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Langley candidates spending varied wildly

Township mayoral candidate was third highest spender in the province but wasn’t elected.
Langley City council is Leith White, Rosemary Wallace, Paul Albrecht, Mayor Nathan Pachal, Delaney Mack, Teri James, and Mike Solyom. (City website)

A Langley Township mayoral candidate was the third highest spender of all B.C. municipalities in last October’s local elections.

Elections BC has posted the candidate paperwork on election revenues and expenditures, and amounts spent did not always correlate with seats won.

Blair Whitmarsh’s documents shows he spent $142,698 on his big for the Township mayor’s chair.

Eric Woodward, who won the mayoral election and ran the Contract with Langley (CWL) slate, spent $100,833. He was the sixth highest mayoral candidate spender in the province. (The highest was Vancouver’s Ken Sim at more than $915,000.)

Mayoral candidate Michelle Sparrow, spent $9,454.

Rich Coleman, who oversaw the Elevate Langley (EL) slate in his run for Township mayor, shows zero expenditures.

Council candidate spending documents show zero for CWL candidate A.J. Cheema, and Barb Martens, as well as EL candidates Cameron Scott, James Delorme, Stephen Dinesen, Cathy MacDonald, Sierra Pilcher, Navin Takhar, and Gerald Wartak.

Candidate Karen Moraes also shows zero spending.

The Township mayoral spending limit for the Oct. 15 election was $88,415.41. The councillor limit was $44,819.70. The limits apply to spending during the official election period (Sept. 17 to Oct. 15) but candidates can spend before the election is called.

As well, those on slates can pool their limits.

Elevate Langley spent $504,788 while Contact with Langley’s documents show expenditures of $338,935.

Elector organizations (civic political parties or slates) do not have their own expense limits, explained Elections BC communications advisor Melanie Hull.

“Instead the elector organization’s endorsed candidates can share none, some, or all of their limit with the elector organization,” she said. “All of the election expenses incurred by an elector organization and its endorsed candidates must be within the overall limit.”

Candidates and elector organizations (slates) can raise funds from donations. No corporate nor union donations are allowed, and individuals are allowed to make a maximum donation of $1,250. Councillors must record and report all of their campaign expenditures, even those outside of the campaign period, to Elections BC.

In the two-person mayoral race for Langley City, incument Val van den Broek spent $18,896 and winner Nathan Pachal spent $26,059.

Candidate spending ranged from zero by Jennifer Elderkin to a high of $14,656 for Paul Albrecht.

There were no announced slates in the City race.

City mayoral expense limits were $24,434.63 while candidate limits were $12,287.10.

Contract with Langley ran three candidates in the Langley School District election and spent $109,505.37. Candidates Holly Dickinson and Sarb Rai show zero spending during the election period. Candidate Joel Neufeld spent $6,338.

Expenditures for the other candidates seeking to fill one of the five Towship seats on the school board spent between $44 (Rod Ross) and $6,125 (Suzanne Perrault).

The school district has two seats filled by City voters. Candy Ashdown, who spent $128, and Tony Ward, who spent zero dollars, were acclaimed.

Expense limits for each Township school board candidate was $43,787.10 and $11,930.40 for the City seats.


• READ MORE: New Township council worn in shortly after Oct. 15 election

• READ MORE: Our editorial - welcome to Langley’s new civic leaders



(Elections BC)
(Elections BC)
(Elections BC)

Heather Colpitts

About the Author: Heather Colpitts

Since starting in the news industry in 1992, my passion for sharing stories has taken me around Western Canada.
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