Victoria Mayor Marianne Alto has been fined by Elections BC for publishing ads with incomplete authorization statements, which is an issue that Alto’s campaign brought to the attention of the election oversight body.
Alto is now one of eight candidates and three organizations that have been issued fines for the 2022 municipal elections.
In the 2022 municipal election, Alto was one of eight candidates who ran for the mayor seat, and she is now the second Victoria candidate to be fined.
On Sept. 12, a member of Alto’s campaign team contacted Elections BC to say the team had published two ads in Victoria News that did not have authorization statements, as well as sponsored ads in the Burnside Gorge Community Association and the James Bay Beacon that did not identify the Financial Agent.
The ads in Victoria News were published on Sept. 1 and 8, and the other two ran in Sept. 1 newsletters.
When Elections BC requested invoices for the ads, the campaign provided invoices that indicated the Victoria News ads cost $151.36 each, the James Bay Beacon cost $217.35 and the Burnside Gorge Community Association cost $59.
According to the Local Elections Campaign Financing Act, candidates can be fined up to $5,000 for having advertisements during the election or pre-campaign period without complete authorization statements.
To determine what fine should be issued, the investigator considered that the lack of an authorization statement would not likely have misled a reader, the publication was inadvertent, the campaign self-reported the error to Elections BC, Alto had not previously been fined, and that she has participated in five previous elections so she should be aware of election advertising requirements.
As a result, Alto was fined $150.
She has 14 days to appeal the fine.
At the same time, Delaney Mack in Langley and a group called Keep the RCMP in Surrey were fined for publishing ads without authorization statements.