Andrew Bates

electric newspaperman

August 4, 2016
by Andrew Bates

Canada starts strong at Rio 2016 with terrifying and terrific win

Christine Sinclair collapsed after her 80th minute goal metres from where she left Australia's Lisa De Vanna flat on the turf. (Rovena Rosa/Agência Brasil)

Christine Sinclair collapsed after her 80th minute goal metres from where she left Australia’s Lisa De Vanna flat on the turf. (Rovena Rosa/Agência Brasil)

It was tough, tight and nerve-wracking on the pitch, but a 2-0 shutout on the scoresheet that puts Canada in a power position in Group F.

The current incarnation of the Canadian women’s soccer team has been empowered by the 2012 Olympic bronze medal win, but it’s a newer, less predictable squad that can’t be judged on those results. Lose flatly against Brazil in a friendly on a Saturday, hold them off long enough to get the win the next Tuesday. So the fate of Les Rouges in the opening match of the 2016 Olympics against 5th-ranked Australia was really anyone’s guess for about the first 20 seconds.

Christine Sinclair used veteran experience to catch Australia before they even got on their bikes, burning Alanna Kennedy and Laura Alleway with ease before setting up Janine Beckie for the fastest goal in Olympic women’s history. The game’s first minutes are rarely as important as their last minutes, but this squad needed to define what kind of Team Canada it was immediately.

What’s funny about the game’s first twenty minutes is how they defined the game but were mostly separated from its bulk by the red card to Shelina Zadorsky. The same exuberance that Canada showed in its last friendly against France helped it establish itself early on and it contributed to the foul that saw Canada go deservingly down to 10 players.

But although 4-4-1 is certainly not the formation head coach John Herdman anticipated before the game, the switch answered questions and brought results; Melissa Tancredi, a veteran of 2012 with a diminished role this year, made way like a good soldier for Rebecca Quinn. Her energetic play fit into the defense without missing a beat. It’s the defensive game that maybe gives the team its identity and purpose; a mix of young players and tough veterans scrapping it out as hard as they can to keep the team in the game and provide for the forwards.

Or in this match, just one forward. A transcendent forward in Sinclair whose service helped put Canada in front and who took advantage of Jessie Fleming’s long ball to put Australia away single-handedly. Her touch nudging the ball past rushing Aussie keeper Lydia Williams in midfield was perfect, just enough to leave Williams in the dust and give herself enough time before Lisa De Vanna arrived to send a loping chipped ball through the empty penalty area and into the goal.

Canada were lucky here. They did well after the ejection, but had Australia scored on the resulting free kick, it would have been over. The moments when Steph Labbé was on the deck with a leg cramp brought hearts into mouths. Beckie’s missed penalty in the second half could have been a costly missed opportunity. But with Australia in the middle ground of difficulty between Germany and Zimbabwe, they have got all three of the group stage’s most vital points and they were forced to fight together against the odds. Not a bad way to establish yourselves.

This post republished from Little Rubber Pellets

April 7, 2015
by Andrew Bates

The Alberta provincial election is necessary, and the fixed-election-date law isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on

It's hard enough to get voters to the polls, so why would you tell them it's illegitimate and then spend a month trying to get them to care? (Photo k-ideas/flickr)

It’s hard enough to get voters to the polls, so why would you tell them it’s illegitimate and then spend a month trying to get them to care? (Photo k-ideas/flickr)

The premier has changed, the opposition party has lost more than half its MLAs, a new budget has changed the province’s taxation structure and voters haven’t weighed in on any of it. I can’t think of better reasons for an Alberta provincial election.

Everyone is saying that Alberta Premier Jim Prentice is about to call a provincial election tomorrow, and a popular talking point from opposition parties is to refer to it as an “illegal” or “unnecessary” election, because it conflicts with fixed election date laws. Here’s Wildrose Party candidate and former Alberta Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation Derek Fildebrandt doing it:

And Marie Renaud, the NDP candidate in St. Albert:

And Connie Jensen, provincial secretary for the Alberta Party, back in January:

This rhetoric has been common since the rise of fixed election dates over the last ten years, with the Conservative Party attacking Michael Ignatieff for wanting an “unnecessary election” in 2011. But Canada got its fixed election date law in 2007 and the Prime Minister called an election in 2008. If the federal election does take place as scheduled in October, it will be the first time since then that a Parliament went the distance.

It is clear that election fixed-date laws aren’t worth the paper they are printed on. Last Monday, an Alberta judge dismissed an injunction to limit the next election to the time frame specified in the law–between March and May of next year–on the basis that the law doesn’t actually limit the discretion of the Lieutenant-Governor to call an election. From the Edmonton Sun:

Calgary lawyer Michael Bates acted for lawyer Tom Engel Monday, who filed an injunction application that would require Premier Jim Prentice to call an election within the fixed time frame of March 1 to May 31, 2016.
The PC government passed an amendment to Alberta’s Election Act in 2011 that fixed a time frame for a provincial election to take place every four years.
“We don’t pass laws that don’t mean anything,” Bates argued.
“The premier’s powers exist within that window (of the fixed time frame). There is otherwise absolutely no reason whatsoever to have a window.”
The government’s lawyer David Jones argued the amendment does not restrict the Lieutenant-Governor’s ability to call an election for any reason, including a recommendation from the premier. Jones said the 2011 amendment upheld existing election laws.
Court of Queen’s Bench Judge Ken Nielsen said there is a “very strong argument” that the amendment still leaves the Lieutenant-Governor with unfettered discretion to call an election.

Essentially, the fixed-date laws don’t prevent a premier or Prime Minister from asking the Governor-General or Lieutenant-Governor to call an election, nor does it prevent an election if the government loses the confidence of its legislature. So why was the law passed in the first place? According to the Calgary Herald, the government thought Albertans were very concerned with election timing and didn’t want a premier to schedule a snap election just to catch the opposition unawares.

The fact though, is that in practice, nothing stops a premier or Prime Minister from calling an election whenever he or she pleases. What it does do is give a sitting government a free pass out of being pressured into having an election.

I’m very much in favour of elections. Whether it’s an unpopular policy or a scandal or a newly-minted party leader or just a desire to govern for a little while longer, I feel strongly that the government needs a mandate to operate and it is correct to turn to the voters to ensure that it has one. Fixed election laws give a leader a chance to dodge and coast.

With the shock of the Wildrose Party floor-crossing, I understand that now is not the best time for the opposition to mount a campaign and that might be behind some of these jitters over having an election. But in the last 12 months, major changes have happened with little concern for voters.

I didn’t like that I didn’t get to vote for the premier because I am not a member of any party, I didn’t like that the floor crossers had no respect for the voters that preferred Wildrose policies and I didn’t like that the PCs offered to adopt Wildrose policies that their own voters rejected. The legislature and government that voters chose, with a seat balance of 61-17-5-4, Alison Redford as premier and Danielle Smith as opposition leader, bears little resemblance to the 70-5-5-4-1 legislature Alberta currently has. I have no idea what the outcome will be, but I want a choice.

Both the Wildrose Party and the NDP have said they’ll have full candidate slates ready for a spring election. It would seem, then, that the best reason to attack the PCs for calling an election that’s so sorely needed is just to score points; to make them look that much worse. But why, if you’re trying to increase public participation and voter turnout, would you attack the legitimacy of an election just before you spend a month trying to convince Albertans to pay attention to you and get to the polls?

Regardless of the letter of the law, everyone seems pretty certain that the writs are dropping tomorrow and the courts have no intention on stepping in. If you intend on having anything to do with the election and you know this law doesn’t matter, don’t pretend it does just to make you look good. Though I think it was right that the injunction to block an election call failed because elections are a necessary part of our parliamentary democracy, I like the basis of its argument: that it is silly to have a law that nobody respects.

From the Sun article: “Honour the act, or say it’s a sham and repeal it … let’s be honest with this.” Sounds like a plan to me.

February 15, 2015
by Andrew Bates

Media Training: Learning soccer lessons from a kickabout with FC Edmonton

(Photo Michelle Allenberg)

On the left, I valiantly try in vain to stop FC Edmonton academy player Austin Couture.(Photo Michelle Allenberg)

A few weeks ago, I took part in FC Edmonton media training — not training players to speak to the media but training members of the media to play soccer. Mainly, it was a part of their push to promote two regular season games to be played in Fort McMurray this year, but it had a theoretical purpose as well.

Head coach Colin Miller told the four of us at the start that he wanted to give the media an impression of what it’s like to play against players of their calibre; Mallan Roberts, Darryl Fordyce, Albert Watson and Austin Couture joined the media types. I moonlight as a soccer blogger, and although I reject the basic premise that you can’t have an opinion about something like a sport unless you’ve played it, a little understanding can’t hurt. So, media stunt aside, there was a point here, an opportunity to learn something. So, what did I learn?

I think what I took the most notice of is how fatigue limits your awareness on the pitch. Sure, I was a bit out of shape and had the first touch of a brick, but the huffing and puffing isn’t the important part. I’ve been tired when playing soccer before, but the session, which Miller called a fun drill they do with their younger age groups, was structured in a way to start you out tired.

It started out with just controlling the ball, remembering to use the side of your foot and then a short stint of doing that with your weak-side leg. Miller called out to remind the four of us to control with the side of our feet, and not to spend so much time looking down. I felt breezy at that point, as we dribbled around each other. Then the drill increased in intensity as Miller added more elements: on his mark, touch the ball five times with alternating feet. Then four times with the feet and one with each knee. Then all that, and squat onto the ball, touching it with your butt. Then, all of that with a push-up, touching the ball with your chest. Then all of that with a second push-up, this time with a forehead touch.

“When we have kids that are a little unruly, this exercise gets them quiet really quick,” he said.


As I got more tired, those push-ups got a little less crisp, to say the least. What I noticed is that as I juggled tasks and did more drills, my reaction time dropped; the hardest part was actually stopping the ball so I could do touches. (Not the least because I was wearing Converse and not pointed-toe runners, but that was on me.) My fluidity while running with the ball went away as I slowed, as I spent more time focusing on whether or not the “touch” call was coming. “It’s like you’re dancing on a bed of swords, Andrew!” Miller called out.

A short break after, we started a four-a-side game with Couture, an academy player for the club from Fort McMurray, joining the offense team. This is where I started to get the picture about fatigue. Specifically, when people talk about extra time affecting players’ ability, or diagnosed a team as being tired at the end of a road game, I don’t think I was able to actually understand why before.

Basically, it felt like my level of awareness narrowed the more tired I got, and the drills basically guaranteed that I’d start blown up. It helped between plays when Miller shouted out to remember to stay organized, and keep someone back for defense. But still, skills I had when I was more fresh didn’t come as naturally, and it was hard to transition from one situation to another.

All in all, I think I’ll understand those 90th minute blunders a little more. When I see the pained look in a player’s eye, I’ll recognize it. The coaches did. The goalkeeper coach, Darren Woloshen, came up to me after and told me he was impressed, given that I hadn’t played the sport at a high level. I laughed, at myself, mainly, still feeling tired and heavy-limbed. “I mean it,” he said. “You were good out there.”

I think I was; if I didn’t score any goals, at least I got the point.

May 18, 2014
by Andrew Bates

How’s it going, by-election candidates? (Week 1)

Conservative candidate David Yurdiga speaks to a constituent at a police BBQ May 14. (Photo Andrew Bates)

Conservative candidate David Yurdiga speaks to a constituent at a police BBQ May 14. (Photo Andrew Bates)

After months of speculation, we’re finally out of the starting gates of the Fort McMurray-Athabasca by-election. This behemoth of a campaign (at seven weeks, it’s more than two weeks longer than the 2011 general election) will be taxing for the candidates tasked with getting around this giant riding. So, in tribute to their efforts and the most banal election question possible, how’re you doing, candidates?

Kyle Harrietha (Liberal)
They’re going great. I’ve been… out door-knocking in Fort McMurray, meeting members of the community as we work through the election campaign.
Phone interview, May 14

Lori McDaniel (NDP)
It’s been crazy actually. I’m not sure if you’ve heard of all the tragic incidents at suncor? I’ve been heavily involved in that for the last while. So sad.
Twitter DM, May 15

Tim Moen (Libertarian)
It’s going great! Enroute to Ottawa right now for our leadership convention.
Facebook message, May 16

David Yurdiga (Conservative)
This week I talked to many Albertans in Fort McMurray-Athabasca that commented on the need for strong, stable leadership and support for our oil sands, and I reminded them that only Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservatives have stood up for their interests when it comes to the oil patch.
Text message, May 17

February 3, 2014
by Andrew Bates

James Joyce’s first novel began publishing a hundred years ago today. Let’s read it!


Last fall, I studied a course taught by UBC Okanagan professor Anderson Araujo on the Imagists, a group of poets that ended up becoming the first wave of modernists that would define 20th century literature. The Imagists were poets, but also they wanted to change the way people wrote, read and thought about literature and art.

In 1913 one of the movement’s major figures, Ezra Pound, trying to put together an anthology of Imagist poetry, wrote to James Joyce, then a little-known Irish author. Joyce had struggled to put his collection of short stories, Dubliners, in print and had tried to write an autobiographical novel called Stephen Hero ten years earlier before abandoning it and reworking the concept.

Pound asked for permission to run a poem, “I Hear an Army,” and said he had the ability get him published in a couple of English and American journals, including the Egoist, which he said “practically can not pay at all,” but “may have a slight advertising value if you want to keep your name familiar.” Joyce sent him permission to run the poem, some scripts from Dubliners and the first chapter of his first novel, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

The first part of Portrait of the Artist ran in the Egoist on today’s date, Joyce’s birthday, on February 2nd exactly 100 years ago. It ran every two weeks in 1914 and then monthly until September 1915. The journals are now in the public domain, and Brown University has posted them all online.

Why not celebrate together? Let’s start a little book club. Every day a new issue of the Egoist came out 100 years ago, I’ll post on this blog with some words by myself or someone else, if they want to, and then we can all discuss the chapter in the blog comments. It’s the anniversary of not just a book, but the dawn of an exciting time in literature, and not just for a day.

Here’s the first chapter, where we learn of the childhood of Stephen Dedalus. What do you think? Let’s begin.

July 24, 2013
by Andrew Bates

Outtakes: New minister on priorities, youth and women in the workplace

New minister of labour Kellie Leitch, pictured left, with Alice Wong, Minister of State for Seniors, in 2011. Photo courtesy KellieLeitchSimcoeGrey/Flickr

New minister of labour Kellie Leitch with Alice Wong, Minister of State for Seniors, in 2011. Photo courtesy KellieLeitchSimcoeGrey/Flickr

I wrote a profile for the Today today on new federal Minister of Labour and the Status of Women, Kellie Leitch. Most of the phone conversation was about the 42-year old Ontario MP’s life and experience growing up in Fort McMurray. But there was some time, as well, to talk to her about her new portfolios as well as the duty of a parliamentarian to recruit the next generation of youth in politics.

On plans for Status of Women ministry:

There are a number of things that we’ll be focusing on, but particularly the government’s work on ending violence against women and promoting economic security for women. That will be the beginning focal point in addition to advocating for an increase in promotion of womens’ leadership and increasing their involvement on corporate and public sector boards.

This is important work, and I think all Canadians recognize it. We need to make sure that we’re focused on developing leadership opportunities for women.

On whether she’s noticed any intersections between gender and her political career:

I haven’t, but recognize, I come from a professional career, where … less than 15% of the individuals in my profession were women. My sister’s a civil engineer, she stands on a jobsite where I think she’s the only woman who’s there amongst literally hundreds of workers.

So I don’t dwell or even think about that: I think that we live in a very free and open democracy where people can aspire to be whatever they like to be, and I want women to take on the same mindset that I have and that I’ve been encouraged to have since I was a child and my sister has the same, which is, you can be whatever you want to be, just put your mind to it.

Plans for labour ministry:

The government’s priorities have been and continue to be a focus on creating jobs and growth, particularly, in the case of labour, focusing on making sure we have a productive workplace to help grow our economy. So the labour portfolio and labour program develop, administer and enforce all the workplace legislation and regulations.

My goal is to make sure that we are focused on having fair, safe and productive workplaces, so that Canadians know, and individuals who are coming to Canada to work in Canada (know) that they have a safe workplace and one where they can be productive and help grow our economy.

Leitch welcomes a class group to Parliament Hill. Photo courtesy KellieLeitchSimcoeGrey/Flickr

Leitch welcomes a group of students to Parliament Hill. Photo courtesy KellieLeitchSimcoeGrey/Flickr

On low youth turnout:

I was fortunate in my riding, just because of the circumstances, we actually had a higher-than-average voter turnout compared to the country and compared to the previous outings of the electorate. I try to encourage all the young people in my riding by going to high schools, going to junior high schools about what a privilege it is to be able to vote. We are very fortunate as Canadians that we live in a free and open democracy where you actually have the opportunity to vote.

I had spent some time in Afghanistan and Lebanon, some other places where young women don’t even get to go to public school, let alone vote. Young men, they find it challenging to get out to vote because they have a different opinion than the government’s leadership …

I do what I can to encourage the young people in my riding to appreciate that they live in a free and open democracy and they can participate, and I encourage them to participate in things with me so that they understand what the democratic process is, and they understand they can be involved at a number of different levels to contribute to public policy and also activism.

On getting youth participating directly as volunteers and candidates:

A little bit of the onus needs to be put on current parliamentarians. We have lived the experience, we know what the component parts of it are, on educating young people, women and men, on how they can participate. A lot of Canadians have no idea what the nomination process is for a specific party. Most young Canadians don’t even know how to contact a political party in their area or who would be the activist.

We have a responsibility, those of us that are involved as parliamentarians, but also those individuals who are involved as party activists, to continually be reaching out and, if nothing else, educating young people so they can make a choice to participate or not. I find that a lot of young people in my riding, they just don’t know where to start. And once they start, they’re fabulous.

My staff on the hill … all of my staff are under 24. They’re young people, they’re active, they’re interested, and I encourage them to go out and recruit and educate other young people so that we can have as many young canadians, whichever party it is, to get involved. I think they way you do it is by leading by example and being active.

July 17, 2013
by Andrew Bates

Watch Fort McMurray’s dizzying growth in 28 years of satellite pictures

Fort McMurray has undergone crazy amounts of growth in the last 20 years, ballooning from a population of 36,124 in the 1996 census to 65,565 in the 2011 census. That’s if you don’t count the 39,271 that the municipality says is working in camps in the oilsands. A stunning new Google graphic shows this effect over time. (Fort McMurray itself is at the river junction about two thirds down the picture, as I placed it.)

It’s kind of mindblowing. You can see the Thickwood and Timberlea areas fill in like crayon and the salt-and-pepper dotting of rural community south near Janvier and Anzac. But of course, the real growth is seeing the oilsands projects expand north of town.

(hat-tip van_laar_design/twitter)

July 7, 2013
by Andrew Bates

Murray’s laser focus shakes the unshakeable Djokovic in Wimbledon final

Photo Keith Williamson/Flickr

Photo Keith Williamson/Flickr

In the final of the 2013 Sony Open in Miami, Andy Murray refused David Ferrer a calf rub.

This is important because it shows how Murray was able to beat the best fighter in tennis in the Gentleman’s Final at Wimbledon Sunday. Before winning the U.S. Open last year, Murray had made four Grand Slam finals and six semifinals over five years (three of those to Novak Djokovic) before winning his first major. His inability to break into the very top tier of the game, with an expectant Britain watching, was blamed on everything from lack of maturity to lack of masculinity to lack of Britishness.

On this occasion, down 4-1 in the tiebreak of the third set, Ferrer collapsed with cramps during a grueling, two-hour-forty-five-minute final and Murray refused him a second calf rub. Ferrer was left to ineffectually hop on one leg, racket knocked out of his hand as a laser-focused Murray methodically eliminated him on three straight points. The post-match hug was not like two prize fighters leaning against each other. Despite his fatigue earlier in the match Murray, in that moment, was not hurting.

This was a reversal of the Murray that lost to Roger Federer at Wimbledon in 2012. (I swear I’m getting to Wimbledon 2013 soon.) Murray in that match was like a young protagonist in a high-fantasy novel, going up against a wizard much too powerful for him. He was powerless, losing his final three sets; he choked “I’m getting closer!” in his post-match interview, but he didn’t quite seem like he knew how.

He did get closer. 40 days later in the Olympic final, he beat Federer in straight sets, the Swiss magic gone. Though it was at the All England centre court, it was not truly Wimbledon or even a Grand Slam. But his dismantling of Federer, his emotion and his unsteady walk across the scoreboard were building blocks to the belief that he could make it on that level. 36 days after that, he finally did, in the grueling five-hour match everybody thought this final was going to become.

The first point of this match, the slate clear and full of anticipation, was a 20-shot volley won by Murray. But Djokovic survived three break points to take the game. Djokovic in that first set was ready and Murray was frustrated. He was a step ahead; he seemed in control and was running the Brit all over the court. Murray broke, and the Serb broke back. Murray broke again. But Djokovic slipped onto his hand when he had the chance to stay in it, and Murray broke a third time to take the set.

In the second half, Djokovic, known as a steadfast fighter, wavered. He came out clutching his left wrist, and the pains kept mounting. In the eleventh game of the second set, already out of challenges, he screamed at the umpire for not making a call in his favour. (He was wrong.) Murray broke him then to lead 6-5, and went to a 40-0 lead before acing to take the second set.

For those who had hope, Murray broke to start the third. But they traded break points throughout the set. Murray looked dominant, but Djokovic refused to be flattened. He began to look doomed, though, in the ninth game. Tired, Djokovic chipped it down Murray’s right hand line, ball bouncing slowly but well-placed. Murray raced back across and flipped it down the sideline to go up 5-4.

He took the first point of the final game. And the next. And the next. And so he sat, one year after being mastered by Federer, with three championship points in the Wimbledon final. But though Djokovic was angry and tired and hurt, he doesn’t stop. He denied all three points get to deuce. Djokovic took advantage twice, and with each came the sudden realization that perhaps the coronation was over; perhaps we would be here for another two hours, perhaps the power and confidence would be restored to the Serb and the masses on the Hill would be disappointed again.

But Murray, stone-faced, did not wail in disbelief as Djokovic smirked. He had the same laser-sharp focus, and despite the fact that Djokovic did have much more to lose than Murray did, he refused to allow him respite. From deuce, Djokovic flipped a ball high and to Murray’s left corner. The Brit gets it over the net and Djokovic approached, sending it to the right. Murray replied right at Djokovic, and the World No. 1 let it past him.

Advantage Murray, and fourth championship point. The crowd, boiling over, howled at every Djokovic ball that touched the brown grass at Murray’s feet that looked like it could even maybe be out. But Djokovic, for the eighth time in the match, put the ball into the net. Murray had won it.

So much of the anticipation around Murray throughout his career was based on the expectations on him as a British men’s player. So much of his distress in past years has been his disbelief. But on Sunday, that all existed outside of Murray, with his focus on the opponent getting more tired and frustrating by the shot. The match was grueling. In victory, sweat ran off his back and down his shirt, but he did not slouch or slump.

Because unlike Djokovic, Murray was not hurting.

May 15, 2013
by Andrew Bates

Turfed Van-West End candidate Herbert strikes back with “Gag me with a spoon” video

After Vancouver West-End candidate Ron Herbert got turfed for a tweet where he used the phrase “Gag me with a spoon, bitch” in regards to Premier Christy Clark, he decided to continue to run as an independent, calling himself an Independent Conservative. But just in case you didn’t really want to hear about his more nuanced policies, he published a self-produced video yesterday referencing the incident. A lot.

I don’t know what I expected to see less in an elections ad this campaign: A candidate breaking into Lady Gaga or a candidate being nuzzled by a bull. I certainly didn’t expect them to both be dismissed Conservative candidates.

I’m covering the Vancouver-West End riding in the 2013 B.C. provincial election for the Vancouver Courier. Check my twitter account for live updates and for stories.

May 14, 2013
by Andrew Bates

Vancouver-West End candidates couldn’t stop tweeting on election day

This screenshot was taken at 12:30 p.m.

This screenshot was taken at 12:30 p.m.

It’s now election day, and all the politicos are buzzing on Twitter — including the ones that shouldn’t.

Liberal candidate Scott Harrison and Spencer Chandra Herbert have been updating their Twitter and Facebook accounts today, in contravention of Elections BC rules against candidates posting on election day.

Harrison was tweeting and facebooking multiple times today from 6:00 a.m. to noon, ranging from simple get-out-the-vote messages to promotion of editorials and criticisms of NDP leader Adrian Dix. Chandra Herbert also posted a get-out-the-vote message at 6:30 a.m. (I’ve inserted screenshots at the top and bottom.)

According to Elections BC communications manager Don Main, candidates cannot tweet or post to Facebook on election day, which starts at midnight. Main said that Elections BC would be contacting the parties, who would contact individual campaigns.

I dropped lines to both campaigns. A staffer with the Chandra Herbert campaign said the campaign had been told by Elections BC that the ban extended only to voting hours, which last from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Scott Harrison replied to me directly, saying this:


This afternoon the BC Liberal Party has received official notice from Elections BC that Candidates could not post on social media today. I was informed of this and as soon as I was able I stopped my scheduled posts & deleted my earlier posts.

I thought social media posts(unpaid posts) would be the same as campaigning on the street at least 100 metres away from a polling station. However, that is not the case as of now. Therefore, I have complied with Elections BC’s request.

Scott Harrison

PS – I would have tweeted this back to you but that would have violated their instructions. :)

Sometimes, a line can be drawn between straight-up campaigning and non-promotional get-out-the-vote messages. But Main said that anything from a candidate’s social media account, with its picture and information, counts as “promoting or opposing” a candidate, the language used in the Elections Act to define elections advertising.

According to the Act, paid promotion in a periodical or a radio or television program does not count as advertising. Neither do Internet postings that reflect personal political views, which is probably how non-candidates get away with it.

Elections Act section 233 prevents elections advertising on general voting day, which would seem to include the whole day and not just the voting period. It does, however, allow Internet postings made before election day and not changed until the end of balloting, so that’s why the twitter accounts and websites are still up in the first place.

In any case, all of the tweets have been pulled down. Green party candidate Jodie Emery and independent Ron Herbert have not made any posts on election day.

I’m covering the Vancouver-West End riding in the 2013 B.C. provincial election for the Vancouver Courier. Check my twitter account for live updates and for stories.