Low-cost election campaigns the rule in Pemberton 

From $100+ to $3000+ Pemberton winners scanty spenders

Politics need not be a rich man’s – or woman’s–game. This is evidenced by the final election expense reporting from the candidates who ran for mayor and council for Village of Pemberton in November’s municipal election.

Incumbent councillor Mark Blundell ran the most expensive campaign at $3,058. He was also one of three candidates to foot the bill for his election expenses. Mayor candidate, and former councillor, Mark Hunter spent $1,042.80 on his campaign. John Burleson, a first-time school board trustee candidate put up $839.16 to cover the cost of his election bid.

Mayor candidate Bruce Van Mook ran the second most expensive campaign. The former council member spent $2,664.51 in his bid for the VOP’s top position. Corporate donors covered the costs of his campaign. Sabre Transport kicked in $200, while Timlek Resources covered the balance of $2,664.51.

On the other end of the spectrum was successful school board trustee candidate David Walden. Walden, who is now chair of the SD48 board of trustees, spent a scant $110.78 on his campaign.

The Valley Vision Leadership in Action (VVLA) slate had the most ambitious campaign and highest overall budget. The group that represented six candidates (Alan LeBlanc ran under the VVLA banner challenging Susie Gimse for the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District position of Director of Electoral Area C.) raised a total of $8,057.36, for an average of $1,342.89 per candidate.

In all, 18 named donors, including the six candidates, contributed to the campaign. Anonymous donations, which must be $50 or less, made up the rest. The most significant corporate funders to the VVLA campaign included Terrane Development at $1,600, McIvor Properties with an in-kind donation of $950 worth of printing, and Whistler-Blackcomb Mountain Resort with a donation of $1,000.

VVLA elected candidates were Mayor Jordan Sturdy and councillors David MacKenzie and Jennie Helmer. Shayne May and Brian Young were not successful in their bids for election to council.

Successful council candidate Kristin McLeod ran the only deficit campaign with an outstanding bill of approximately $430 on a campaign that was just under $1,300.

Mayor candidate Martin Dahinden, having withdrawn from the race before incurring any expenses, claimed no costs on his final report.

With the exception of Walden’s frugal campaign, the campaigns realized the majority of their expense for signage and newspaper advertising.

There is no current VOP bylaw governing maximum election spending.

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