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Sitting councillors spent over $20K combined during municipal election, data shows

City hall has provided a glimpse into how much money every council candidate spent during the 2020 municipal election, with the six successful candidates spending a combined $20,109.01

City hall has provided a glimpse into how much money every council candidate spent during the 2020 municipal election, with the six successful candidates spending a combined $20,109.01.

All candidates are required to file how much money they spent and received during a civic election to ensure that the election is transparent and candidates are kept accountable, according to Election Campaign Disclosure and Spending Limits Bylaw No. 5542. The filings are then posted to the City of Moose Jaw’s website

The bylaw also stipulates that council candidates must file their declaration within three months of the election and mayoral candidates must file within four months of the vote. All candidates must adhere to a spending limit and disclose any donations or gifts in kind that exceed $200. 

The 2020 municipal election occurred on Nov. 9

Successful councillor candidates who fail to file their financial paperwork within three months of the election or lie on their disclosures can be prosecuted. If convicted, they will be removed from office, the bylaw says. Unsuccessful candidates who fail to submit a campaign disclosure forfeit their campaign deposit.

All 15 councillor candidates from the 2020 municipal election filed their campaign disclosures, which means they will receive back their deposit of $100. The deposit is part of the bylaw and encourages candidates to file their statements to receive a full refund. 

These numbers are still considered unofficial since a full report on election expenses has not yet been presented to council. 

Successful councillor candidates’ expenses

Coun. Doug Blanc spent $1,285.98 during the campaign, including $614.78 in advertising, $254.27 in brochures and $416.93 in signs. 

The only campaign contribution Blanc received was $500 from the Moose Jaw Firefighters Association (MJFA).

Coun. Heather Eby spent $2,741.83 during her campaign, including $1,094.84 in brochures, $212.77 in postage, $763.07 in signs, $46.16 in stationery, and $670 in market value expenses for advertising and signs.

Eby received $1,970 in contributions, ranging from a donation of $200 to as high as $500. 

Coun. Crystal Froese spent $1,614.69 as part of her campaign, including $257.52 in advertising, $708.18 in brochures, $176.49 in signs and $472.50 for the delivery of brochures. 

Froese received $1,250 in contributions, including $500 from the MJFA and $500 from a relative. However, $250 in donations is not listed. Under the bylaw, only cumulative contributions of $200 or more must be publicly declared. Any donations under that level do not have to be declared, but a record must be maintained.

Coun. Jamey Logan spent $7,565.61 during the campaign, the most out of all successful council candidates. His expenses included $385.35 for advertising, $2,577.60 for brochures, $3,210.12 for signs, $394.54 on billboards, and $998 in market value expenses for brochures and billboards.

Logan received $900 in donations, including $500 from the MJFA and $400 from the Civic Centre Plaza billboard. 

Coun. Dawn Luhning spent $6,348.23 as part of her re-election campaign. Her advertising expenses included $170.50 with Murray’s Signs Ltd., $3,455.10 with Minuteman Press, $556.50 with Refreshen Up for website work, another $1,368.83 with Minuteman Press, $787.50 with Discover Moose Jaw, and $10 on Facebook. 

Luhning did not list any donations. 

Coun. Kim R. Robinson spent $541.67 during the election campaign, including $48.26 on advertising, $44.88 for meetings/social functions/rallies, $83.79 for office supplies, and $364.74 for signs.

Robinson received a donation of $500 from the MJFA. 

The City of Moose Jaw’s website does not list how much the mayoral candidates spent during the election. However, since they have four months to do so, the deadline is Tuesday, March 9.