Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Make it law and give it bite

I'm not sure if any other cities in the province have campaign disclosure bylaws, but I think they should.

It was reported in today's SP (May 10/11) that Council has amended the Disclosure bylaw and also will be requesting that the provincial government amend the Local Government Election Act to incorporate the portion of this bylaw that bans candidates who fail to file in accordance with the bylaw from running in future elections.

I would like to see the government refine and incorporate the whole of the bylaw and have the reporting done to an independent body outside of City Halls. In our city, no one checks these reports unless a member of the public complains, and then the person who would check them is appointed and paid by council. Councillors do not have to submit bills, receipts or bank statements unless they are challenged.

It should also include what is deemed an appropriate expenditure, much along the lines of reporting done by provincial candidates. This component gets made up as civic elections go on primarily because candidates are left guessing as to what should or should not be included.

And needless to say, there is public comfort knowing there is an 'arm's length' when examining the submitted disclosures.

1 comment:

  1. Obviously not many people give a SH*T about accountability in civic politics. Its truly only in play right at the election and by those that feel they can smear another candidate. Can we really think knowing where the money comes from gives us an idea of how they will vote on tax issues. Take a look at this current council. I would never have thought they would put us so far in debt and for what publicly funded social programs and misguided infrastructure spending.


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