Provincial Electoral Finance FAQs
Are there political contribution limits in B.C.?
No, but the Election Act does limit anonymous contributions.
Are there restrictions on who can make a political contribution in B.C.?
Yes. The Election Act prohibits unregistered political parties and constituency associations, charities, and political parties registered under the Canada Elections Act from making political contributions.
How much does a contributor have to give for their name to be disclosed in a provincial election financing report?
More than $250 in a reporting period.
What is the amount of the provincial political contribution tax credit?
Currently the maximum annual tax credit is $500. A taxpayer must contribute at least $1,150 to receive the maximum credit.
What periods are relevant to an election campaign?
Election period – the time between when an election is called and when the writ is returned to the Chief Electoral Officer.
Campaign period – the time between when an election is called and the close of voting (usually 8 p.m. Pacific time) on General Voting Day.
What do I need to do if I want to sponsor third party advertising during an election?
- Register with Elections BC before sponsoring any advertising.
- Read the Guide to Communications for Provincial Election Advertising Sponsors (PDF) and make sure you understand the rules. Call Elections BC at 1-800-661-8683 if you have any questions.
Are there exceptions to the authorization statement requirement?
Yes. Clothing, novelty items such as buttons, badges, wrist bands, and small items of nominal value like pens, mugs and magnets are exempt. Contact Elections BC to confirm if a specific form of advertising requires an authorization statement.
Are there specific rules for messages on the Internet?
Yes. Internet messages without a placement cost (e.g. social media posts) are not election advertising, and none of the requirements of the Election Act apply.
For Internet advertising with a placement cost, the authorization statement is not required if selecting the advertisement sends the user to another page that contains the authorization statement.
Is election advertising prohibited on General Voting Day?
Election advertising in newspapers, magazines, on TV or on the radio is not allowed on General Voting Day.
Distributing pamphlets, signs and posters is allowed 100 metres away from voting places and district electoral offices. New Internet advertising can’t be posted on General Voting Day, and existing Internet advertising can’t be changed on General Voting Day.
These restrictions do not apply to:
- Notices for events that the leader of a registered political party plans to attend
- Invitations to meet or hear the leader of a registered political party
Can election signs be put up before the election is called?
The Election Act doesn’t restrict this, but municipal bylaws and Ministry of Transportation policies may. Contact your municipality, or see the ministry’s election signs policy here.
Where can election signs be put up?
Under the Election Act signs can’t be put up within 100 metres of a voting place or district electoral office. Municipal bylaws and Ministry of Transportation policies may also apply. See the ministry’s election signs policy here.
Can I put an election sign in my apartment window?
Yes. Landlords cannot prohibit tenants from putting up campaign signs in their apartment. Landlords can set reasonable limits on the size and type of signs, and may prohibit signs from being posted in common areas.
Can a business put election signs up on their property?
Contact your municipality about the bylaws in your area.
I saw an election sign without an authorization statement. What should I do?
Double check the sign to make sure it’s missing the authorization statement. Sometimes they’re small and hard to see.
If the sign is missing the authorization statement, contact Elections BC at email@example.com or 1-800-661-8683. Note the location of the sign and take a picture if possible.
Can candidates use words like “re-elect” on their professional title on signs?
Can a candidate put up signs in another electoral district?