Executive Council

Amendments to be introduced to Political Process Financing Act (08/11/28)

NB 1741

Nov. 28, 2008

FREDERICTON (CNB) - Amendments to the Political Process Financing Act will be introduced during the fall session of the legislative assembly that would restrict and regulate advertising spending by third-party groups or individuals during elections.

The proposed amendments would require all third-party election advertisers who spend more than $500 during an election to register with the supervisor of political financing. The amendments would also limit how much third-parties could spend during campaigns.

"We believe that these changes will help make the political process fairer for all," said Government House Leader Michael Murphy, who will introduce the amendments. "While every resident should be able to participate in the process, it is important that a few are not able to drown-out the voices of the candidates and average residents by the sheer volume of their unrestricted advertising dollars spent during an election."

It is important, Murphy added, to ensure that unrestricted third-party election advertisers are unable to upset the integrity of the Political Process Financing Act, which allows candidates and parties a very limited amount to spend on their campaigns.

"These are groups or individuals who, because of a vested interest or a personal conviction, are willing to spend money to see certain candidates elected or defeated," Murphy said.

The governments of Canada, Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia have passed or have proposed to pass third-party election advertising restrictions.

08/11/28

MEDIA CONTACT: Craig Chouinard, Communications New Brunswick, 506-444-2519.

08/11/28