Lobby group cleared on election activities

An RCMP investigation has concluded that the Concerned Citizens of Nanaimo did not break regulations under the Local Government Act.

An RCMP investigation has concluded that the Concerned Citizens of Nanaimo, a lobby group that backed a slate of municipal candidates without their consent over the low barrier-housing issue, did not break regulations under the Local Government Act.

A complaint was filed last week prior to the Nov. 19 election over allegations that the group didn’t register as a campaign organizer, although it spent more than $500 in support of candidates and lobbied in favour of those candidates

Under Local Government Act, anyone or any organization that endorses a candidate or candidates or opposes the selection of another candidate must register “within a reasonable amount of time” after their preferred candidate or candidates declare their candidacy.

The CCN registered with the city’s chief election officer on Nov. 17 after learning of its oversight.

“Our investigators have determined that CCN was unaware of this requirement of the Local Government Act, and when they learned of the requirements they registered themselves with the chief election officer,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, in a press release. “Once registered, the CCN was in full compliance with the Act. Based on these findings the investigation into CCN is now concluded and a report will not be forwarded to Crown counsel.”

The group sent out three mail-outs and ran several newspaper ads advising voters not to vote for politicians who supported the controversial 40-unit supportive housing facility near Uplands Drive and Hammond Bay Road.

reporter2@nanaimobulletin.com

Nanaimo News Bulletin