Premier Christy Clark's BC Liberals have begun reporting political donations more quickly

UPDATE: BC Liberal fundraising follows rules, Coleman says

Elections BC investigation follows admissions by lobbyists that they bought fundraiser tickets and were reimbursed

Deputy Premier Rich Coleman says the BC Liberal Party will co-operate with an investigation of its fundraising practices, but he’s confident the party is following the rules.

Coleman said Monday that the party follows the rules for collecting donations, but it’s up to donors to know the law and not charge personal donations to someone else.

“If you read the [Election] Act, that’s not allowed,” Coleman said. “But we don’t know that when we receive a cheque. If somebody buys tickets online, they buy them with a credit card, just like they can for the NDP. They don’t disclose to us if they’re actually collecting that money back from somebody else, and the act is very clear, you can’t do that.”

B.C.’s election agency has begun an investigation of donations to the BC Liberal Party, after lobbyists spoke publicly of giving money personally and then expensing it back to companies that hire them to represent their issues to the provincial government. The investigation will include other parties as well.

“These alleged contraventions include indirect political contributions and making or accepting political contributions improperly,” B.C. Chief Electoral Officer Keith Archer said in a statement released Monday. “The scope of Elections BC’s investigation into this matter is open-ended and will depend on how our review progresses.”

Evidence of Election Act violations will be referred to B.C.’s Criminal Justice Branch to determine if charges are warranted, Archer said.

The Globe and Mail reported on the weekend that lobbyists say they were pressured by the party to buy tickets to fundraising events, which they reported as individual donations and in some cases charged back to their clients.

In question period, NDP leader John Horgan called on Attorney General Suzanne Anton to restrict “big money” donations, as the NDP have proposed annually for six years.

“Instead I heard the attorney general stick to the tired Liberal line that what will make everyone happy is if we tell people every couple of weeks who’s giving us money,” Horgan told reporters. “That’s not the issue. It’s the influence that money is having on policy decisions that troubles British Columbians, and it certainly troubles me.”

The BC Liberals have been under scrutiny for the unlimited corporate, union and personal donations allowed by provincial law, after the federal government and other provinces moved to restrict donations to individuals with an annual maximum.

Coleman said his government has no plan to impose new spending limits on individuals, or to bar donations from corporations and unions as the federal government and other provinces have done.


Just Posted

Influx of funding means new projects, upgrades coming to Bella Coola and Central Coast

The Central Coast Regional District confirmed it will be receiving just over $6 million in funding

Three percent accommodation tax approved for Bella Coola accommodation providers

Only fixed-room accommodation providers with four rooms or more are required to charge the tax.

U.S. consulate general to visit Northwest

Trip part of the region’s first-ever pop-up consul for American residents

B.C.’s north heats up to record highs

Bella Bella, Masset, Prince Rupert and the Cassiar Area all broke records

Sealed DNA in Phillip Tallio murder case must be released, orders Judge

A unanimous decision by B.C. Court of Appeal judges has ordered the release of a sealed DNA sample

Vancouver Aquarium’s resident octopus released into ocean

Staff let the Giant Pacific octopus go into the waters near Bowen Island so she can reproduce

Canucks sing the Blues as they fall to St. Louis 4-1

Berglund nets two, including the game-winner, to lift St. Louis over Vancouver

Calving season brings hope for Cariboo ranchers

Still a lot of work ahead to recover from the wildfires

Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond wins figure skating world title

The 22-year-old fwon the women’s singles crown with her Black Swan routine

B.C. pooches celebrate National Puppy Day

Check out some of the submissions from around B.C. for National Puppy Day 2018

Alberta tells B.C. to stop opposing pipelines if it doesn’t like gas prices

John Horgan said he would like to see the federal government step in to deal with high gas prices.

B.C. mother hit in truck rampage dies

Family confirms mother of four Kelly Sandoval dies almost two months after being hit.

Walking from Argentina to Alaska

Holly ‘Cargo’ Harrison is now in northern B.C. on his journey from Argentina to Alaska.

PHOTOS: Students exhibit stunning paper couture dresses

22 paper made gowns will be on display at Vancouver’s Oakridge Centre until March 27

Most Read