Amendments to the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) Charter were introduced today, April 15, to allow the municipality to create campaign finance bylaws.
“Transparency and accountability are important to citizens and to all levels of government, particularly in the democratic process of elections,” said Municipal Affairs Minister Zach Churchill. “Halifax Regional Council asked for the authority to make bylaws around municipal election campaign financing, so we are making this change to their charter to allow them to do that.”
This change will give HRM the authority to create bylaws, rather than embedding them in the charter.
“We appreciate the province bringing this legislation forward,” said HRM Mayor Mike Savage. “Council has indicated that we want to move forward on municipal campaign finance reform. This will allow us to consider different viewpoints and engage in a discussion before bringing in changes.”
HRM is the only municipality in the province where candidates raise enough campaign funds to require these kinds of bylaws. Provisions related to campaign financing in the Municipal Elections Act will continue to apply to HRM and all other municipalities in the province. They include requirements for reporting campaign contributions.
HRM’s power to create campaign finance bylaws will apply only to municipal elections, not school board elections.