B.C. Liberals outpace NDP in fundraising
VICTORIA B.C.’s governing Liberal party is out-fundraising its NDP rivals at a pace of more than three to one a year before the next provincial election.
The B.C. Liberal Party collected almost $10 million in donations in 2015, including its riding associations, compared to $3 million raised by the B.C. NDP, say 2015 financial forms released Tuesday by Elections B.C.
The Liberals already have almost $6 million in the bank, and the party has said it has paid off its loans from the 2013 election and is amassing a war chest for 2017.
The B.C. NDP has almost $705,000 cash on deposit but outstanding loans of $1.2 million.
The NDP also earned almost $1 million from the sale of its headquarters building in the past year.
The parties are required by law to submit annual financial forms to Elections B.C. Premier Christy Clark has said she wants to change that to monthly or quarterly disclosure.
Both the Liberals and NDP have faced criticism in recent weeks for expensive fundraisers that give exclusive access to politicians in exchange for donations.
Clark has held fundraisers at $10,000 a ticket, giving wealthy donors direct access to her and her cabinet ministers.
NDP Leader John Horgan has called the Liberal fundraising unethical, but at the same time held his own $5,000 a ticket Toronto breakfast last week.
The NDP is set to introduce a bill to ban corporate and union donations in the legislature Wednesday. But Horgan spent part of Tuesday at a $2,000-a-ticket breakfast fundraiser in Vancouver.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, who has been under fire for assigning fundraising quotas to her cabinet ministers, announced Tuesday she had cancelled all fu- ture private fundraisers and moved up legislation to ban corporate and union donations.
That failed to sway B.C. Finance Minister Mike de Jong, who reiterated that B.C. has no intention to implement a similar donation ban, or even set limits on donations.
The bulk of Liberal donations came from corporations, which gave $5.3 million.
Corporate donations to the NDP were only $148,820.
In the run-up to the 2013 elec- tion, the NDP raised more than $2 million from corporations.
Top Liberal donors in 2015 included $75,000 each from the Aquilini Investment Group and Concord Pacific Developments Corp. Condo marketing guru Bob Rennie, who is leading the B.C. Liberal fundraising machine, also donated $50,000.
New Democrat fundraising was led by individual donors and unions, who contributed $2.5 million and $376,336 respectively.
The Liberals recorded $3.4 million in individual donations and $24,075 from unions.
The biggest NDP donor was the B.C. Government and Service Employees Union with $92,679.
The B.C. Green party said it was unable to file its report on time — and will face a $100 fine from Elections B.C. — but brought in revenue of $417,485 in 2015.