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12 B.C. municipal parties under investigation for finance or advertising violations

VANCOUVER — A dozen municipal political parties in British Columbia, including those that won council majorities in Vancouver and Burnaby in 2022, are under investigation by Elections BC for possible financing or advertising violations.

Elections BC said in a news release that the potential violations relate to accepting prohibited contributions, failing to deal with such contributions, or sponsoring election advertisements without an authorization statement.

It said the parties under investigation include Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim’s ABC Vancouver and the Burnaby Citizens Association, both of which won council majorities.

ABC Vancouver said in a statement Thursday that it’s aware of the investigation and will co-operate with Elections BC “to bring this matter to a quick resolution.”

“ABC is fully committed to upholding the highest standard of integrity and has always acted out of an abundance of caution in order to ensure compliance with election law,” it said.

Marcel Marsolais, President of Burnaby Citizens Association, said in a statement on Thursday night that they will work with Elections BC to “resolve any concerns” and are committed to complying with the Local Elections Campaign Financing Act. 

Contract With Langley, the party whose slate won the mayor’s office and a council majority in Langley Township, is also being investigated.

Elections BC said no contraventions have been confirmed and all parties have been co-operative.

It said rules governing local elections restrict contribution to citizens or permanent residents who live in B.C., ban donations from organizations and limit an individual’s contributions to $1,250 per campaign.

Violations are subject to administrative and monetary penalties. 

Vancouver parties under investigation also include Vision Vancouver, the Civic Non-Partisan Association, Forward Together, and Progress Vancouver.

Other parties named in the probe are the Safe Surrey Coalition, Surrey First, and United Surrey, as well as the Richmond Community Coalition and Kelowna’s Spirit Alliance.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 11, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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