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Election Handbook “oops”

By DJ Kelly August 11, 2010

By now every potential Calgary Municipal Election candidate who has picked up a nomination package from the City should have received the following letter. The letter informs candidates of an error in the handbook that was part of their nomination package.

An “oops” to be sure, but no harm, no foul, right? I’ll give you one guess as to what Sections 147.3(1) (a), (b) and (c) of the Local Authorities Election Act deals with. If you have been following the relationship between the municipalities and the Province at all for the past three years you probably guessed right away: campaign finances.

Here is specifically what that section of the act says:

So what does this little “oops” mean?

At first glance it looks like it means that all bets are off and there are no campaign contribution limits. This is however not the case. Section 147.2 of the Act deals with limitations and it is in full effect still.

All this mistake means is that you don’t need to keep your campaign monies in a bank account. Sock it away under your mattress for all the Provincial Government cares.

Presumably these clauses have not been proclaimed because incumbents (and potentially others) who were fundraising for a run before April 22, 2010 would find it difficult to undertake the full letter of the law if they had already been spending funds prior to that date. 147.3(1) (c) being the hardest to do if you’ve already spent money on non-campaign related expenses prior to that date.

I expect the Premier to ask the Lieutenant Governor to proclaim these clauses within days of the October 18, 2010 municipal elections so as to ensure no more ‘gray periods’ can exist.

Read the entire Local Authorities Election Act visit the Queen’s Printer here: http://www.qp.alberta.ca/574.cfm?page=L21.cfm&leg_type=Acts&isbncln=9780779747795

Learn more about the process/history of 2010 Bill 9 including reading dates and Hansard links here: http://www.assembly.ab.ca/net/index.aspx?p=bills_status&selectbill=009

Cross-posted to CalgaryPolitics.com