New rules aim to curb election spending in the upcoming municipal election. Thinkstock/Photo Illustration

Saanich mayoral candidates face new spending limits

Mayoral candidate David Shebib spent zero in 2014

Zero.

That is how much money Saanich mayoral candidate David Shebib spent in 2014 when he was running for the same office.

By comparison, Richard Atwell spent $52,838.70 in 2014 to defend then-incument mayor Frank Leonard, who had spent $62,371.72. Coun. Fred Haynes, who is now running against Atwell for mayor, spent $29,393 to win a councillor’s seat. Rob Wickson, who did not run in 2014, spent $6,714.08 in the 2017 byelection.

RELATED: The cost of winning a seat on Saanich council

Under new provincial rules limiting financial expenses, mayoral candidates in Saanich can spend up to $70,475.20. As for the 18 candidates for councillor, each of them can spend up $35,741.29.

The previous provincial government introduced these limits to curtail spending considered excessive. Candidates running in this year’s municipal election can also receive fewer donations. The new legislation bans unions and corporate donations and individuals may donate up to $1,200 per year per campaign to an unendorsed candidate. (As an exception, an unendorsed candidate may contribute up to $2,400 in 2018 for use in their own campaign.)

RELATED: B.C.’s new municipal election finance laws getting their first test

An individual may contribute up to $1,200 per year per campaign to an elector organization (read: slate) and its endorsed candidates. As an exception, a group of endorsed candidates may collectively contribute an additional $1,200 in total in 2018 for use in the campaign of an elector organization and its endorsed candidates.

If an elector organization endorses four candidates in one jurisdiction, in 2018 those candidates could each contribute $1,200 plus an additional $300 each for a total of $1,500 per endorsed candidate for campaign use in that jurisdiction, according to Elections B.C.


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