Elections BC administers campaign financing, disclosure and election advertising rules. The Local Elections Campaign Financing Act establishes these rules. We do not administer voting or candidate nominations for local elections or assent voting in B.C.
See our Who Does What in Local Elections page for more information.
Unlike provincial elections, local government elections in B.C. are not run by one single entity. Elections BC is one of several authorities that play a role in local general elections, by-elections and assent voting.
|Area of administration||Who is responsible|
|Voting and ballots||Local Chief Election Officers|
|Nomination process||Local Chief Election Officers|
|Advertising rules||Elections BC|
|Campaign financing and disclosure rules||Elections BC|
|School trustees/school board elections||The Ministry of Education|
|Legislation for local elections||The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing|
Each jurisdiction in B.C. appoints a local Chief Election Officer to run local elections and assent voting in that jurisdiction. To find contact information for your local Chief Election Officer, search for the name of your local government (city, regional district, municipality, etc.) on CivicInfo’s Organizations page.
If you have questions outside of an election, contact your local Chief Administrative Officer.
For Boards of Education elections, contact the secretary treasurer’s office in your local school district.
The provincial Election Act does not apply to local elections in B.C.
Yes. To make a campaign contribution to a candidate or elector organization, you must be a resident of B.C. and a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. Contributions from corporations, organizations and unions are prohibited. There are also limits on campaign contributions. See our Making a Campaign Contribution page for details.
Yes. To make a sponsorship contribution to an advertising sponsor, you must be a resident of B.C. and a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. Contributions from corporations, organizations and unions are prohibited. There are no limits on the amount of sponsorship contributions that an eligible individual can make in relation to a local election.
Yes. Expense limits apply generally as follows:
See our Candidate Expense Limits page for more details.
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and the Ministry of Education are responsible for determining expense limits. They are provided to Elections BC once they are calculated and published on the Elections BC website.
The expense limits established for the 2018 General Local Elections apply to local by-elections until the next general local elections scheduled for 2022.
Yes. Limits to directed advertising and issue advertising apply generally as follows:
See our Third Party Expense Limits page for more details.
Directed advertising is third party advertising that identifies a candidate, includes a photo or likeness of a candidate or identifies a candidate by voice or physical description. Directed advertising also includes advertising that names an elector organization or includes a logo or likeness of a logo used by the elector organization.
Issue advertising is third party advertising about an issue of public policy that a candidate or elector organization is associated with, but does not name the candidate or elector organization.
The following advertising must include sponsorship information:
Note: If clicking on an online ad takes the viewer to a page with the sponsorship information, the statement does not need to be included in the ad itself.
The following advertising does not need to include sponsorship information:
For candidates and elector organizations:
e.g., Authorized by John Doe, 555-555-5555
For advertising sponsors:
e.g., Authorized by XYZ Group, registered sponsor under LECFA, email@example.com
e.g., Authorized by Jane Smith, registered sponsor under LECFA, PO Box 123 Victoria, BC V1A 1A2
Election signs cannot be placed within 100 metres of a voting place during voting. Questions about this rule should be directed to Local Chief Election Officers.
Elections BC does not regulate where signs can be placed. However, local governments may have by-laws that apply. Contact your local city/municipal hall for more information.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure also has an election signs policy. Contact your local district transportation manager for more information.
Election messages transmitted over the internet are election advertising only if they meet the applicable definition and have, or would normally have, a placement cost. A placement cost is the cost of purchasing election advertising, such as purchasing space on a social media site or other website.
For example, the costs of placing social media ads or boosting social content, banner ads, pre-roll videos or ads on Facebook or other social media sites are placement costs. Ad space received for free that normally has a placement cost is also election advertising.
Messages without placement costs on the internet, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media posts, YouTube videos, emails and websites are not election advertising. The costs related to creating, maintaining and posting messages on a website are generally not placement costs.
Yes. They can use free social media to post messages to their friends and followers. However, they are not allowed to conduct any online advertising that has a placement cost, such as sponsored Facebook or Twitter posts, pop-up, pay-per-click and banner ads.
However, these activities must not take place within 100 metres of a voting place.
Media cannot publish any election advertising via newspaper, radio or television, and cannot publish new election advertising on the internet. Advertising on the internet before General Voting Day can remain but must not be changed in any way.
Media may publish, without charge, news, editorials, interviews, columns, letters, debates, speeches or commentaries within their bona fide publications, television programs and radio shows. This includes interviews and stories about candidates.
Elections BC does not administer voting for local elections. Contact your local city/municipal hall or the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing at 250-387-4020.