BC Liberal Party Is Violating BC Election Act Sec 223 on Election Day by Online Advertising

Update3 The Vancouver Sun today Wed may 13th 09 has linked to this post and covered the story on page A11.  Also The Victoria Times Colonist is also linking to this post on their story in todays paper on page B7.

The penalty for breaking the law could include up to a $10,000 fine and a year in jail. “The penalties are up to the chief electoral officer’s discretion,” said Ken Faris ( Elections B.C. spokesman). “Since the B.C. Liberals responded to our request (to take the offending tweets down), we’re not going to pursue the issue any further.”

Liberal spokesman Chad Pederson said the party removed the items after being contacted by Elections B.C.

“We think it’s a debatable point,” Pederson said, noting that the technology is new. But rather than argue the matter, he said, the party chose to take the items down and pursue the issue at a later date.

Update2 Looks like Green Party also breaking election laws advertising on Twitter on election day #bcelection #bcvotes2009 Like the liberals they’ve deleted their tweets from twitter via Georgia Straight here’s the tweet

Go Green – Be Green – Vote Green

BCGreens: Go Green – Be Green – Vote Green #bcelection
about 14 hours ago from Nambu

and the same tweet 6 hours later

You can find it by searching twitter for the name of the tweet

Also BC Liberals violated the law 3 times not one, my mistake.

The Vancouver Suns @gillianshaw shows that Elections BC doesn’t really understand the internet that well and that Elections BC said the BC Liberals “were in contravention of the act” and ordered the BC Liberal party to delete their tweets at 10.30am. But the one I took a screenshot of was still there at 1.30pm

UPDATE: The BC Liberal party has deleted the tweet, without apology or explanation. I have i higher rez version if people are interested they can email me for it.

Around 9.30 this morning, Tuesday May 12th, 2009, The BC Liberal Party violated the BC elections act, section 223 by doing online advertising on Twitter.

The BC Liberal Party’s Offical Twitter account

published this tweet

The BC Liberals are the best choice to build B.C.: http://tinyurl.com/dmy3mq #bcelection

clicking on that tinyURL link goes to this link on the BC Liberal Party’s official website titled “Improving and protecting vital public services” and talks about how much the govt has spent on health spending.

Rather ironic since the BC Liberals are TOTALLY Ignoring the BC Medical Associations 8 recommendations on ADHD in their February policy paper. It said that ADHD is costing BC half a billion annually but they only counted children with ADHD and ignored adults with ADHD, and there’s more adults with ADHD than kids with ADHD. So it’s costing BC multiple billions

I’ve tried asking several Liberals on twitter for their position on the BCMA ADHD policy paper and none have responded. The Liberals like the BC NDP, BC Greens & BC conservative party are basically using social media in an Anti-social manner, just one way advertising vs acutal conversations. I’ve asked many BC MLA candidates on twitter for their position on the BCMA ADHD policy paper and got either no response or some generic non answer avoidance strategy ie “whole system needs to be revamped”

I even asked 2 of their MLA candidates Colin Hansen and  Margaret MacDiarmid in person last Thursday at the Ridge and the responses I basically got was the Kim Campell quote ie an election is no time to discuss policy. They and NDP Mel Lehman all basically said there’s only a few days left in the campaign no time for policy discussions contact me after the election. Marget was the past president of the BC Medical Association and said as a doctor she’d be more open to dealing with that, and Mel seemed to be genuinely interested if my memory serves me correctly but still no policy response. I wish I had brought a tape recorder.

Here’s my screenshot of the BC Liberal Party’s tweet from my Flickr site


Found this on twitter from @lobbycanada on my #bcelction tweetdeck feed

RT @lobbycanada: Watch the @bcliberalparty break #bcelection law in real-time! Just follow them on Twitter as they tweet away in contravention of Section 233

then this

RT @lobbycanada: #BCElection Act, Section 233: On General Voting Day, election advertising must not be published, transmitted or broadcast. @BCliberalparty

Then I googled the elections act. The BC election site was limited to votefinder and election results all rest locked down.

So on BClaws.ca found this

Election Act

Election Act
[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 106

Part 11 — Election Communications
This Act is current to November 1, 2008

Prohibition against certain election advertising on general voting day

233  (1) An individual or organization must not publish, broadcast or transmit to the public election advertising in an electoral district on general 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 election advertising that is or is to be published, broadcasted or transmitted to the public on general 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 general voting day and that was not changed before the close of all of the voting stations in the electoral district;

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

One Twitter user @BlissfulGirl posts these tweets

@BlissfulGirl: It’s illegal for political party to actively advertise on election day as per #BCelection Act I’ve alerted Elections BC re @bcliberalparty

Just got a call from Elections BC – they’ve called the LIBs & told them to stop posting on twitter today since it is illegal! #BCelection

BC Liberal party claims on their election ad landing page

We have the longest life expectancy in Canada, the best cancer and cardiac care, and the most generous Pharmacare system

Again it’s not so generous for children and adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder because Pharmacare doesn’t cover long acting ADHD medications, they only cover short acting stimulants. Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec cover long acting ADHD stimulant medication, but backwards BC doesn’t. The BC liberals even closed the only public adult ADHD clinic in the province once the wait list was a year long to avoid political embarassment. The BC NDP said nothing about that despite my repeated attempts to get BC NDP’s health critic Adrian Dix’s offfice to do something about it.

BC Liberal expect people with ADHD a condition where the symptoms includes being impulsive, easily distracted, time blind, poor at planning, and forgetful to remember 3 times a day at regular intervals to take their medication vs once a day. And the short term meds can be abused unlike some of the long term ADHD medications which can’t. So former drug addicts with ADHD are forced to use easily abuseable medication if they can’t afford longer term medication which many can’t. Huge rates of addiction with ADHD as well as crime and NO BC political party is discussing it. ADHD it costing BC taxpayers billions of dollars annually and the actual cost of treatment is the smallest amount.

Anyone know what the fine is?

15 thoughts on “BC Liberal Party Is Violating BC Election Act Sec 223 on Election Day by Online Advertising”

  1. I found this regarding the penalty in the B.C. Elections Act.

    Offences in relation to election advertising and other promotion

    264 (1) An individual or organization who does any of the following commits an offence:

    (a) contravenes section 230 respecting a restriction on election advertising;

    (b) contravenes section 231 respecting identification of the sponsor of election advertising;

    (c) contravenes section 232 respecting a rate charged for election advertising;

    (d) contravenes section 233 or 233.1 respecting election advertising on general voting day;

    (e) contravenes section 234 respecting a restriction on activities near an election office or voting place;

    (f) and (g) [Repealed 2002-60-10.]

    (h) contravenes section 239 respecting the requirement to be registered as a sponsor;

    (i) fails to record information as required by section 241 (2).

    (2) An individual or organization who commits an offence under subsection (1) is liable to a fine of not more than $10 000 or imprisonment for a term not longer than one year, or both.

  2. Actually the NDP was in viloation of them too over on facebook. I was being served ads for Lana Popham right up until I left for the polls today.

  3. really? first I’ve heard of that. They were OK on twitter. got any screenshots K? Were there any other bc politicians advertising on facebook today?

  4. I didn’t even think to take a screenshot. I knew it wasn’t okay but it wasn’t until I read that the twitter had become an issue that I realized that I should have taken one. This was a targetted ad where they knew my riding. There was a third party ad also running still today about voting for arts friendly canditates. I tried to alert facebook to the fact that the ads were in contravention of the act but got stuck in one of those annoying loops where they keep sending you back to search help topics. I imagine if the person in my riding was others might have been too.

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