Donations to B.C. political parties plunged after corporation, union ban

Donations to Liberals drop by 85.5%, NDP by 84.8%, Greens by 66.6%

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Donations to both the governing BC NDP and the Liberals plummeted by about 85% in 2018 – after a full year of bans on corporate or unions donations to political parties.

Newly released Elections BC records show it was the Liberals that took the hardest hit – but not by much – taking in $1,789,242 in contrast to  $12,403,022 the previous year, a plunge of 85.5%.

On the other side of the Legislature, the NDP raked in  $2,153,881 in donations last year compared to $14,218,279 in 2017, a decline of 84.8%.

The Greens didn’t fare much better, dropping 66.6% from $1,372,983 in 2017 donations to $458,338 last year.

The ban on union and corporate donations kicked in as of November 2017.

The new rules also established a set a maximum personal cap on maximum of $1,225 per year.

As the changes continue, parties will receive $2.50 for every vote received in the last election. That funding will drop by $0.25 each year until 2021.

Elections BC said the annual report filings need to include: political contributions accepted; assets, liabilities, surplus or deficit as of Dec. 31; total dollar amount of income tax receipts issued; transfers of money, goods, or services received and given; fundraising function information;  other income and expenditures; and details of permissible loans and guarantees.

Parties must disclose combined political contributions made to the party and any of its registered constituency associations or candidates where the contributor has made total contributions of more than $250.

A total of 93 organizations’ annual financial reports were required to be filed by April 1.

The British Columbia Conservative Party and the British Columbia People’s Party missed the deadline, Elections BC said.

 

Reporter Jeremy Hainsworth can be contacted at jhainsworth@glaciermedia.ca