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

Greyhound cleared to end routes in northern B.C., Vancouver Island

Company says nine routes have dropped 30% in ridership in last five years

BC BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

BC BUDGET: NDP cracks down on speculators, hidden ownership

Foreign buyers’ tax extended to Fraser Valley, Okanagan, Vancouver Island

BC BUDGET: Payroll tax replaces medical premiums

Health spending to increase $1.5 billion for drugs, primary care teams

B.C. freestyle skier wins gold

Cassie Sharpe of Comox shines in the halfpipe

VIDEO: B.C. superfans soak in 2018 PyeongChang Olympics

Trio, including two from the Okanagan, have been cheering on Summerland Olympian Kripps among others in Korea

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

New charges against ex-Trump campaign associates

More charges were laid Thursday against President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman and his business associate

Man accused in death of Winnipeg teen Tina Fontaine not guilty

Raymond Cormier was accused of killing Indigenous 15-year-old and dumping her body in the Red River

Okanagan real estate agents brace for speculation tax impact

“There’s a real potential for a domino effect to hurt the market in Kelowna.”

Alberta drops B.C. wine boycott, Notley says Horgan ‘blinked’ on pipeline

B.C. government announces court reference on proposed diluted bitumen restriction

B.C. businesses say new health tax will raise prices for consumers

Province announced that MSP will be gone by 2020

Barnful of ducks die in early morning blaze

The cause of the fire is unknown

B.C. family says care home switched mom’s cat with robot cat

Staff alleged to have said they were taking cat for bath, then replaced her with robotic stuffed toy

Most Read