2022 General Local Elections campaign period begins September 17

THE campaign period for the 2022 General Local Elections starts this Saturday, September 17 and Elections BC is reminding candidates, elector organizations, and third party advertising sponsors that expense limits come into effect with the start of the campaign period, and the definition of election advertising is broadened to include issue-based ads.

Expense limits for candidates and third party advertisers differ by jurisdiction and office sought. The limits are available on Elections BC’s website at the links below:

Election advertising is regulated during the pre-campaign and campaign periods. Pre-campaign period rules are currently in effect. Election advertisers must register with Elections BC, include an authorization statement in their ads, and file a campaign financing disclosure statement after the election.

During the campaign period, the definition of election advertising is broadened to include any communication to the public that promotes or opposes, directly or indirectly, the election of a candidate or an elector organization endorsing a candidate, as well as any communication that takes a position on an issue associated with a candidate or elector organization. It also includes paid canvassing in person, by telephone or over the internet.

There are exceptions to what counts as election advertising. The following are not considered election advertising:

  • Free news coverage, including stories, editorials, letters to the editor, and interviews
  • Free social media posts
  • Websites
  • Communications by an organization directly to its members
  • Individuals expressing their views on the internet, by phone or by text message on a non-commercial basis

The list of third party advertisers is available on Elections BC’s website and is updated daily:

Candidates, elector organizations, and third party advertising sponsors should also be aware of contribution source restrictions and limits. Only eligible individuals can contribute to a candidate or third party advertising sponsor’s campaign, and they must not make contributions indirectly by using money or property of another individual or organization. An eligible individual is someone who is a resident of B.C. and a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. Contributions in 2022 are limited to $1,250 per candidate or third party sponsor.

In local elections, Elections BC is responsible for administering the campaign financing and advertising rules established by the Local Elections Campaign Financing Act. Elections BC is not responsible for administering voting, counting, or results reporting at the local level, and does not regulate where and when local election signs can be placed. Questions about local election sign placement should be directed to the local jurisdiction, or the Ministry of Transportation for signs placed on highway rights-of-way.

For more information about the campaign financing and advertising rules in local elections, visit elections.bc.ca/localelections.

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