North Cowichan – Why are there no limits on campaign expenses for municipal candidates in B.C.? I was surprised to hear that was true when I enquired at the Municipality of North Cowichan. I could hardly believe that, when provincial and federal laws regarding candidate expenses are strict.
I phoned BC Elections office to check – sure enough! Currently, a municipal candidate can spend as much as he or she wishes on a campaign.
Where are the checks and balances? A candidate who wishes to court big corporate spenders is free to do so. Businesses, corporations, developers, who want to influence decisions by mayor and/or councillors of the next council are at liberty to do so.
Voters can be bombarded by months of newspaper ads and huge promotional signs without realizing that such constant and expensive promotion comes at a real cost to local democracy.
Here’s hoping that this B.C. law can be changed by 2018 – and here’s hoping that not too many North Cowichan voters will be lured by expensive and extravagant campaigning when they vote on Nov. 15.