Speaker Linda Reid

Clark aims to force donation disclosure

Battle over corporate, union donations prompts Speaker to rule NDP out of order

Opposition members were repeatedly ruled out of order in the B.C. legislature Monday as they demanded the BC Liberal government reform the province’s campaign finance laws by banning “big money” donations from corporations and unions.

Premier Christy Clark revealed her own version of reform instead, legislation to force all parties to disclose donations within two weeks of receiving them, as the BC Liberal Party started doing in January.

“In my view this should happen before the next election,” Clark said, suggesting that Election Act amendments introduced Monday may be pushed through before the legislature adjourns at the end of this week.

NDP leader John Horgan and other opposition members were cut off by Speaker Linda Reid as they tried to press the government to turn off the corporate donation taps that helped the BC Liberal Party collect $12 million last year.

Horgan later described the “sad spectacle” of watching Reid apparently taking signals from BC Liberal house leader Mike de Jong about what questions should be accepted.

“The premier chose to get up on occasion, chose to stay down on occasion,” he said.

Clark also proposed an independent committee to review B.C.’s election financing rules, the last in Canada where unlimited donations are accepted from corporations, unions and foreign sources.

Green Party MLA Andrew Weaver said there has been a series of independent recommendations, from the Information and Privacy Commissioner and a legislature committee, and all have been ignored by the BC Liberal government.

“We don’t need that,” Weaver said. “We know what the problem is.”

Clark said the independent panel could review the NDP and Green proposals and others, reviewing the system every two elections, similar to the legislated review of electoral boundaries.

Horgan called Clark’s proposal “a deathbed conversion” to campaign finance reform, as the RCMP review donations from lobbyists that may have violated the Election Act by failing to disclose the true source of the money.

 

Just Posted

Local area D-Day survivor is 100 yrs on Feb. 5

Stewart Ray is “like a cat with 9 lives, except he’s on at least his 3rd set of 9 lives”

WWII Veteran’s 70th year residing in Fort St. James

J.K. Johnson moved here from Calgary in 1947 and never looked back

“Persian Plenty” quilt fit for a queen

Fort St. James quilter Mona French is almost finished building her magnificent… Continue reading

Community Foundation showcases “777 Challenge” trophy

The 777 Challenge is one way to donate to the Fort St.… Continue reading

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Start on time: Canucks looking to shake first-period struggles

Canucks centre Bo Horvat said the formula for getting a leg up is there for everyone to see

COMMUTER ALERT: Snowfall warnings in effect across B.C.

Travelling this weekend? Check the forecasts before hitting the road

Drones take off to search for missing North Okanagan women

A volunteer search party was supported by professional drone operators

Tips for keeping your personal data safe, from the experts

It’s important to keep your ‘online footprint’ safe

Lights to turn blue ahead of funeral for fallen Abbotsford police officer

Buildings across B.C. are going blue Saturday night in honour of Const. John Davidson

Ride-share pioneer drives up quietly to B.C. battleground

Lyft approaches B.C. without Uber bombast, eyes small towns

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Pine beetles from Jasper National Park moving into commercial forest

In 2014, beetle activity went from a few spots around Jasper’s townsite to rampant

Most Read