Province announces intent to move to four year municipal election cycle

Local elections reform to include four-year terms, bringing B.C. in line with other provinces

  • Feb. 27, 2014 3:00 p.m.

Local elections reform to include four-year terms

 

The B.C. government announced their intention to   introduce legislation during the  current legislative session to change local elections from a three-year  to a four-year cycle beginning with the 2014 elections, Community,  Sport and Cultural Development Minister Coralee Oakes announced on Ferbruary 25.

The move is subject to legislative approval. If it passes, the next B.C. local elections after  November 2014 will be in October 2018.

“There are pros and cons to the change,” admitted Keremeos Mayor Manfred Bauer, who said the change won’t affect his decision as to whether to run or not.

“It should result in reduced costs for elections, and more continuity in terms of politicians being able to see projects through their term of office,” he added.

 

Bauer speculated that the change in term may result in fewer people stepping forward to put their names on the ballot because of the additional time commitment.

“Will it result in the possiblity of more byelections as people find themselves unable to serve their whole term?” he wondered, “I haven’t seen any stats from other provinces regarding that.”

 

The extended  term of office will apply to B.C.’s mayors and all  elected officials serving municipalities, regional districts, parks  boards, school boards and the Islands Trust.

Moving to four-year terms was recommended by the Local Government  Elections Task Force. Last year, the Union of British Columbia  Municipalities (UBCM) passed a resolution supporting extension of the  term of office for elected local government officials from three to four years. The BC School Trustees Association also supports the  change.

 

All other Canadian provinces hold local government elections every four  years.