The B.C. legislature doesn’t get back to work until Sept. 8. But there’s already trouble brewing between the NDP government and the party that helped put them in power. It’s all to do with a fundraising golf tournament to be hosted by premier John Horgan at Bear Mountain on August 24. Mary Griffin explains.
B.C. Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver was not happy to learn the NDP will host a fee-for-access fundraiser at the Bear Mountain Golf Course and told the premier.
“I said to John, I said, this is wrong,” Weaver said. I think you made a mistake here. And we are going to push you on this,” said Weaver. “So he knew that we were going to push him on this.”
I think you made a mistake here. And we are going to push you on this. So he knew that we were going to push him on this.”
Despite promising to ban corporate and union donations, union and corporate donations are welcome.
“It’s 500 dollars for an exclusive golf tournament with access afterward to a reception,” Weaver said.
And it’s union and corporate donors encouraged. Buy four for $2,000. And that’s wrong. British Columbians think that’s wrong.”
Earlier this year, a New York Times article described British Columbia fundraising as the wild west of Canadian political cash. The province has no limits on political donations but Premier John Horgan promised to change that back in March.
“Our bill would ban donations from corporations. It would ban donations from people living outside of B.C. It would put a cap on individual donations and it would ensure that the politics of B.C. was being directed by the people who live here,” said Horgan. “Not the big and the wealthy.”
In March, B.C. Liberals’ fundraising came under scrutiny by Elections B.C., in particular, fee-for-access events with then-premier Christy Clark.
One issue was whether or not lobbyists illegally funnelled money to the party on behalf of corporate and special interests.
“The Election Act is really clear about the fact that political donations cannot be made indirectly,” Keith Archer, B.C.’s chief electoral officer, said.
Premier Horgan says when the legislature reconvenes in September, the government will change political donations and this fundraiser is the last.
“We’re going to be tabling legislation to end union and corporate donations as soon as the legislature returns in September,” Horgan said.
Rob Fleming and I have had a golf tournament to raise resources for our political purposes for a decade now. And this will probably be the last one.”