Sidney Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith, who admitted to breaking spending rules during his mayoral campaign, will retain his seat.
McNeil-Smith, who was elected mayor of Sidney on Oct. 20, 2018, disclosed to Elections BC and the public that he overspent on his 2018 mayoral campaign by $1,877.63. The expense limit was $11,349.
“Expenses are made in several areas, people have responsibilities and a mistake was made,” McNeil-Smith said at the time.
Under the Local Elections Campaign Financing Act Act, the penalties are a fine of twice the amount overspent and loss of seat. However, candidates can petition the court for relief from the loss of seat penalty.
McNeil-Smith petitioned the B.C. Supreme Court to keep his seat. He was required to demonstrate he exercised due diligence on his campaign finances and that the amount overspent did not materially affect the election result.
According to the office of Sidney mayor, McNeil Smith was successful in his application.
Justice Gregory Bowden stated that McNeil-Smith exercised due diligence and was satisfied the amount of overspending did not materially affect the result, as McNeil-Smith won 80 per cent of the vote. McNeil-Smith received 80 per cent of all votes in Sidney with 3,740 votes. Former mayor Steve Price got 20 per cent of the vote with 929 votes. They were the only two candidates running for mayor.
“I am very grateful for lawyer Bruce Hallsor, Q.C., acting on my behalf and for the positive outcome. I look forward to continuing to serve the citizens of Sidney as mayor and as a CRD Director,” McNeil-Smith said in a statement.
McNeil-Smith said he has paid his fine to Elections BC.