The 2022 election spending for the 2022 Maple Ridge municipal election shows that money does not necessarily talk.
The slate headed by former mayor Mike Morden, Maple Ridge First, spent $94,000 – far more than their rival elector organization.
The slate headed by Mayor Dan Ruimy, A Better Maple Ridge, spent $42,000. Every member of the lower-spending team has a seat on Maple Ridge Council – Korleen Carreras, Onyeka Dozie, Jenny Tan and Sunny Schiller.
Three members of Maple Ridge First – incumbents Morden, Ryan Svendsen and Chelsa Meadus – lost their council seats. Only Judy Dueck was re-elected from their team.
The elector organizations used their campaign war chests for signs, social media, newspaper advertising, brochures, postage, and professional services.
Candidates and elector organizations raised funds from donations. No corporate or union donations are allowed, and individuals are allowed to make a maximum donation of $1,250.
The highest spending individual councillor to be elected was Ahmed Yousef at $21,000, and he topped the polls.
He was the only non-slate candidate elected, but doesn’t see these electoral teams as the way of the future in Maple Ridge municipal politics.
“I hope not,” he said. “And I hope more and more people will see it doesn’t bring out the best discussions around the council table.”
Yousef said slate politics does not promote healthy debate, and he would rather see Maple Ridge return to elections where candidates run as individuals, and voters select them on personal merits.
Among those who were not elected, Corisa Bell spent $28,500 running for mayor; and Leah Pillet spent $15,600 on her bid for a council seat.
The expense limits on Maple Ridge for the campaign period, Sept. 17 to Oct. 15, was $32,000 for a city councillor position, and $63,000 for mayoral candidates. Each municipality has a set limit. Councillors must record and report all of their campaign expenditures, even those outside of the campaign period, to Elections BC.
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