Elections BC has set the campaign spending limit for the upcoming municipal elections in October.
They differ in the Cariboo.
Those running for Mayor of Quesnel can spend $10,931 dollars and change, for Williams Lake the cap is $12,425 and it is just under $10,798 for those running for Mayor in 100 Mile House.
The totals for Councillors are less, ranging from just under $5,466 in Quesnel up to $6,212 in Williams Lake.
100 Mile House Councillor candidates are permitted to spend up to almost $5,399.
The spending limit for Cariboo Regional District Directors is also just under $5,399.
Andrew Watson, Communications Director with Elections BC, says the Ministry of Municipal Affairs sets the limits based on a formula in the Local Elections Campaigning Financing Act.
“That formula is based on the population of the jurisdiction and the office being sought in the election, so there’s different limits for candidates for Mayor and Councillor for example.”
Trustees in the Quesnel School District can spend up to $10,945, while the limit in the Cariboo/Chilcotin School District is just under $5,399 for most of the seven zones.
Zone 6, which covers the City of Williams Lake, has a spending limit of $6,241.
The spending limits apply for just the campaign period which runs from September 17th to October 15th.
Watson says Elections BC makes sure people don’t go over those limits.
“Yes, that’s part of our role. Unlike provincial elections where we administer all aspects of the electoral process, at the local level in BC we’re responsible for administering the campaign financing and advertising roles. But we’re not responsible for administering voting or candidate nominations or other aspects of the process. And yes part of administering the campaign financing roles is administering the expense limits.”
Watson says candidates that go over the limits could face monetary penalties, lose their seat if they are elected, or if they commit and offence and are convicted they could be liable to a $5,000 fine, imprisonment for up to a year, or both.