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BC government allowance to political parties to be CPI-adjusted

Allowance to political parties will be adjusted to Consumer Price Index after 2023.

Wednesday August 11, 2021 | VICTORIA, BC

by Mary P Brooke, Editor | Island Social Trends

The Special Committee to Review Provisions of the Election Act has released its report on the annual allowance paid to political parties.

In a news release issued by the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, it was outlined that the annual allowance was established through legislative amendments to the Election Act.

Adjusting to Consumer Price Index:

Annual allowance payments began in 2018 at $2.50 per vote received in the most recent provincial general election, with the rate decreasing in 2021 and 2022 to $1.75 per vote received.

Mitzi Dean

The committee recommends the annual allowance be set at the reduced rate of $1.75 per vote in 2023 and be adjusted thereafter by the change in the Consumer Price Index for the previous year.

All-Party Committee:

The all-party committee was appointed by the legislative assembly in April 2021 to review the annual allowance paid to political parties, including whether the allowance should continue after 2022. And if the allowance is to continue, at what amount and for how many years it should be paid.

The committee held a public consultation in the spring of 2021 and heard from academic experts, stakeholders and individual British Columbians.

Engaging with the public:

“Since the elimination of corporate and union donations in 2017, the annual allowance has helped political parties engage with British Columbians,” said Jagrup Brar, committee chair. “The committee found that this allowance strengthens our democracy by levelling the playing field between political parties and keeping big money out of our politics.”

Peter Milobar, deputy chair, said: “Many presentations and submissions affirmed the view that well-functioning political parties play an important role within our democratic system. On behalf of all committee members, I would like to thank everyone who participated in the committee’s public consultation.”

Toward October 2021:

It is anticipated that the committee’s report, including recommendations, will be considered for adoption by the legislative assembly in October 2021. Legislative amendments to the Election Act will be required to implement the committee’s recommendations.

The report is available online: www.leg.bc.ca/cmt/rpea

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Committee members:

The members of the Special Committee to Review Provisions of the Election Act are:

  • NDP: Jagrup Brar, MLA for Surrey-Fleetwood (chair); Brittny Anderson, MLA for Nelson-Creston; Andrew Mercier, MLA for Langley; Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtenay-Comox.
  • BC Liberal: Peter Milobar, MLA for Kamloops-North Thompson (deputy chair); Greg Kyllo, MLA for Shuswap.
  • BC Green: Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands.
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