Ujjal Dosanjh like you've never seen him before; clarifying campaign rules

12th and Cambie

 

Things I did not know last week but now happy to report this week in a random dumping of scribblings from my notebook after attending Vision Vancouver’s “spring fling” May 21 at the Coast Plaza hotel in the West End:

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• Michael Graydon, the former head of the B.C. Lottery Corporation, is a member of Vision Vancouver. You’ve probably heard he now heads up a company tied to Paragon Gaming that will build a casino adjacent to B.C. Place Stadium. Graydon also attended the NPA’s May 7 fundraiser as a guest of Concord Pacific, whose staffers attended both events.

• That bald guy in the grey suit, with the familiar face sitting at a table in the hotel’s courtyard was none other than Bob McCammon, who once coached the Philadelphia Flyers and the Vancouver Canucks. (Thanks, Google images).

• Former NDP premier and one-time Liberal MP Ujjal Dosanjh has let his hair grow and grow…and grow. The man resembles someone the Beatles might have consulted in the 60s for spiritual guidance. Looking good, Mr. D! Be warned Jim Iker of the B.C. Teachers’ Federation, your impressive mane has some serious competition.

• Driving to the West End during afternoon rush hour is a very, very bad idea. Bike, bus, walk or cab next time.

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In my last entry, I mentioned I was trying to get some answers from the provincial government on campaign finance rules for civic elections.

Well, the good people in Victoria got back to me.

And I think I figured this out; it’s confusing, folks, because the government is bringing in new legislation and it’s not clear what will be in play for the big vote Nov. 15.

I’ll get to the responses in a sec.

First, my question: How far back does a civic political party have to go when disclosing names of contributors and donations to their campaigns?

I got hung up on this question after city clerk Janice MacKenzie issued a memo to council April 28 in which she acknowledged she didn’t know when the date kicks in to declare expenses.

Expenses are, of course, different than contributions.

Anyway, this is what MacKenzie wrote:  “It should be noted that under the current and new tabled Local Elections Campaign Financing Act, the election expense period begins on January 1 in the year of a local government election. It is unclear whether this will apply for the 2014 elections.”

Now to what a communications staffer in Victoria sent me in reply to my question.

“To answer your question about disclosure of campaign contributions, please note that the rules have not changed under the new legislation in that there is no cut-off period for recording contributions.”

The staffer continued: “For example, if a candidate or elector organization received a campaign contribution in 2013 for the 2014 election, the required information must be recorded and disclosed.”

Ah-ha, so that means parties and candidates have to disclose everything they collected from the day after the 2011 election until the big vote this year on Nov. 15.

OK, got it.

Now what about expenses?

All election expenses must be recorded and disclosed during the campaign period, which runs from Jan. 1, 2014 to election day, Nov. 15, 2014. To sum up, that

means parties only claim expenses for this year and claim all donations between elections and leading up to election day.

Are we clear on this, people?

Am I clear?

Um, sure.

mhowell@vancourier.com

twitter.com/Howellings

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