The man behind government accountability non-profit Democracy Watch says he’s not surprised B.C.’s premier won’t follow the federal Liberals in dropping cash-for-access fundraisers.
Earlier today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged to table legislation scrapping the pricey private dinners in which high-rolling donors wine and dine with cabinet ministers.
Premier Christy Clark called the idea “interesting,” but says she has no plans to follow suit.
Democracy Watch Co-Founder Duff Conacher says that’s a problem.
“It’s not surprising to see Premier Christy Clark continue her commitment to unethical and democratic big money fundraising that really corrupts B.C. politics,” he said.
Conacher’s group has been at odds with the Premier over her party’s donations for nearly a year now, first filing a conflict of interest complaint – then taking the conflict of interest commissioner to court over his ruling clearing Clark.
That bid was thrown out earlier this week.
Nonetheless, the premier dropped her $50,000 annual salary top-up, drawn from those donations, last Friday calling controversy around it a “distraction.”
As for Trudeau’s move in Ottawa, Conacher says while it will add transparency to the process, the claim it will get influential big money out of politics is little more than a charade.
“Wealthy people who can afford $1,500 up to $3,100 will be able to still pay to get access for cash to the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers, and so that means the big money donations will still be dominant in Canadian politics.”
He says MP’s will continue to hold secret events that are high priced because the proposal would only affect Cabinet Ministers and Opposition party leaders.
With files from Michelle Morton