Changes needed in Elections Act

Summerland letters Elections Act changes signs contributions rules

Dear Editor,

Once again the signs are out all over town heralding another municipal election.

Sadly, there are not many vying for the position of councillor, and without any competition for mayor, the incumbent is once more in control of all the political dealings that go on in Summerland, as well as much of the financial business; after all, the corporation is the biggest business in town.

By and large, after the fiasco of the first few months in office, the last council has, I think, done a reasonable job.

With not much money left in municipal coffers, expenditures on new projects have been relatively small.

With the economy in a downturn nearly everywhere, investment opportunities have been largely at a standstill.

However, one can’t help but feel greatly disappointed in our provincial government’s lack of initiative in making major changes to our Elections Act.

They had more than ample time after the Campbell task force made its recommendations, but Premier Clark did not act on them.

Regulations such as a maximum contribution limit to candidates, open details of contributions during elections, local contributors only, no contributions from corporations or unions, absolutely no anonymous donations, limited personal donations, financial reports to be filed within 15 days after the election and no contributions accepted after the election were the important proposals to bring our Elections Act into the 21st century.

Other recommendations such as responsible advertising by candidates is almost a given, after the totally unacceptable advertising during the last municipal election.

There should have been a clarification and strengthening of the conflict of interest rules.

The rules should be emphasized clearly before a candidate runs for office. If he has any potential conflict he should be advised not to run.

Perhaps there could be a seminar in advance of elections.

Anyone who is considering running for office should be required to attend or their nomination would be invalid. This would eliminate the excuse, “Well I didn’t know that rule.”

Still, it is not enough that a councillor leaves the meeting while a vote is held where he perceives himself to be in conflict.

In a “tightly-knit” slate of officers as we have at the moment and with an agenda that is discussed by council prior to the meeting, you can’t help but wonder just how much divergence of opinion is held amongst councillors and mayor.

The best of luck to all new council and school trustee candidates.

Frank Martens

Summerland

 

 

Just Posted

Penticton resident’s dog allegedly stolen from construction site

Nicholas Bozak is seeking the public’s assistance in locating Askem, his 17 month old mastiff chow

Experience the music at the 97 South Song Sessions in Penticton

Songwriters Tim Nichols, Jimmy Yeary, Jessica Mitchell and Bob DiPiero to perform intimate concert

Summerland real estate agents handled many home transactions

Larry and Donna Young spent 40 years in Summerland housing market

Stolen car now returned to Summerland dealership

Vehicle was stolen on same day as attempted carjacking incident

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: cloudy, showers expected

Environment Canada is predicting a mix of sun and clouds tomorrow and a sunny weekend across the Okanagan

Feds lowered poverty line, reducing the number of seniors in need: documents

Liberals introduced a poverty line that was below the prior low-income cutoff

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs have been sold

Victoria company has purchased BCHL team, but will keep it in Port Alberni

“Does Kirby care?” B.C. First Nation’s group using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

Trudeau announces $79M investment for 118 more public transit buses across B.C.

Contributions from municipal to federal level to fund more buses in a bid to cut commutes

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

Arrest made in vandalism of the former home of man charged with South Okanagan murders

RCMP confirmed one person has been arrested in relation to the alleged vandalism

Respected wildlife artist in the Okanagan dies

According to a post by his family, Terry Isaac died on July 16

Two Okanagan robbers have been court charged

Paul Davis Houle and Tyler Brice Rathbone face break and enter charges

After B.C. dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

Most Read