Fox finds new election rules poorly promoted

Veteran councillor says he isn’t the only politician to be surprised by new “approved by” message requirement

Township Councillor Charlie Fox said Elections BC should have done more to make candidates aware of a new rule about election signs and flyers that requires an authorization statement which identifies the sponsor’s financial agent.

Langley Township Councillor Charlie Fox spent part of the past weekend plastering stickers on his re-election signs.

It wasn’t by choice.

The three-term veteran said it was because Elections BC hasn’t done enough to publicize a new rule that requires an “authorized by” message on most campaign signs and literature.

The “Requirement for authorization statement on election advertising” is listed in the Elections BC guide given to all candidates, but it is easy to miss, Fox said.

“It’s embedded in the middle of a booklet,” Fox told Township council Monday.

Fox said he didn’t discover the new requirement until he went to pick up $1,500 worth of campaign brochures.

It was fellow councillor Bev Dornan who delivered the news.

“We met at the printers,” Dornan said.

Dornan had spotted the new rule and had the message added to her flyers.

When Fox contacted Elections BC, he said he was told he faced a potential fine of up to $5,000 if his materials didn’t display the required message, which would say the flyers were authorized by his financial agent and including the agent’s name and a phone contact number.

Fox junked his brochures, ordered a new batch and set about adding the message to his billboards.

“I put labels on 200 signs the other day,” Fox said.

While he was out making the corrections, Fox said it became apparent to him that many other Township candidates were also unaware of the requirement, because their signs lacked the message.

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