Civic candidates will have spending limits soon

Spending limits could cut back on local election expenses.

New spending limits proposed for municipal candidates could cut down the amount spent on Langley Township elections.

The new legislation was introduced to the legislature in Victoria Thursday by Community minister Peter Fassbender, himself a former mayor of Langley City.

The expense limits would drastically cut down the amounts that have been spent in recent years in Langley Township, particularly for the mayoral race.

The limit is based on local population. In Langley Township, with a population of 104,000 in the 2011 census, mayoral candidates would have spending limits capped at about $64,000.

Mayor Jack Froese spent well above that, at more than $140,000 according to his final campaign disclosure documents.

Unsuccessful candidate Rick Green spent $44,000 in the last election.

Even in Langley City, where spending was much more limited, future candidates could have to rein in their spending.

Mayor Ted Schaffer spent $27,000 on his last campaign. But given current population numbers of just over 25,000 people, the future spending limits would be about $20,500.

The new expense limits would also reduce the amount candidates for school board and council could spend to even lower levels than mayoral candidates.

The formula for mayoral candidates:

• $1 per capita for the first 15,000 population

• $0.55 per capita for the next 15,000 to 150,000 population

• $0.60 per capita for the next 150,000 to 250,000

• $0.15 per capita thereafter.

For all other local offices:

• $0.50 per capita for the first 15,000 population

• $0.28 per capita for the next 15,000 to 150,000 population

• $0.30 per capita for the next 150,000 to 250,000 population

• $0.08 per capita thereafter.

The expense limits will be adjusted up for inflation. As well, they will be slightly higher during the next election, especially in the Township, as the population is growing rapidly.



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