10/27/2009

The Honourable Chris Bentley, Attorney General, introduced a bill which would amend the Municipal Elections Act, 1996.
Quick Summary:

After each municipal election, the provincial government reviews the Act which governs the conduct of elections to determine any changes to improve the administration of elections. The government has completed its review and proposes a number of changes to existing election practices.  Proposed changes include:

Date Change - The legislation would move the election date forward to the fourth Monday of October. The next municipal election would be held on October 25, 2010.

Campaign Financing - Campaign surpluses in future elections would go to the municipality. Existing surpluses could be used by candidates for the election of 2010 only. Fundraising limits would be increased from 70 cents per elector to 85 cents. The bill would establish new contribution limits of $5,000 per contributor in each jurisdiction in addition to the existing limit of $750 per candidate. The proposal provides for more detailed reporting requirements of election expenses for all campaigns. In addition, municipal clerks would make all financial filings available in electronic format.

Compliance Audits and Financial Accountability - Responsibility for Compliance Audits would be shifted from Councils to an arms-length Compliance Committees of 3-7 citizens appointed by all Councils. This would replace the current system in which Council’s may appoint or delegate such duties.  

Accessibility - The proposed changes would have regard for the needs of disabled voters and candidates.

Voters List - The change would permit municipalities and MPAC to use additional sources of personal information to improve the accuracy of the voters list.

For more information regarding these and other proposals contained in the Good Government Bill, please visit the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing’s website. AMO’s detailed review of the bill will continue.