A former candidate for council from Merritt, Jay Barley, has been disqualified from running in the next municipal election for his failure to provide financial disclosure as part of his campaign in October 2022. 

“Under section 61 of the [Local Government] Act, the BC Chief Electoral Officer must notify the local government in question of any candidate who does not file a disclosure as required by law. In turn, this report must be presented at an open meeting of the local authority in question,” said Greg Lowis, director of corporate services for the City during council’s February 28 regular meeting. 

Following a 90 day “no-penalty fee period,” candidates have the option to disclose for an additional 30 days, bringing the total disclosure time to 120 days. Disclosure within the final 30 days results in a $500 late filing fee, but allows the candidates to remain up for nomination. 

Barley was not the only one disqualified after not filing disclosure papers within 120 days, following a release from Elections B.C. it was found that 48 candidates were disqualified for their failure to provide financial disclosures, which included candidates from nearby Kamloops and Hope.

“On February 16th, 2023, Elections BC advised the City of Merritt that Jay Barley (candidate for Council: 171 votes | Not elected) had not filed the required disclosure by the end of the 120 day period,” said added Lowis.

“As such, they advised that Mr. Barley is disqualified from being nominated for, elected to or holding office on a local authority until after the next general local elections on October 17, 2026,”