Search Results | Clear Search | Previous (in doc) | Next (in doc) | Prev Doc | Next Doc

View Complete Statute

This Act is current to June 11, 2024
See the Tables of Legislative Changes for this Act’s legislative history, including any changes not in force.

Election Act

[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 106

Part 10.1 — Election Communications

Repealed

228   [Repealed 2017-20-29.]

Canvassing in housing cooperative, strata and rental properties

228.01   (1) In this section:

"authorized canvasser" means an individual authorized in writing by a candidate to canvass voters and distribute candidate information on the candidate's behalf;

"candidate information" means printed information about

(a) a candidate, and

(b) if applicable, the registered political party represented by the candidate.

(2) The following individuals and organizations must not unreasonably restrict access to residential property by a candidate or an authorized canvasser for the purposes of canvassing voters and distributing candidate information:

(a) a housing cooperative or individual acting on behalf of a housing cooperative;

(b) a landlord or individual acting on behalf of a landlord;

(c) a strata corporation or individual acting on behalf of a strata corporation.

(3) While canvassing voters or distributing candidate information at a residential property, access to which is controlled by any of the individuals or organizations referred to in subsection (2), a candidate or authorized canvasser must produce government-issued photo identification and either proof of candidacy or a candidate's written authorization to canvass voters and distribute candidate information, as applicable, at the request of any of the following individuals:

(a) a resident of the property;

(b) an individual referred to in subsection (2) (a), (b) or (c).

(4) Subsection (2) applies from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. during the campaign period.

Tenant and strata election advertising

228.1   (1) A landlord or person acting on a landlord's behalf must not prohibit a tenant from displaying election advertising posters on the premises to which the tenant's tenancy agreement relates.

(2) A strata corporation or a person acting on behalf of a strata corporation must not prohibit the owner or tenant of a strata unit from displaying election advertising posters on the premises of the owner's or tenant's unit.

(3) Despite subsections (1) and (2), a landlord, a strata corporation or a person acting on behalf of a landlord or strata corporation may

(a) set reasonable conditions relating to the size or type of election advertising posters that may be displayed on the premises, and

(b) prohibit the display of election advertising posters in common areas of the building in which the premises are found.

Sponsorship of election advertising

229   (1) For the purposes of this Part and Part 11, the sponsor of election advertising is whichever of the following is applicable:

(a) the individual or organization who pays for the election advertising to be conducted;

(b) if the services of conducting the advertising are provided without charge as a contribution, the individual or organization to whom the services are provided as a contribution;

(c) if the individual or organization that is the sponsor within the meaning of paragraph (a) or (b) is acting on behalf of another individual or organization, the other individual or organization.

(2) Where this Part and Part 11 requires the inclusion of a mailing address or telephone number at which a sponsor can be contacted,

(a) any mailing address given must be within British Columbia,

(b) any telephone number given must be that of a place within British Columbia, and

(c) the sponsor must make available an individual to be responsible for answering questions from the public that are directed to the address or telephone number.

(3) Where this Part and Part 11 requires a sponsor to be identified, for a numbered corporation or an unincorporated organization the identification must include both

(a) the name of the organization, and

(b) the name of an individual director or, if there are no individual directors, an individual who is a principal officer or a principal member of the organization.

(4) On request of the chief electoral officer,

(a) an individual identified as a sponsor, or

(b) an individual identified as a director, principal officer or principal member of an organization identified as a sponsor

must file with the chief electoral officer a solemn declaration that the identified sponsor is in fact the sponsor and that the sponsor has not contravened this Part and Part 11.

No indirect sponsorship of election advertising

230   An individual or organization must not sponsor election advertising with the property of any other individual or organization or indirectly through any other individual or organization.

Election advertising must identify sponsor

231   (1) Subject to subsection (2), an individual or organization must not sponsor, or publish, broadcast or transmit to the public, any election advertising unless the advertising

(a) identifies the name of the sponsor or, in the case of a candidate, the name of the candidate's financial agent or the financial agent of the registered political party represented by the candidate,

(b) if applicable, indicates that the sponsor is a registered third party sponsor under this Act,

(c) indicates that it was authorized by the identified sponsor or financial agent,

(d) specifies a means of contacting the sponsor or financial agent, such as a telephone number, mailing address or email address, or other means prescribed by the chief electoral officer by regulation, and

(e) meets any form and content requirements established by the chief electoral officer by regulation.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to any class of election advertising exempted under section 283.

(3) The chief electoral officer, or a person acting on the direction of the chief electoral officer, may

(a) remove and destroy, without notice to any person, or

(b) require a person to remove or discontinue, and destroy,

any election advertising that does not meet the requirements of subsection (1) and is not exempted under subsection (2).

Identification of sponsor — activities

231.01   (1) With respect to an activity described in section 1 (3) (a), the person canvassing a voter must provide to the voter the information described in section 231 (1) (a) to (c).

(2) With respect to an activity described in section 1 (3) (b), the material must include the information described in section 231 (1) (a) to (e).

(3) The chief electoral officer, or a person acting on the direction of the chief electoral officer, may require a person to discontinue any activity referred to in subsections (1) and (2) of this section that does not meet the requirements described in those subsections.

Monetary penalties for failure to identify sponsor

231.02   (1) Within 7 days of the chief electoral officer making a determination of non-compliance with section 231 or 231.01 by a person, the chief electoral officer must notify the person of the non-compliance and the related penalty.

(2) Unless relief is granted by a court on an application under this section, if the chief electoral officer gives notice under subsection (1) of this section, the person must pay to the chief electoral officer a penalty in the amount of up to $10 000, as determined by the chief electoral officer.

(3) A person who is subject to a monetary penalty under this section may apply to the Supreme Court in accordance with this section for relief from the monetary penalty for non-compliance.

(4) An application may be made only within 30 days after the chief electoral officer, under subsection (1), notifies the person of the non-compliance and the related penalty.

(5) The petition commencing an application must be served on the chief electoral officer within 7 days after the petition is filed and the chief electoral officer is a party to the application.

(6) On the hearing of an application, the court may do the following:

(a) grant relief from a penalty if the court considers that, in relation to the non-compliance, the person has acted in good faith;

(b) make any order the court considers appropriate to secure compliance with section 231 or 231.01 to the extent the court considers reasonable in the circumstances;

(c) refuse to grant relief.

Notice to stop transmitting

231.03   (1) For the purposes of this section,

(a) in relation to an election, election advertising includes the transmission to the public, during a pre-campaign period or an election period, of advertising messages that would be considered campaign period election advertising if the advertising messages had been transmitted during a campaign period, and

(b) transmitting election advertising or other information to the public includes sponsoring or otherwise arranging for an individual or organization to transmit, by any means, the election advertising or information to the public.

(2) In the circumstances described in subsection (3), the chief electoral officer may give a written notice to an individual or organization requiring the individual or organization to take the measures necessary to

(a) stop the transmission of the election advertising or other information to the public, and

(b) remove, discontinue and, if applicable, destroy the election advertising or information.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2), the circumstances are as follows:

(a) if the chief electoral officer has reason to believe that an individual or organization is, during a pre-campaign period or a campaign period, transmitting to the public by any means election advertising or other information that does not comply with section 234.1 or 234.3;

(b) if the chief electoral officer has reason to believe that an individual or organization is, during a pre-campaign period or an election period, transmitting to the public by any means election advertising or other information that does not comply with section 234.2, 234.4 or 234.5 or any other provision of this Act.

(4) The notice referred to in subsection (2) that is given in circumstances described in subsection (3) must

(a) describe the election advertising or other information that the chief electoral officer has reason to believe is not in compliance with this Act,

(b) identify the provisions of this Act that the chief electoral officer has reason to believe the election advertising or other information is not in compliance with,

(c) advise the recipient that a monetary penalty may be imposed by the chief electoral officer if the election advertising or other information continues to be transmitted to the public by the recipient,

(d) advise the recipient of the period set out in subsection (5) within which the recipient must comply with the notice, and

(e) advise the recipient of the ability to make a request under subsection (6) for an extension of the period set out in subsection (5).

(5) The recipient of a notice referred to in subsection (2) must comply with the notice as soon as reasonably possible but, in any event, no later than 24 hours after receiving the notice.

(6) The chief electoral officer may extend the period referred to in subsection (5) if the recipient of the notice referred to in subsection (2) makes a written request for an extension within 12 hours after receiving the notice.

(7) Within 7 days of the chief electoral officer making a determination of non-compliance with a notice given under subsection (2) by an individual or organization, the chief electoral officer must give written notice to the individual or organization of the non-compliance and the amount of the monetary penalty, calculated in accordance with subsection (8), payable to the chief electoral officer on receipt of the notice given under this subsection.

(8) Unless relief is granted under subsection (15), if the chief electoral officer gives notice to an individual or organization under subsection (7), the individual or organization must pay to the chief electoral officer a penalty in the amount of up to $50 000, as determined by the chief electoral officer, for each day that the individual or organization fails to comply with a notice given under subsection (2).

(9) If, after receiving a notice under subsection (7), an individual or organization continues to fail to comply with the applicable notice given under subsection (2), the individual or organization is subject to additional monetary penalties calculated in accordance with subsection (8).

(10) If an individual or organization is subject to additional monetary penalties under subsection (9), the chief electoral officer must give written notice to the individual or organization of the amount that is payable to the chief electoral officer in respect of those additional monetary penalties.

(11) An individual or organization that is subject to a monetary penalty under this section may apply to the Supreme Court in accordance with this section for relief from the monetary penalty for non-compliance.

(12) An application may be made only within 30 days after the chief electoral officer, under subsection (7) or (10), notifies the individual or organization of the non-compliance and the related penalty.

(13) A petition commencing an application must be served on the chief electoral officer within 7 days after the petition is filed with the Supreme Court, and the chief electoral officer is a party to the application.

(14) If an application is made for relief from a monetary penalty imposed under this section, and additional monetary penalties have been imposed under this section in relation to the transmission of the same election advertising or other information by the same individual or organization, the court may extend the scope of the application to include all of the monetary penalties.

(15) On the hearing of an application, the court may do the following:

(a) grant relief from a penalty if the court considers that, in relation to the non-compliance, the individual or organization has acted in good faith;

(b) make any order the court considers appropriate to secure compliance with this section to the extent the court considers reasonable in the circumstances;

(c) refuse to grant relief.

Restriction on rates charged for campaign period election advertising

232   An individual or organization must not charge a registered political party, registered constituency association or candidate a rate for campaign period election advertising in a periodical publication or on radio or television that exceeds the lowest rate charged by the individual or organization for equivalent advertising in the same medium during the same campaign period.

Prohibition against certain campaign period election advertising on final voting day

233   (1) An individual or organization must not publish, broadcast or transmit to the public campaign period election advertising in an electoral district on final voting day before the close of all of the voting stations in the electoral district.

(2) An individual or organization must not sponsor or agree to sponsor in an electoral district campaign period election advertising that is or is to be published, broadcasted or transmitted to the public on final voting day before the close of all of the voting stations in the electoral district, whether the publication, broadcast or transmission is within British Columbia or outside British Columbia.

(3) Subject to section 234 (2) (a), subsections (1) and (2) do not apply in respect of any of the following:

(a) a notice of an event that the leader of a registered political party intends to attend or an invitation to meet or hear the leader of a registered political party;

(b) a message that was transmitted to the public on the internet before final voting day and that was not changed before the close of all of the voting stations in the electoral district;

(c) the distribution on final voting day of pamphlets or the posting of messages on signs, posters or banners;

(d) a message that was transmitted to the public on the internet for the sole purpose of encouraging voters to vote in the election.

Prohibition against transmitting new poll results on final voting day

233.1   (1) [Repealed 2017-20-35.]

(2) An individual or organization must not publish, broadcast or transmit to the public, in an electoral district on final voting day before the close of all of the voting stations in the electoral district, the results of an election opinion survey that have not previously been made available to the public.

Restriction on election campaigning near election offices and voting places

234   (1) During a campaign period, an individual or organization must not post, display or disseminate in or within 100 metres of the building where the office of the district electoral officer is located

(a) campaign period election advertising, or

(b) any material that identifies a candidate, registered political party or registered constituency association, unless this is done with the authorization of the district electoral officer.

(2) While advance voting or final voting is being conducted at a voting place, an individual or organization must not do any of the following in or within 100 metres of the building where the voting is being conducted:

(a) post, display or disseminate

(i) campaign period election advertising, or

(ii) any material that identifies a candidate, registered political party or registered constituency association, unless this is done with the authorization of the district electoral officer;

(b) canvass or solicit votes or otherwise attempt to influence how a voter votes;

(c) carry, wear or supply a flag, badge or other thing indicating that the individual using it is a supporter of a particular candidate or registered political party;

(d) post, display, disseminate or openly leave a representation of a ballot marked for a particular candidate or registered political party.

(3) If subsection (1) or (2) is being contravened by the posting or display of materials, the district electoral officer or another election official authorized by the district electoral officer may enter on the property where the materials are located and remove or cover or otherwise obscure them from view.

(4) While advance voting or final voting is being conducted at a voting place, an individual or organization must not publish, broadcast or transmit to the public campaign period election advertising by means of a public address system or loudspeaker that is within hearing distance of the voting place.

Transmission of false statement to affect election results

234.1   During a pre-campaign period or a campaign period, an individual or organization must not, with the intention of affecting the result of an election, transmit by any means a statement knowing that it is false, or having a reckless disregard as to whether it is false,

(a) that a candidate, a nomination contestant, the leader of a registered political party or a public figure associated with a candidate or a registered political party has committed or been charged with an offence, or has been required to pay an administrative monetary penalty, under an Act of Parliament, a regulation made under an Act of Parliament or an enactment of British Columbia or another province, or

(b) that relates to the citizenship, place of birth, education, professional qualifications or membership, in a group or association, of a candidate, a nomination contestant, the leader of a registered political party or a public figure associated with a registered political party.

Transmission of false statement about election official and voting administration tools

234.2   During a pre-campaign period or an election period, an individual or organization must not, with the intention of undermining public confidence in the result or the administration of an election, transmit by any means a statement knowing that it is false, or having a reckless disregard as to whether it is false,

(a) that an election official has committed or been charged with an offence, or has been required to pay an administrative monetary penalty, under an Act of Parliament, a regulation made under an Act of Parliament or an enactment of British Columbia or another province,

(b) that relates to the citizenship, place of birth, education, professional qualifications or membership, in a group or association, of an election official, or

(c) that relates to an individual or organization that provides, to Elections BC, voting administration tools within the meaning of section 79.01 or services in relation to voting administration tools.

Transmission of false election information

234.3   During a pre-campaign period or a campaign period, an individual or organization must not, with the intention of affecting the results of an election, transmit by any means any material or information, regardless of its form, that provides false or misleading information about voter eligibility, voter registration procedures or election proceedings, including voting options and voting opportunities available to the voter.

Transmission of unauthorized material or information

234.4   (1) During a pre-campaign period or an election period, an individual or organization must not transmit by any means any material or information, regardless of its form, that purports to be transmitted by or under the authority of the chief electoral officer, an election official, a candidate, a nomination contestant, a registered political party or a registered constituency association if

(a) the individual or organization is not authorized by the chief electoral officer or that election official, candidate, nomination contestant, registered political party or registered constituency association to transmit the material or information, and

(b) the individual or organization intends to mislead the public that the material or information was transmitted by or under the authority of the chief electoral officer or that election official, candidate, nomination contestant, registered political party or registered constituency association.

(2) In determining whether an individual or organization has complied with subsection (1), consideration may be given to whether the material or information included the use of

(a) a name, logo, likeness of a logo, social media account identifier, user name or domain name that is distinctive and commonly associated with Elections BC, the chief electoral officer, an election official, a candidate, a nomination contestant, a registered political party or a registered constituency association,

(b) the name, voice, image, likeness, physical description or signature of the chief electoral officer, an election official, a candidate, a nomination contestant or a public figure who is associated with a candidate or a registered political party, or

(c) any other matter or thing prescribed by regulation.

(3) An individual or organization does not fail to comply with subsection (1) if the individual or organization establishes that the material or information was transmitted for the purpose of parody or satire.

Misrepresentation

234.5   (1) An individual or an organization must not, in relation to an election, falsely purport to be

(a) a candidate or an individual authorized to act on behalf of a candidate,

(b) an individual authorized to act on behalf of a registered political party or a registered constituency association, or

(c) a registered political party or a registered constituency association.

(2) An individual or organization does not fail to comply with subsection (1) if the individual or organization establishes that the representation was for the purpose of parody or satire.

Penalties for certain false statements and misrepresentation

234.6   (1) Within 7 days of the chief electoral officer making a determination of non-compliance with any of sections 234.1 to 234.5 by an individual or organization, the chief electoral officer must notify the individual or organization of the non-compliance and the related penalty.

(2) Unless relief is granted by a court on an application under this section, if the chief electoral officer gives notice under subsection (1), the individual or organization must pay to the chief electoral officer a penalty in the amount of up to $20 000, as determined by the chief electoral officer.

(3) An individual or organization that is subject to a monetary penalty under this section may apply to the Supreme Court in accordance with this section for relief from the monetary penalty for non-compliance with the applicable section.

(4) An application under this section may be made only within 30 days after the chief electoral officer, under subsection (1), notifies the individual or organization of the non-compliance and the related penalty.

(5) The petition commencing an application under subsection (3) must be served on the chief electoral officer within 7 days after the petition is filed with the Supreme Court, and the chief electoral officer is a party to the application.

(6) On the hearing of an application, the court may do the following:

(a) grant relief from a penalty if the court considers that, in relation to the non-compliance, the individual or organization has acted in good faith;

(b) make any order the court considers appropriate to secure compliance with sections 234.1 to 234.5, as applicable, to the extent the court considers reasonable in the circumstances;

(c) refuse to grant relief.

Publication of names in relation to monetary penalties

234.7   (1) The chief electoral officer must

(a) publish on an Elections BC authorized internet site

(i) the names of the individuals and organizations on whom the chief electoral officer has imposed a monetary penalty under section 231.02, 231.03 or 234.6,

(ii) the section under which the chief electoral officer has imposed the monetary penalty, and

(iii) the amount of the monetary penalty, and

(b) have notice of the information described in paragraph (a) published in the Gazette.

(2) The information published under subsection (1) (a) must continue to be published on the Elections BC authorized internet site until one year after final voting day for the next general election.

(3) Publication of the notice under subsection (1) (b) must take place as soon as possible after the chief electoral officer imposes the monetary penalty.

Repealed

235   [Repealed 2002-60-7.]

Contents | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 10.1 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 | Schedule