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Big budgets allowed for Tri-City council candidates. But can they raise it?

Election rules in place prevent unions and businesses from contributing to election campaigns in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody. But individuals can still contribute up to $1,250.
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Elections BC has set spending and donation limits for candidates running in the upcoming civic election.

Getting the message out to voters this summer and fall will be a top priority for would-be candidates in the Oct. 15 civic election.

Now, candidates for mayor, council and school board in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore and Belcarra know how much they can spend — thanks to new election expense limits provided last week by Elections BC.

And the spending limits aren't chump change, especially in the bigger cities.

The spending limit for each community is based on a formula that factors in the population of the municipality.

However, candidates seeking election can no longer be bankrolled by unions or developers.

Under a new set of rules brought in before the last elections in 2018, businesses and unions are no longer allowed to donate directly to any candidates' campaigns, and organizations cannot legally reimburse any of their staff or members who donate.

Donations from individuals, who must live in B.C. and be either a Canadian citizen or permanent residents, are capped at $1,250.

Third-party sponsors who endorse candidates for council also face limits, according to Election BC.

In Coquitlam it's $4,934.88 for mayor or council candidates. In Port Coquitlam that limit is $2,253.05 and in Port Moody it's $1,428.05. Anmore/Belcarra third-party sponsors are capped at $809.84.

Here are the spending limits for mayor and council:

Coquitlam

  • Mayor: $98,697.65
  • Councillor: $50,001.92
  • School trustee: $49,496.00

Port Coquitlam

  • Mayor: $45,061.03
  • Councillor: $22,775.10
  • School trustee: $22,650.90

Port Moody

  • Mayor: $28,561.09
  • Councillor: $14,385.30
  • School trustee: $14,146.80

Anmore

  • Mayor: $10,797.83
  • Councillor: $5,398.92

Belcarra

  • Mayor: $10,797.83
  • Councillor: $5,398.92

Those interested in representing Anmore/Belcarra on school board have a $5,398.92 limit.

Elections for councils, school boards and regional district boards across the province will take place on Saturday, Oct. 15. Following the election, candidates have 90 days to report all campaign donations and expenses.

— with files from the North Shore News

 

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