At the recommendation of the Special Committee to Review Provisions of the Election Act, proposed amendments will make the annual allowance for political parties permanent.
These changes are a recommendation of the all-party special committee, following a public consultation in April and May 2021. British Columbians were invited to share their thoughts on whether political parties should receive an annual allowance, how much this should be and for how long it should be paid.
These amendments build on previous amendments introduced to the act in 2017, when government banned corporate and union donations and reduced individual contribution limits. At that time, an annual allowance was introduced – expiring in 2022 – to support political parties as they transitioned to the new election financing rules.
The amendments, if passed, will mean that in 2023, eligible political parties will be provided with $1.75 per vote received in the most recent general election. This amount will be adjusted each following year, based on changes in the Consumer Price Index and the number of votes parties received in the most recent provincial election. This amount is down from $2.50 per vote when the allowance was first introduced.
To be eligible, a party must have received at least 2% of the total valid votes cast in all electoral districts or 5% of the total valid votes in districts where the party had candidates.
Currently there are five eligible political parties: BC Green Party; BC Liberal Party; BC NDP; BC Conservative Party; and Rural BC Party.
Making the annual allowance permanent aligns B.C. with other jurisdictions in Canada, including Quebec and Ontario, which have also provided an annual allowance after making similar changes to campaign financing rules.
To read the report from the Special Committee to Review Provisions of the Election Act, visit:
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