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Victoria mayor among latest to be fined by Elections BC

Mayor Marianne Alto issued penalty for missing authorization information
Victoria Mayor Marianne Alto becomes the fourth Greater Victoria candidate to be fined for breaking campaign financing rules in the 2022 municipal elections. (Courtesy Marianne Alto)

Victoria Mayor Marianne Alto is facing a fine for violating campaign financing rules, becoming one of four Greater Victoria candidates to be penalized following the 2022 municipal elections.

Elections BC issued a monetary penalty on Tuesday (Nov. 22) to Alto, after the mayor was found to have sponsored election advertising without an authorization statement during the pre-campaign period.

On Sept. 12, Elections BC was informed by a member of Alto’s campaign team that two ads lacking authorization statements had been published in the Victoria News on Sept. 1 and 8, in addition to sponsored ads in the Burnside Gorge Community Association and the James Bay Beacon Sept. 1 newsletters that did not identify the financial agent.

Section 44(1) of the Local Elections Campaign Financing Act requires that a candidate sponsoring election advertising identifies the financial agent of the advertisement, indicates that it was authorized by the financial agent and provides a B.C. telephone number, email address or B.C. mailing address at which the financial agent can be contacted.

Candidates can be fined up to a maximum of $5,000 for sponsoring advertisements during the election or pre-campaign period without complete statements of authorization.

In a letter to Alto, Elections BC director of investigations Adam Barnes concluded that the lack of an authorization statement would not likely have misled a reader to believe that the signs were sponsored by another individual or organization. However, Barnes also noted that Alto has participated in five local government elections as a candidate, and “should be aware of the election advertising rules.”

Alto is required to pay $150 to the chief elections officer of B.C. within 40 days.

READ MORE: 2022 election coverage

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About the Author: Greater Victoria News Staff

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