MEDIA RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 11, 2021
VANCOUVER, B.C. - The Green Party of Vancouver celebrates council passing Motion B.6 Local Elections: Review and Reform at last night’s city council meeting. The motion was introduced by Councillor Pete Fry and is aimed at bolstering the strength of democracy at Vancouver City Hall through enhanced civic engagement, a renewed Independent Election Task Force, and more robust conflict of interest and digital campaigning rules. This is the second reform proposal from the Greens in as many years.
“This is the culmination of many years of work by activists and advocates for a fair and inclusive local democratic system,” says Councillor Adriane Carr, who seconded the motion. “I am so thankful to Councillor Fry for all his work to bring this forward and to my colleagues on council for advancing this.”
The motion directs staff to advise amendments to the City of Vancouver Code of Conduct for Council requiring elected officials to publicly declare any potential conflict related to campaign donations in the decision-making process on matters submitted to City Council; and for staff to advise amendments to require all submissions before Vancouver City Council to indicate whether the applicants made any political contributions to any member of council.
The motion also directs staff to initiate a public participatory process to engage, consider and report back on Vancouverites’ preference for a system of Proportional Representation suited for municipal elections; and to report back on methodology and cost to establish a Citizen’s Assembly of Vancouver voters to review and recommend a preferred electoral system for Vancouver.
“This is a big step forward for restoring public trust in political institutions,” says Councillor Fry. “The City of Vancouver can lead the country in engaging with our citizens about necessary changes to protect our democracy and directly address the influence of dark money.”
As part of the motion a resolution will be submitted to the Union of BC Municipalities requesting the Government of British Columbia expand the definition of advertising to cover digital political campaigns and tools.
“Digital tools are a core part of modern campaigns, and our laws are not keeping up,” says Councillor Mike Wiebe. “The provincial government can start addressing the use of deceptive and coercive digital campaigns by explicitly including all digital campaigns or data collection as part of its definition of election advertising.”
Councillor Fry Motion on Local Election Review and Reform - February 3rd, 2021
Councillor Fry calling for political finance reform: transparency around funding in local politics - January 20th, 2020