Mayor Robertson to Support Motion Calling for Referendum on Campaign Finance Reform

April 19, 2016 | Engaged City

Vancouver, BC (April 19, 2016) – Mayor Robertson is supporting a motion today calling for the Province of B.C. to put a question on the ballot of the 2017 general election on whether or not municipalities should be able to regulate campaign finance rules for local elections. The motion, to be introduced today by Councillor Andrea Reimer, would put the municipal campaign finance question on the provincial ballot in time for changes to be applied to the 2018 civic election.

“Banning donations from corporations and unions - and strictly limiting contributions from individuals - is the right thing to do at all levels of government.” says Mayor Gregor Robertson. “It's inexcusable that the BC government has refused to take the big money out of city election campaigns. I hope Council will unanimously support Councillor Reimer’s motion and bring this issue to the forefront of the Province’s agenda.” 

Currently, only the Provincial government holds authority to regulate city-level election spending, including the ability to ban union and corporate donations. Council first called on the Province to act on limiting municipal campaign spending in 2005, and has brought subsequent formal proposals in 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. 

The ability to set campaign spending limits and contribution caps would bring B.C. municipalities in line with requirements in federal elections, determined, regulated and enforced by Elections Canada, and in line with other major cities like Toronto.