Campaign Financing & Advertising


Elections BC provides the following information:

“A local elections candidate is someone seeking election as a mayor, councillor, electoral area director, board of education trustee, Islands Trust trustee, park board commissioner, park board member, advisory council member, regional trustee or local community commissioner.

Generally, local elections candidates must be nominated by eligible electors and declared a candidate by the local Chief Election Officer.

A candidate must appoint one individual as a financial agent.  If one is not appointed, the candidate is deemed to be his/her own financial agent. A financial agent must open one or more campaign accounts at a savings institution before incurring an election expense.  This account must be used exclusively for the purposes of the election campaign.

Elections BC helps local elections candidates and their financial agents understand the rules under the Local Elections Campaign Financing Act. Among other requirements, local elections candidates must:

  • Open a separate campaign account and use it for all financial transactions. If you have difficulty opening a campaign account at a savings institution, click here for a letter you can take to the institution that explains the legislated requirement.
  • File a disclosure statement with Elections BC within 90 days after General Voting Day."

For more information about the rules, read the Guide to Local Elections Campaign Financing in B.C. or visit the Local Elections FAQs page on the Elections BC website. 

Contribution limits under LECFA have been amended and generally apply as follows:

  • An eligible individual may contribute up to $1,200 per year per campaign to an unendorsed candidate. As an exception, an unendorsed candidate may contribute up to $2,400 in 2018 for use in their own campaign.
  • An eligible individual may contribute up to $1,200 per year per campaign to an elector organization and its endorsed candidates. As an exception, a group of endorsed candidates may collectively contribute an additional $1,200 in total in 2018 for use in the campaign of the elector organization and the endorsed candidates

Elections BC tools for local elections candidates and their financial agents include:

Third Party Advertising  

There are also new campaign financing rules for third party advertising sponsors.  Third party advertising sponsor is an individual or organization that conducts election advertising independently from any candidate or elector organization.  Third party advertising includes advertising for or against a candidate or elector organization.

In accordance with LECFA, for the 2018 general local election, the following limits apply during the campaign period (September 22 to October 20, 2018):

          for Office of Mayor:   $10,000
          
for Office of Councillor:   $5,000
          
for Third Party Advertising:   $750

Disclosure Requirements   

Candidates are required to make public an account of the campaign contributions they received and election expenses they incurred in the form of Campaign Financing Disclosure Statement. This statement must be filed within 90 days (January 18, 2019) of General Voting Day. Statements will be made available on the Elections BC website for public inspection.  A candidate who does not file their disclosure statements by the deadline may be disqualified from holding office and from being nominated for or elected to a local government office until after the next general local election.

Any questions regarding campaign financing and advertising are to be directed to: 

                        Elections BC                         1-855-952-0280
                        [email protected]
                        www.elections.bc.ca/lecf