Finance Minister Mike de Jong

Finance Minister Mike de Jong

BC Liberals bag $10 million, refuse donor reform

Corporate donations more than half BC Liberal total, NDP's donations mostly small sums from individuals

After reporting $10 million in donations for 2015, the B.C. Liberal Party has no plans to restrict donations to individuals only as other provinces have done.

More than $5 million of the ruling party’s donations came from corporations, with individuals giving $3.3 million and trade unions chipping in just $23,800, according to filings this week with Elections BC.

The B.C. NDP collected just over $3 million last year, mostly from individual donations under $200, and banked nearly $1 million more from the sale of its former headquarters in Burnaby. Trade unions donated about $375,000 to the NDP and corporations gave $148,000.

With Alberta having outlawed corporate and union donations and Ontario moving to do the same, B.C. Liberal house leader Mike de Jong isn’t swayed by controversies in other provinces.

“The issue that seems to be at the forefront today … is whether or not we’re proposing or thinking about eliminating corporate and union donations, and we’re not,” de Jong told reporters Tuesday.

NDP leader John Horgan, who has criticized Premier Christy Clark’s private meetings with donors paying $10,000 each, has repeatedly called for an end to corporate and union donations. Horgan has hosted his own fundraising events, including a $5,000-a-plate breakfast in Toronto last week.

The NDP’s biggest donors in 2015 were the B.C. Government and Service Employees Union, with more than $92,000 and the United Steelworkers Canada with $62,000.

The biggest donor to the BC Liberals was the Charles F. White Corporation, the company of Keg Restaurants owner David Aisenstat, which gave $112,000 in 2015. Rennie Marketing Systems, whose principal Bob Rennie is the party’s fundraising chair, gave $73,500.

Other large corporate donations included $100,400 from Aquilini Investment Group, $98,000 from Concord Pacific Developments Corp., $92,925 from natural gas producer Encana Corp., $75,430 from miner Pretium Resources Inc., $62,225 from the New Car Dealers Association of B.C., $30,500 from Woodfibre LNG Ltd, $67,397 from Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Ltd., $31,458 from Great Canadian Gaming Corp., $70,500 from West Fraser Mills Ltd. and $29,550 from the Vancouver Taxi Association.

[BC Liberal donor list here. NDP donor list here.]

The BC Liberals took in more than $1 million at a single fundraising dinner in Vancouver June 2, 2015, with tickets selling for $1,000 and $450 and the majority of sales to organizations.

 

Just Posted

Dancers from the Sts’ailes First Nation perform the eagle dance at a welcome banner dedication ceremony on Thursday, June 10. “Ey Swayel” is a Halq̓eméylem term translated as ‘a good day.’ (Adam Louis/Observer)
VIDEO: ‘A good day’ for Agassiz school as Sts’ailes welcome banner is dedicated

Banner hangs above the school’s entrance, welcoming students, staff and visitors

Missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs was found deceased on Thursday evening (June 17).
Body of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs found

Hobbs was reported missing Monday after leaving his job site in Langley

UFV athletes were honoured for their strength and perseverance during the pandemic. (UFV photo)
Fraser Valley athletes recognized in year without sports

UFV Cascades athletes honoured for strength shown during the pandemic

A tenant walks in front of her home on Boundary Road on Friday, June 18, 2021 after it was destroyed by fire the night before in Chilliwack. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack family homeless after fire rips through house on Abbotsford border

Turtle rescued, no one seriously hurt following Boundary Road fire in Chilliwack

Wild rabbits are all over Chilliwack, but people often think they’re someone’s lost pet and try to ‘save’ them. But the owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room says good intentions can have bad consequences for wild animals. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room asks people to leave wild animals in the wild

Amber Quiring says people who think they’re helping are actually doing more harm than good

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

A search is underway for a 75-year-old fisherman who went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search continues for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard searching for 75-year-old man reported missing Thursday evening

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Most Read