Know your limit. Spend within it.
Elections BC has set the maximum allowable cash candidates may spend running for council, mayor and school board in the upcoming local government elections.
The spending limit for each community is based on a formula that factors in the population of the municipality.
In the City of North Vancouver, mayoral candidates must not spend more than $42,499, while council candidates are capped at a budget of $21,472.
With a higher population, the District of North Vancouver’s mayoral and council campaign spending limits are $61,506 and $31,137 respectively.
West Vancouver’s candidates meanwhile may not spend more than $34,196 in a run for mayor or $17,250 in a bid for a seat on council.
School board candidates in West Vancouver cannot spend more than $19,070 in their campaign. The North Vancouver school board reserves four seats for district representatives and three for the city. Their limits are $31,575 and $21,489, respectively.
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 that endorse candidates for council also face limits. In the City of North Vancouver, it is $2,124 for mayor or council candidates. In the DNV, that limit is $3,075. West Vancouver third-party sponsors are capped at $1,709.
One candidate up for re-election however, will largely be able to skip fundraising this time around. In 2018, Linda Buchanan raised almost $96,000 for her campaign, leaving her with almost $40,000 left in the war chest. Under the law, Buchanan was eligible to take back $10,000 she donated to herself before the new rules came into place but the remainder was to be held in trust by the City of North Vancouver, available to her again only for a re-election campaign.
Local government elections will happen across B.C. on Oct. 15. Following the election, candidates have 90 days to report all campaign donations and expenses.