Local governments moving to four-year terms

This November's municipal election will be the last one until October, 2018.

The provincial government will introduce legislation during the current legislative session to change local elections from a three-year to a four-year cycle, starting with this November’s elections,  Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister Coralee Oakes announced Tuesday.

The change will mean Langley City and Langley Township councils, and Langley Board of Education trustees, will serve from December of this year to October, 2018.

Four-year terms will give local governments more time to consult, plan and achieve community goals — and also help to manage election costs, said Oakes.

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

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.

Oakes said there will also be changes coming to rules related to municipal election financing in the new legislation. The provincial government website says those changes will not apply to the 2014 election campaign.

For more details on the proposed changes to local government elections, see www.localgovelectionreform.gov.bc.ca

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