The latest Elections BC update to political party financial disclosure statements shows the BC Liberal party has returned even more money to donors.
With another $59,023 in illegal fundraising dollars being returned to Liberal Party donors, the total the party is returning has now climbed to $247,661.
That’s nearing three times the $92,000 in donations Liberal Party officials said they would be returning back in March.
Wednesday’s update shows the NDP are returning another $790, bringing the total that party has returned to $11,290.
Both parties have undertaken fundraising reviews.
The question of illegal donations surfaced when it emerged that lobbyists were buying tickets to BC Liberal fundraisers on behalf of corporations, and then being reimbursed.
Those so-called “indirect donations” are prohibited by B.C.’s Elections Act.
The revelation forced both the BC Liberals and BC NDP to review their donations records.
In March, the RCMP took over the investigation into political donations, but it isn’t expected to produce results before the May 9 election.
B.C.’s lax laws on political donations, which permit unlimited contributions from corporations and unions have been a hot button issue in the province of late, earning it a designation as the “Wild West” from the New York Times.
Critics have also accused the governing B.C. Liberals of “pay to play” politics for their pricey fundraisers granting face to face access to the Premier.
Allegations of conflict of interest were also raised when it emerged B.C. Liberal Leader Christy Clark was receiving a $50,000 salary top up for her presence at the events, though she was cleared by the province’s conflict of interest commissioner.
In January, Clark said she would stop taking the stipend, calling it a distraction.