“Since the elimination of corporate and union donations in 2017, the annual allowance has helped political parties engage with British Columbians,” committee chair Jagrup Brar said. “The committee found that this allowance strengthens our democracy by levelling the playing field between political parties and keeping big money out of our politics.”
The annual allowance was established through changes to the Election Act.
Annual allowance payments began in 2018 at $2.50 per vote received in the most recent provincial general election, with the rate set lower in 2021 and 2022 to $1.75 per vote received.
The committee recommends the annual allowance be set at the $1.75 rate and be adjusted thereafter by the change in the Consumer Price Index for the previous year.
The all-party committee was appointed by the legislative assembly in April 2021 to review the annual allowance paid to political parties, including whether it should continue after 2022 and, if so, the amount and the number of years it should be paid.
The committee held a public consultation in the spring of 2021 and heard from academic experts, stakeholders and individual British Columbians.
It is anticipated that the committee’s report, including recommendations, will be considered for adoption by the legislative assembly in October.
Legislative amendments to the Election Act would be required to implement the recommendations.
The report is available online: www.leg.bc.ca/cmt/rpea