Premier Christy Clark's BC Liberals have begun reporting political donations more quickly, but have resisted calls to limit the amount and sources of money.

UPDATE: BC Liberal fundraising follows rules, Coleman says

Elections BC investigation follows admissions by lobbyists that they bought fundraiser tickets and were reimbursed

Deputy Premier Rich Coleman says the BC Liberal Party will co-operate with an investigation of its fundraising practices, but he’s confident the party is following the rules.

Coleman said Monday that the party follows the rules for collecting donations, but it’s up to donors to know the law and not charge personal donations to someone else.

“If you read the [Election] Act, that’s not allowed,” Coleman said. “But we don’t know that when we receive a cheque. If somebody buys tickets online, they buy them with a credit card, just like they can for the NDP. They don’t disclose to us if they’re actually collecting that money back from somebody else, and the act is very clear, you can’t do that.”

B.C.’s election agency has begun an investigation of donations to the BC Liberal Party, after lobbyists spoke publicly of giving money personally and then expensing it back to companies that hire them to represent their issues to the provincial government. The investigation will include other parties as well.

“These alleged contraventions include indirect political contributions and making or accepting political contributions improperly,” B.C. Chief Electoral Officer Keith Archer said in a statement released Monday. “The scope of Elections BC’s investigation into this matter is open-ended and will depend on how our review progresses.”

Evidence of Election Act violations will be referred to B.C.’s Criminal Justice Branch to determine if charges are warranted, Archer said.

The Globe and Mail reported on the weekend that lobbyists say they were pressured by the party to buy tickets to fundraising events, which they reported as individual donations and in some cases charged back to their clients.

In question period, NDP leader John Horgan called on Attorney General Suzanne Anton to restrict “big money” donations, as the NDP have proposed annually for six years.

“Instead I heard the attorney general stick to the tired Liberal line that what will make everyone happy is if we tell people every couple of weeks who’s giving us money,” Horgan told reporters. “That’s not the issue. It’s the influence that money is having on policy decisions that troubles British Columbians, and it certainly troubles me.”

The BC Liberals have been under scrutiny for the unlimited corporate, union and personal donations allowed by provincial law, after the federal government and other provinces moved to restrict donations to individuals with an annual maximum.

Coleman said his government has no plan to impose new spending limits on individuals, or to bar donations from corporations and unions as the federal government and other provinces have done.

 

Just Posted

Rash of break-ins overnight in Langley

Five businesses hit in one hour

UPDATE: Fire at Port Coquitlam rail yard under control

Evacuation order lifted, residents told to remain inside

UPDATE: Tsunami warning cancelled for coastal British Columbia

Warning issued following 7.9 earthquake off Kodiak, AK

B.C. man accused of impersonating an officer eludes capture

Arrest warrant still stands for Bryce Scott Telford

Bird count scheduled for Langley area

Volunteers collect data that is shared with the Metro Vancouver regional authority

UPDATE: ‘Fairy Godmother’ needs help to make prom night special for Langley grads

Charity collects donated dresses, suits, and accessories for grads who can’t afford them

Man faces 48 charges in string of random Toronto shootings

The string of unprovoked shootings began Jan.9, say police

‘Shape of Water’ producer, Christopher Plummer among Canadian Oscar nominees

Guillermo del Toro film about merman romance earns 13 nominations

5 to start your day

Tsunami warning activated in B.C. overnight, fuel truck hits train in Port Coquitlam and more

Canada, TPP agrees to revised deal without the United States

Canada and the remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership have agreed to a revised trade agreement

Tsunami warnings 101: Canada

Here are some things to know about tsunami alerts in Canada and how they work

Rogers Media cuts ties with Vice Canada

Rogers Media and Vice Canada are ending their three-year-old partnership, pulling Viceland TV channel off the air

Snowfall warnings for mountain passes

Lots of snow expected to fall today.

Protect your home and save: New sensor stops flooding in its tracks

BC-made system offers solution to damaging leaks from water tanks, dishwashers and more

Most Read