Vancouver gets support from UBCM for creating campaign finance rules
A motion calling for Vancouver to be able to set election campaign finance rules in the city received close to unanimous support at the UBCM convention today (September 19).
Delegates voted to support the municipality’s request to the provincial government to amend the Vancouver Charter in order to implement new restrictions on campaign spending.
“The minister has said that we need this support from the UBCM, because it does have unquestionably indirect potential future impacts on them,” Vision Vancouver councillor Andrea Reimer told reporters following the vote.
“It does mean we’re through that hurdle. We’ve waited 10 years to get a motion to the floor of the UBCM. We’ve tried and had a variety of mishaps and misadventures, and here we are, through that hurdle.”
Reimer, who brought the motion to the UBCM, said in the coming days she hopes to meet with Coralee Oakes, the B.C. minister responsible for local government, to see what the next step is.
“The minister may yet set up other conditions, but at least we don’t have to go through this process again, which is fantastic,” she said.
The councillor said some of the new rules she’d like to see implemented include campaign spending and contribution limits. She also wants to see a consultation process launched to seek public input on what the rules should look like.
NPA councillor George Affleck spoke against the motion at the convention this morning, arguing the wording could provide an opportunity to change the rules in the city “on a whim”.
Meanwhile, Green party councillor Adriane Carr registered her support for the resolution.
“Citizens have become highly critical and cynical about our elections, and have come to our council table saying they feel that our elections are being bought,” she said.
Reimer motion’s noted that the largest financial contribution in the last municipal election was $960,000. The donation was made to the NPA by a corporation owned by developer Rob Macdonald.
The NPA spent $2.5 million on its November 2011 election campaign, and Vision Vancouver spent $2.2 million.
Reimer’s original motion on campaign finance was brought to Vancouver city council in January 2012. Vancouver made similar requests to the B.C. government on campaign finance rules in 2005, 2009, and 2010.