Non-profit group Integrity BC says it’s compiled a list of suspected improper donations to the BC Liberal Party that could total more than $1.5-million.
The group says it’s turning the list, highlighting 727 donations by 118 donors, over to the RCMP for further review.
In a statement posted to Facebook, the group says it believes the majority of the donations are illegal so-called “indirect donations” – that is, donations made in one’s own name on behalf of someone else.
“We have strong reason to believe that most of these donations – if not all of them – are not recorded in the name of the real donor. In a number of the cases we will also provide the name of who we believe is the real donor.”
The group says the donations flagged were made between 2005 and 2016, total $1.595-million. Nearly 200 of them are for amounts over $2,500.
“With some donors on our list it would seem a one-time mistake was made and that no one (party or donor) chose to correct the error. With others it’s repetitive, frequent and on-going,” the group says.
Asked about the dollar amount, deputy premier Rich Coleman says he doesn’t have numbers, so can’t comment.
Integrity BC says the bulk of donors listed are lobbyists, though others are not, and some work for groups that are partially or fully funded by the B.C. government.
The B.C. NDP says it has identified two improper donations, totalling about $10,000, and that it has returned the cash. It says it’s still looking at two other potential cases.
Yesterday, Coleman said the B.C. Liberals were conducting their own investigation into possible improper donations to the party, and would return any cash that wasn’t above board.
In 2016 alone, the party raised about $12-million.
The RCMP took over the investigation into improper donations last week, after Elections BC said it wished to focus on the upcoming May 9 election, and avoid any potential accusations of political bias.