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NEWS RELEASE · 31st May 2010
M. of Community & Rural Dvlp.
The Local Government Elections Task Force has delivered its final report, announced co-chairs Community and Rural Development Minister Bill Bennett, and Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) president Harry Nyce. The report contains 31 recommendations to improve local government elections.

"Our purpose was to identify shortcomings in the local government elections process," said Bennett. "Although we found the existing process to have integrity and relatively few problems, we did identify a number of gaps that we recommend filling."

The recommendations would improve local government elections by ensuring accountability, enhancing transparency, strengthening compliance and enforcement, increasing accessibility, and expanding education and advice.

They include:

* Placing expense limits on local election campaign participants.
* Requiring registration and disclosure by third party advertisers.
* Requiring sponsorship information on all election advertising.
* Making campaign finance disclosure statements available earlier and in an electronically searchable form.
* Establishing a key role for Elections BC in enforcement of local campaign finance rules.
* Establishing a separate act for local campaign finance rules.

"The task force has worked hard to develop solutions that are workable for communities of all sizes," said Nyce. "We are very appreciative of the constructive submissions the task force received from a wide variety of organizations, local governments and individuals. We believe that the recommendations advanced in the report are substantive and achieve the goal set for our work."

Premier Gordon Campbell announced the task force at the 2009 UBCM annual convention. The task force was co-chaired by Bennett and Nyce, and included two government MLAs, two UBCM members and one UBCM alternate.

The report has been delivered to the Province and UBCM. It is anticipated the changes, if implemented, will be in place in time for the 2011 local elections.

To view the task force's final report, www.localelectionstaskforce.gov.bc.ca. [CLICK HERE]