization.
More information on rules can be found at elections.bca.ca/localelections.