Members of the North Okanagan-Shuswap NDP Riding Association could soon have a new executive.
The former executive resigned in June over a debt from the 2014 campaign that was paid to the former campaign agent, money the executive felt should have been seed money for the 2019 campaign.
Jesse Calvert, the Director of Operations for the federal NDP tells CJIB News, members of the association are stepping up.
“We’ve heard from a number of members of the NDP within the riding who are excited and ready to take on some leadership roles within the executive.”
Calvert wasn’t able to provide any names, but said it’s expected a General Meeting will be held within the next two months.
“We have had strong indications from members across the riding that they’re ready to move on and prepare for 2019. And some very solid indications from individuals who are ready to step up and take on leadership positions.”
Calvert said it was unfortunate the former executive chose to resign rather than work with the party on improving systems for the next election.
As for the issue of campaign debt, Calvert says the party was following obligations under the Elections Act.
“The money that is generated by a rebate is there for the assistance of the campaign to close its books. That’s what the money is for and the requirement to close those books are election law.”
Calvert says any left over money would go to the next campaign, which there wasn’t in this case.
The former executive says it wasn’t allowed to have a say in campaign spending in 2014.
It felt the debt could have been avoided or other ways could have been found to pay it off, rather than having the national office pay it.
More than seven thousand dollars was paid to the former financial agent for the campaign.
Jesse Calvert says riding associations almost always play a role in the campaign.
“It is common and quite expected that members of the riding association and members of the campaign team work in close collaboration with each other. This is how it normally goes in ridings across the country and often there’s quite a lot of cross over between members of the campaign team and members of the riding association. So, we would expect the campaign in 2019, all campaigns in 2019 will have a lot of collaboration between the two sides in the organization.”
He says campaigns are responsible for fundraising for their campaign and the money they fund raise is theirs to disperse in the most strategic ways that they see fit.
Calvert says when a date for a meeting is set, the party will send out a notice to members and the media.