In all of Canada, there is only one riding in which candidates can spend more during the 41-day election campaign than those in the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo.
In the local riding, candidates can spend $139,551, well above the average of about $111,000 for all of the country’s ridings and second-highest in the country behind another B.C. riding, Kootenay-Columbia.
Why can local candidates throw so much cash around? It mostly comes down to population and geography.
First, Elections Canada uses a preliminary list of electors to determine the voting population of a riding. If that number is lower than the national average, the limit is increased.
With 95,347 electors, the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo riding exceeds the national average per riding of about 75,000.
Next, the riding’s geography is considered. If the number of electors per square kilometre is less than 10, the limit is increased.
The Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo riding is 37,758 square kilometres, according to Statistics Canada, which means that with its 95,347 electors, there are approximately 2.5 electors per square kilometre.
Comparatively, according to figures from the 2015 federal election, the nearby riding of Kelowna-Lake Country has 52 electors per square kilometre, the least dense Nunavut riding has 0.008 electors per square kilometre and the most dense Toronto Centre riding has 11,058 electors per square kilometre.
The final adjustment is later made on the day the election is called — in this case, Sept. 11 — when the figure is adjusted for inflation.
Candidates are not notified of the final election expenses limit until one week before election day. The limit might be higher, but cannot be lower than the preliminary limit set prior to the start of the election.
Political parties, meanwhile, can spend $105,687 in this riding.
Elections Canada said parties that have endorsed a candidate in a riding can spend $0.735 per elector, then multiplied by the inflation adjustment factor.
Party spending limits in the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo are the 16th-highest in Canada. Parties can spend the most in Edmonton-Wetaskiwin ($124,695) and the least in Labrador ($21,015).
Elections Canada periodically updates spending amounts. The figures used in this article are the latest, current to June 4, 2019, and based on a preliminary list of electors.