Elections B.C. finds no intent to violate campaign regulations

NANAIMO – Elections B.C. will take no further action with complaint against Coun. Diane Brennan.

Nanaimo city Coun. Diane Brennan is feeling “vindicated” and “happy” after a review by Elections B.C. found she did not intentionally violate rules with her use of social media on election day.

Elections B.C. will take no further action over a complaint against Brennan and her social media posts on general election day. In a letter, the election authority says it’s satisfied Brennan did not act with intent to violate the rules and that her campaign came into compliance with the legislation when informed of complaints.

Elections B.C. began a review into a complaint last week, which said Brennan posted to Twitter and Facebook on Nov. 15 despite rules against election advertising. Under the Local Elections Campaign Financing Act, which came into effect at the end of May, political hopefuls cannot use social media, Facebook and YouTube on general election day.

Dominic Jones, who made the complaint, said he believes Brennan would have failed to secure sufficient votes to be elected if not for the use of election advertising, which he claimed was deliberate. But Brennan said she did not know she couldn’t use social media and removed posts once informed.

The city councillor now says she feels vindicated with Elections B.C. confirming it is satisfied she complied and she had no intention to break the law.

“I think Mr. Jones is just part of a group of people that are very unhappy that I was elected and they’ve seized upon this as a method of trying to … defeat me,” Brennan said. “But I was elected by 6,500 voters and I intend to stay in my seat and get on with it.”

Jones told the News Bulletin he’s concerned Elections B.C. did not investigate and he is now asking provincial MLAs to intervene.

“I still am hoping that someone in the legislature will read the complaint and see that there is merit in there being an investigation. Whatever the results of that investigation are I am quite happy to live with,” he said. “But to just fob it off as they are not going to do any investigation, I think that’s just not serving democracy and that’s their primary mandate.”