It’s only just begun, but the election follies are well underway in the municipal campaigns across the province.

Let’s start in Vancouver, where there is a gaping hole in the new municipal election finance rules. The rules governing the registration of third parties (as opposed to electoral organizations or civic political parties) take effect Sept. 22. Until then, it’s a free for all.

For several weeks now, Vancouverites for Affordable Housing has been posting online attack ads in support of mayoral candidate Hector Bremner. There are also digital billboards supporting him and his new Yes Vancouver party.

Who’s behind the group? Nobody knows and nobody’s saying. And while the ads look an awful lot like Bremner’s website and campaign material, he says he has no idea who are behind them.

The group’s Facebook page doesn’t list any contact information and one of its most recent posts is from 2016. It advises that the people who started the page had handed it over to “like-minded folks” at HALT — Housing Action for Local Taxpayers.

But here’s where it gets even more confusing.

A week before Friday’s nomination deadline, one of HALT’s founders posted that HALT “has been and will always remain non-partisan.” But in that same Facebook post, Reza Mirza announced that he’s running for council with the Pro Vancouver alongside its mayoral candidate David Chen.

But back to Bremner. He’s an NPA city councillor, yet that party wouldn’t even let him file an application to run to be its mayoral candidate.

The Non-Partisan Association’s board refused citing “serious concerns” about conflict of interest because Bremner was working for the Pace Group, a communications and lobbying firm.

In February, Bremner had been fined $2,000 by the provincial lobbyists registrar because he didn’t register as a lobbyist and didn’t wait two years after leaving the government to start lobbying the government.

That …read more

Source:: Vancouver Sun – Politics


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