Local Election Reform
The B.C. government is reforming local election legislation which governs elections for municipal office (mayor and councillors), electoral area directors, some park boards, the Islands Trust, and Boards of Education. During a local election year over 1660 elected positions are filled providing elected representation to over 250 government bodies.
In May 2010, the Local Government Elections Task Force provided the Province of BC and the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) with 31 recommendations for improvements to local elections to: ensure accountability; enhance transparency; strengthen compliance and enforcement; increase accessibility; and expand education and advice. More information on the origin and purpose of the Task Force as well as the recommendations can be found in the Report of the Local Government Elections Task Force.
Most of the Task Force’s recommendations were implemented through the Local Elections Campaign Financing Act (LECFA) passed by the Legislative Assembly in May 2014. Given the significant changes introduced for the 2014 local elections, government decided not to implement expense limits for 2014 but for the next local elections in 2018.
In October 2014, the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia appointed an all-party Special Committee on Local Elections Expense Limits (the Committee). The Committee was tasked with providing recommendations to support the development of legislation and regulations necessary to implement expense limits for local elections in 2018. In June 2015, the Committee tabled its Final Report with recommendations to the Legislative Assembly on expense limits.
The recommendations of the Committee are being used to inform the development of legislation. Once expense limit legislation has successfully passed through the Legislature then expense limit amounts will be implemented through regulations.
Further information about local governments and elections is available from a number of organizations: