Clark’s party pay OK, commissioner says

Donations to B.C. Liberal Party not a personal benefit for Premier Christy Clark, says Conflict of Interest Commissioner Paul Fraser

Premier Christy Clark

Premier Christy Clark’s $50,000-a-year “leader’s allowance” from the B.C. Liberal Party does not breach B.C. law, Conflict of Interest Commissioner Paul Fraser has ruled.

Fraser’s decision was released late Wednesday in response to a complaint filed by NDP MLA David Eby, who accused Clark of being paid out of proceeds from “exclusive” fundraising events where people paid up to $10,000 to meet with her.

“There may be circumstances where receiving a political donation places a Member [of the Legislative Assembly] in a conflict or apparent conflict of interest situation,” Fraser wrote. “However, the are generally limited to situations where a candidate receives a personal campaign contribution and due to a variety of other factors, is in a position to ‘return a favour’ to the person who made the donation.”

Fraser added that the Members’ Conflict of Interest Act “is not a moral code and I am not an arbiter of what may be political morality in the campaign finance context.”

Clark has said she inherited the allowance when she became B.C. Liberal leader in 2011, and it was instituted by the party when former premier Gordon Campbell became opposition leader in 1993. The party says Clark’s allowance is $50,000 for this year and last year, up from $45,000 a year in 2013 and 2014.

The NDP has pressed the B.C. Liberal government to ban corporate and union donations and cap personal donations, as has been done at the federal level. In the legislature this week, the opposition highlighted donations from mining and oil executive N. Murray Edwards and associated companies totalling more than $800,000.

NDP leader John Horgan has also participated in private receptions with donors who pay extra. He says his leader’s allowance has been about $5,000, mainly to provide him with clothing.

 

Just Posted

Bill passes to make Sept. 30 National Day for Truth and Reconciliation statutory holiday

Residential school survivor Phyllis Webstad and CRD Area F director Joan Sorley were in Ottawa for the vote

Wally Webber elected to fourth term as Nuxalk Chief Councilor

Webber took the win with 174 votes out of a total of 389

Bella Coola expected to be hottest spot in B.C. today

Temperatures are predicted to rise to 18 C

B.C. minister says rural internet is ‘railroad of the 21st century’

Jinny Sims talks details about the $50-million provincial and possible $750-million federal funds

IT’S OFFICIAL: Mt. Timothy sale complete

New owners looking toward year-round mountain resort facility

After mosque attacks, New Zealand bans ‘military-style’ guns

The gunman killed 50 in a Christchurch mosque

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from B.C. roaster recalled due to botulism scare

“If you purchased N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Cherry Hill … do not drink it.”

B.C. man gets award for thwarting theft, sexual assault – all in 10 minutes

Karl Dey helped the VPD take down a violent sex offender

Nowhere to grieve: How homeless people deal with loss during the opioid crisis

Abbotsford homeless advocate says grief has distinct challenges for those living on the streets

ICBC shifts to Alberta model, with higher rates, private insurers say

B.C. public insurance includes funding enforcement, driver licensing

B.C., feds accused of ‘environmental racism’ over Site C, Mount Polley

Amnesty International Canada says governments failed to recognize threats to Indigenous peoples

New Leger polls suggests federal Liberals lagging Conservatives

Overall, 31 per cent of respondents polled said they would vote for Justin Trudeau’s Liberals

Most Read