Election reform change a concern

Local politicians insist a provincial focus on election reform is misdirected.

Local politicians insist a provincial focus on election reform is misdirected.

The Southern Interior Local Government Association’s executive met with Community Development Minister Coralee Oakes Tuesday about proposed changes to municipal election legislation, including candidate financing and expenses.

“We wish they would work on issues more near and dear to our hearts like water,” director Janice Brown, who sits on the SILGA executive, told the Regional District of North Okanagan board.

“There’s lots of money and time being spent on this process which really isn’t an issue.”

Brown believes election financing and expenses may be a factor in large municipalities but not in more rural areas such as her Spallumcheen.

“The money mostly comes out of our own pockets,” she said of what local candidates spend on election campaigns.

Brown also says the proposed legislation doesn’t reflect the fact that many candidates are reducing spending on advertising and are relying more on social media.

“Even signs will become a thing of the past before too long,” she said.

Oakes told the SILGA executive that legislation is also moving ahead to extend municipal term limits from three to years, but it’s not known if the rules will be in place for the 2017 civic elections.