The Surrey Forward slate lodged a complaint with Elections BC on Sept. 21 accusing rival slate Surrey Connect of receiving “illegal” support from the Keep the RCMP in Surrey campaign.
“This is simply unacceptable,” said Stephen Carter, campaign manager for Surrey Forward. “The Local Election Campaign Financing Act is very clear, a third party advertiser such as Keep the RCMP in Surrey must operate independently from the candidates or elector association.
“You’re not allowed to spend money together and you’re not allowed to co-ordinate,” he said. “In British Columbia it’s very clear that each entity, whether it’s a third party advertiser or a electoral organization or a candidate, each one has to behave individually and they can’t work together on any project.”
A Surrey Forward press release states that each offence under the Act is subject to a fine of up to $10,000 and that it’s Surrey Forward’s expectation that an Elections BC “investigation and consequences” will be applied prior to election day.
“Both of them get hit with the fine,” Carter said. “Each one of them pays a $10,000 fine.”
Locke, in response, said she has “no idea what Mr. Carter is talking about. Certainly I know that Stephen Carter should be very concerned about making allegations when he has no proof of those.”
Keep the RCMP in Surrey (KTRIS) announced on Aug. 7 that it is endorsing Surrey Connect and its mayoral candidate, Brenda Locke, in the Oct. 15 civic election.
Ivan Scott, of KTRIS, called Surrey Forward’s complaint “ridiculous.”
“This is absolutely nonsense,” Scott said. “We endorsed them, we ran our campaign as two separate campaigns. We’re out there seen as on our own. What has happened is that they have accepted us as let’s say a supporter for them. We have registered as a third-party sponsor, there’s no question about it, and we’re doing everything in there with all our campaign flyers and things like that strictly in accordance with Elections BC.
“I’ve no idea what they’re on about but as far as I’m concerned we’re strictly within the law and this is ridiculous and this is just politicking of the worst kind.”
Meantime, Surrey Forward, lead by Jinny Sims, charges that “it appears that all the signatures collected by Keep The RCMP in Surrey have been shared, either formally or informally, with Surrey Connect.”
“There are no circumstances where this type of collusion is appropriate,” Carter said.
To this, Locke replied, “I don’t know any of that, I don’t know what he’s talking about and that’s a pretty significant allegation for him to make.”