Cliff McNeil-Smith has succeeded in retaining his seat as Mayor of Sidney. (Nick Murray/News Staff)

Cliff McNeil-Smith has succeeded in retaining his seat as Mayor of Sidney. (Nick Murray/News Staff)

Cliff McNeil-Smith retains seat as mayor of Sidney

Judge satisfied mayor inadvertently overspent and election result not materially affected

Cliff McNeil-Smith successfully retained his seat as mayor of Sidney.

At the court hearing in Victoria Thursday, Justice Bowden was satisfied that McNeil-Smith demonstrated he had exercised due diligence on his 2018 mayoral campaign finances and that the $1,877.63 overspend did not materially affect the election result.

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In his decision, Bowden stated, “the petitioner’s approach was reasonable, and I am completely satisfied that he exercised due diligence … I am satisfied that the amount of overspending did not materially affect the result. Given that Mr. McNeil-Smith won more than 80 per cent of the vote, it is inconceivable that this amount would affect the outcome.”

In January, it was revealed that McNeil-Smith had overspent and under the Local Government Campaign Finance Act, he faced a possible fine of twice the amount overspent and loss of his seat.

McNeil-Smith called the mistake “unintentional,” accepted full responsibility, and paid the fine to Elections BC.

McNeil-Smith said, “I am very grateful for lawyer Bruce Hallsor, Q.C., acting on my behalf and for the positive outcome. I look forward to continuing to serve the citizens of Sidney as mayor and as a CRD director.”


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