B.C.’s independent elections agency says it has spent only $40,000 of the budgeted quarter-million dollars to prepare for Senate elections that now won’t happen.
Elections B.C. used the money to upgrade its electoral computer information system as a first step in preparing for the elections, spokesman Don Main said.
“We initially had requested and were given a budget of $250,000 for this fiscal year, before legislation had been introduced and passed, to be able to do what we needed to do,” Main said.
“But we found efficiencies and were able to do what we needed to do for $40,000.”
Elections B.C. could only do so much work without seeing government legislation on exactly how the province proposed to elect senators, he said. “We’ve done the minimum we need to at this point.”
Justice Minister Shirley Bond introduced the legislation this week, but said it is only up for discussion and won’t actually be voted into law.
The Opposition NDP has accused the government of wasting money preparing for a Senate election that won’t happen.
Bond said it wasn’t a waste, because only $40,000 was spent and the public can now debate the proposal’s merits.
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