Premier defends her ‘real time’ reporting of pay-for-play donations

Christy Clark says a federal response to the same issue is "interesting" but her plan makes donations more transparent.

Premier Christy Clark (left) answers questions at a Greater Westside Board of Trade breakfast Friday morning in West Kelowna.Pictured with her are moderators Bobby Gidda and Elfriede Schmoll.

Premier Christy Clark says the federal government’s decision to limit cash-for-access fundraising is an interesting idea that she will look at, but she thinks her plans for reporting donations quicker is a better idea.

Asked in Kelowna Friday morning about the decision by the federal Liberals to require cash-for-access fundraisers to now be held in publicly accessible spaces rather than private homes or clubs, publicly advertising them in advance and timely reporting of how many people attended and how much was raised, Clark said she likes her plan for “real time” reporting on who attended an event and how much each person gave.

“So when someone donates, we report it,” said Clark, who attended a $5,000 per plate party fundraising dinner Thursday night at Mission Hill Winery in her Westside-Kelowna riding.

In addition to calling on the feds to look at following her lead, she also blasted the NDP for refusing to do so.

“But I hope they do because that offers a real level of transparency.”

The NDP has tried repeatedly to have the government ban donations from corporations and unions to political parties in B.C. but the Liberal government has rejected the call each time.

Clark said she believes what the public wants is to know is that when some one donates to a political party, it isn’t linked to a decision that government makes.

“And I think it’s a lot easier to see that, and make it more transparent, if we do (reporting) in real time.”

On Thursday, vans with darkened windows ferried a reported 20 well-heeled attendees into the dinner at the winery so reporters outside could not see who was inside or talk to them as they arrived.

In recent days, because of the secrecy surrounding the fundraising dinner leading up to it taking place in her riding, the spotlight has been focused once again on what some have dubbed “pay-to-play” access to the premier.

Two complaints by the NDP’s David Eby last year to the province’s conflict commissioner about high-priced Liberal Party fundraisers attended by the premier were dismissed.

In the case of Prime MInister Justin Trudeau, his attendance at events involving business leaders with ties to China have raised concerns by federal Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson and criticism by Opposition MPs.

Following the West Kelowna dinner, on Friday morning, Clark took questions at a Greater Westside Board of Trade breakfast in her riding and addressed the issue with reporters afterwards. Tickets for breakfast—with proceeds going to the board of trade— were available to the public and cost $28 each.

The premier and the 100 people who attended the breakfast at the Cove Resort were greeted by a pair of protesters outside, Dayleen and Eduard Van Ryswyk, who held a large banner listing contributions of a few large construction companies and the value of work they have won in contracts from the government.

The Van Ryswyks are concerned about rich donors having access to the premier that they feel regular members of the public do not have.

Dayleen Van Ryswyk was an NDP candidate in Kelowna-Mission in the 2013 provincial election but had her candidacy cancelled by the party on the first day of the campaign after derogatory remarks she made in a 2009 online forum concerning aboriginal people and French Canadians came to light.

 

Just Posted

RCMP officer cleared in Prince George arrest

A suspect’s leg was fractured in 2015 incident

New cut level set for Prince George Timber Supply Area

This represents a 33% decrease from the allowable annual cut of 12.5 million cubic metres set in 2011.

Work camp west of Tchesinkut Lake

TransCanada to build work camp near Burns Lake, possibly Vanderhoof

No one should go hungry, Support your local Food Bank

When it comes to the basics, food is at the top of… Continue reading

BC Ferries restricts passengers from lower vehicle decks

The new regulations will no longer allow passengers to remain in their vehicles on closed car decks.

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

WATCH: 10,000 signatures gained to stop ‘no pets’ rental policy

Pets OK BC said about 1,700 animals were surrendered to the BC SPCA last year due to housing issues

Silver Creek reacts after remains found, man arrested

Neighbours of property where remains were found say man arrested was sweet and polite

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Most Read