BC Liberals push for four-year municipal terms

Jeremy Nuttall

By Jeremy Nuttall, 24 hours Vancouver

Municipal elections in the province will likely be taking place every four years instead of the current three. 

The British Columbia government Tuesday said it will introduce legislation to hold local elections on a four-year cycle.

The Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development said the changes will take effect after the 2014 municipal elections this November, meaning the next vote held after this year will be 2018.

In order to be put into effect, the changes must pass through the B.C. legislature, which is likely with a BC Liberal majority.

Quesnel Mayor Mary Sjostrom is a past Union of B.C. Municipalities president who worked on the initial push to change election cycles.

Sjostrom said the move will help cities be in sync with the rest of the country.

“It’s part of an overall move forward to modernize the election platform,” she said. “It’s a longer commitment, but I think in the long run it’s better for communities, it’s better for councils and boards, and it’s better for staff.”

Sjostrom said a downside of such a move could be a council with problems co-operating would be forced to work together for longer, or people may not want to commit to an extra year when considering a run at office.

She said there will be some adjustments as the new cycle takes effect.

According to a B.C. government release, the change will not apply to districts, so they will continue with three-year terms.  


Do you agree with expanding municipal terms to four years?

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