BC Election 2017: Democracy

Watershed Sentinel Editorial Staff

BC Election 2017: Our comparison of the party platforms on democracy, proportional representation, donations, race and gender

Democracy/ Pro Rep and Donations


  • Amend the Elections Act to require real time disclosure of donations to political parties
  • Commission an independent Election Act Review Panel to review proposals on political fundraising reform
  • Undertake a full review of Capital Regional District governance structures and implement improvements to make CRD decision-making more accountable to South Island residents


  • Ban corporate and union donations, and set limits on individual contributions.
  • Ban out-of-province donations and require transparency from outside organizations advertising to influence elections
  • Hold a referendum on changing our voting system to a proportional system, and campaign for the yes side
  • Work with the auditor general to set strong standards for [government] advertising spending
  • Protect whistleblowers, strengthen conflict-of-interest legislation and improve access to information rules
  • Put an end to frivolous anti-free speech lawsuits with anti-SLAPP legislation


  • Reform political finance laws:
    • Ban monetary and non-monetary contributions from non-individual entities (including corporations and unions) and non-residents of BC
    • Place annual limits on individual contributions that are in line with current federal limits
    • Ban members Cabinet from engaging in partisan fundraising activities while in office and explore similar restrictions for all MLAs
  • Rein in lobbying:
    • Institute a multi-year prohibition on lobbying for former Senior Public Office Holders (SPOH), similar to federal prohibitions in the Lobbying Act, 2008
    • Increase penalties for violations of the Lobbyists Registration Act, similar to federal standards in the Lobbying Act
    • Conduct a comprehensive review of the Lobbyists Registration Act, including the Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists’ mandate, to ensure that our democratic institutions and the interests of British Columbians are adequately protected from the influence of special interests
  • Institute electoral reform:
    • Introduce proportional representation, and lower the voting age to 16
    • Shift the fixed date of the provincial election to October
  • Establish transparency and accountability:
    • Establish a public watchdog to oversee government advertising and communications
    • Work with the Auditor General of BC to develop a performance scorecard for Government
    • Establish a Provincial Budget Officer to provide independent and objective analysis to the Legislative Assembly on the state of the province’s finances, and to estimate the financial cost of any proposal for matters within the Legislative Assembly’s jurisdiction

Race, Gender, & Equality Issues


  • $300,000 in multiculturalism grants to non-profit societies and community-based organizations to help them celebrate cultural identity, promote diversity, or challenge racism
  • Add an additional $2 million per year for single parent legal aid assistance for women
  • Expand the use of domestic violence court processes to address case management pressures and speed up time to trial
  • Participate in the National Inquiry on Murdered and Missing Women, and share the findings of our provincial inquiry with the federal commission


  • (WOM) 51% of BC NDP candidates in this election are women
  • Bring back the Human Rights Commission to stop discrimination
  • Ensure government is inclusive to minority communities, persons with disabilities, racial groups, immigrants, and the LGBTQ community
  • Form a youth council, to make sure young people’s voices are heard by government
  • Provide incentives to employers to increase the number of women in apprenticeships
  • Increase funding to support women who experience domestic violence, sexual assault and other crimes by $8 million a year
  • Work to close the digital divide, increasing the participation of women, First Nations and people from low-income families in the high-tech workforce


[Mentioned in the context of their “Strategy for Covering the Basics: Income Security”]

  • Many people who are not paid to work outside the home are making a major contribution to the quality of life of British Columbians through volunteering, caring for children or elderly relatives without financial reward. Women often take on this work and undervaluing their contribution often leaves them struggling to make ends meet. “Covering the Basics” is the least we, as a society, should do for them

View and download the entire three-part document here:

BC Election 2017 Platform Comparison – Environment

BC Election 2017 Platform Comparison: Social Justice

Green Jobs-Just Transition

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