NEWS

Social media election day ban upsets Vancouver's mayor

11/15/2014 05:53 EST | Updated 01/15/2015 05:59 EST
Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson says he wasn't happy to learn "at the last minute" about an Elections BC ban on candidates and their staff using social media including Twitter on election day.

Under the Elections Campaign Financing Act using social media to send out messages constitutes advertising which candidates are not allowed to do on election day.

The new rules have been in place since May and are outlined in the Guide to Local Elections Campaign Financing in B.C.on page 51.

But Robertson says the Vision Vancouver team only received final confirmation of the decision within the last 48 hours.

"It’s a last minute ruling that’s surprising and disappointing," he said. "I certainly wasn’t aware of this nor was council. There was no heads up on this well in advance which doesn’t make sense to me."

Robertson says getting young people to vote is already hard enough without limiting access to social media.

"That’s a world they spend a lot of time in," he said. "It’s public domain and I totally disagree that we should be banned from social media on election day. Hopefully we'll see that overturned soon." 

"I hope it doesn't suppress the young vote today."

Robertson concedes it may not, "because there’ll be a lot of other people who will be talking about it on social media.

Voter turnout does appear to be good, with long line-ups being reported at many polling stations around the city.

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