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.
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