With municipal elections coming up this Fall, the BCYCNA would like to share with you the recently-released Local Elections Campaign Financing Act from Elections BC.
In short, the rules for media outlets have not really changed; you can take as many ads as you want! The onus, and changes, are relevant for the candidates, not for the media. Just do ensure that you charge the same rate for all candidates.
The full document can be found here: ElectionsBC-Local Elections Campaign Financing Act
For now, Elections BC’s Communications department would like to specifically draw your attention to sections 44 and 45, below.
Local Elections Campaign Financing Act
Part 5 — Transparency Requirements for Local Elections and Assent Voting
Division 1 — Sponsorship of Election Advertising and Assent Voting Advertising
Advertising must include sponsorship information
(1) Subject to any applicable regulations, an individual or organization must not sponsor
election advertising or assent voting advertising, or transmit such advertising to the public, unless the advertising
i. in the case of advertising sponsored by a candidate or elector organization as part of the candidate’s or elector organization’s campaign, the name of the financial agent, or
ii. in any other case, the name of the sponsor,
(b) indicates that it was authorized by the identified financial agent or sponsor,
(c) gives a telephone number, email address or mailing address at which the financial agent or sponsor may be contacted regarding the advertising,
(d) if applicable, indicates that the sponsor is a registered third party sponsor or assent voting advertising sponsor under this Act, and
(e) meets any other requirements established by regulation.
(2) If information is required to be provided under subsection (1),
(a) any telephone number given must have a British Columbia area code,
(b) any mailing address given must be within British Columbia, and
(c) the sponsor must make available an individual to be responsible for answering questions from individuals who are directed to the telephone number, email address or mailing address.
(3) The information required under subsection (1) must be provided
(a) in English or in a manner that is understandable to readers of English, and
(b) if all or part of the election advertising is in a language other than English, in the other language or in a manner that is understandable to readers of that other language.
(4) For certainty, in the case of advertising that is sponsored in combination by multiple sponsors, the requirements of this section apply in relation to each sponsor.
(5) An individual or organization that contravenes this section commits an offence.
Restrictions on general voting day advertising
(1) An individual or organization must not sponsor or agree to sponsor election
advertising or non-election assent voting advertising that is or is to be transmitted to the public on general voting day, whether the transmission is within British Columbia or outside British Columbia.
(2) An individual or organization must not transmit election advertising or non-election assent voting advertising to the public on general voting day.
(3) Subject to section 153 (4) [prohibition on certain activities within 100 metres of voting proceedings on general voting day] of the Local Government Act and section 125 (4) of the Vancouver Charter, subsections (1) and (2) of this section do not apply in respect of the following election advertising or non-election assent voting advertising:
(a) communication on the internet, if the communication was transmitted to the public on the internet before general voting day and was not changed before the close of general voting;
(b) communication by means of signs, posters or banners;
(c) communication by the distribution of pamphlets;
(d) any other election advertising or non-election assent voting advertising prescribed by regulation.
(4) An individual or organization that contravenes this section commits an offence.