With the release of Elections B.C.’s new numbers, we now know how much the province’s political parties raised last year.
Unsurprisingly the Liberal party came out far ahead with a total of $13.7-million raised in 2016.
The largest single donations being $200,000 a piece from developers Peter Wall and John Redekop, and another $260,000 from Peter Redekop.
The NDP raised just half what the Liberals did with $6.7-million – United Steelworkers coming in as their highest donor with a contribution of $250,000.
In total the union gave the NDP $667,000 last year.
Coming in third of B.C.’s main parties, the Greens raised $773,000 with the single largest amount being a $10,000 contribution.
Political donations in the province came into sharp focus back in March, when news broke that corporations were illegally funneling money to the B.C. Liberals through lobbyists.
That revelation prompted Elections B.C. and later the RCMP to start an investigation into the party’s political contributions.
The Liberals have since promised to refund almost $100,000 of those indirect donations, while the NDP have tried to one-up them by promising to refund all illegitimate donations that are found.
However, with the RCMP investigation ongoing, the question of how widespread illegal donations are in B.C. remains.
Practicing what you preach
Meanwhile, leader of the B.C. NDP John Horgan is dismissing claims from the B.C. Liberals he’s being hypocritical in his stance on political fundraisers.
Horgan has been outspoken about his opposition to political fundraisers, invoking the Liberals’ recent RCMP investigation.
He wants the practice banned, but in the meantime has attended NDP fundraising events where in one case guests could pay up to $10,000 to attend.
With the NDP starting its campaign the Liberals took to social media saying “this is awkward” alleging a double-standard on Horgan’s part.
— Today's BC Liberals (@bcliberals) April 5, 2017
Horgan says there’s no similarity between the Liberals and the NDP however.
“The notion that the Liberals are the same as the New Democrats when we have tabled legislation six times to amend the laws [that] ban union and corporate donations I don’t know how you can come to that conclusion and I don’t think voters will either.”
With files from Jeremy Lye