The Liberal Party of British Columbia is being investigated by BC’s Elections watchdog.
The investigation stems from a Globe & Mail report that reveals lobbyists are “illegally funnelling money to the party – routinely – on behalf of corporate and special interests.”
Political donations in BC are unlimited, meaning any person can give as much as they like. This is in contrast to other provinces, and federal fundraising rules, where limits on individual donations are imposed.
When it comes to the investigation however, the problem is not the amount of donations, but what is happening after they are made.
According to the Globe report, top power brokers in BC made donations in their own names with their personal credit cards, but were apparently buying fundraising tickets for other people and companies. Once the tickets were purchased and distributed, they were then reimbursed. That is against BC elections law.
Nola Western, the deputy chief electoral officer in BC, says that is an example of an “indirect political contribution,” which is not allowed in BC.
Some of those who engaged in these fundraising practices are connected to companies that have lobbied the government for favours. In once case, a lobbyist for an Indonesian company was able to secure government tax breaks for that company. That same lobbyist is said to be part of the elections practices under investigation.
What we are seeing is a system designed to give more power and influence to the elites, while ignoring the views of the vast majority of BC residents who can’t afford to get involved in those costly political donation schemes.
While those at the top are exerting their influence, much of BC – particularly Vancouver – has become unaffordable for even the middle class. So ask yourself, who is the BC government really working for?
Shades of Trudeau’s Cash-For-Access
While the legal issues surrounding the BC Liberal Party’s donation issues are unique, the fact that a few powerful people get influence the rest of us don’t is not at all unique. It’s exactly what we saw with Justin Trudeau’s cash-for-access fundraisers, where foreign billionaires got to lobby the Prime Minister, while the rest of us Canadians got one or two questions at a Town Hall (questions which were not even answered well).
Clearly, those in power are no longer concerned with serving the people who elected them. Foreign interests have taken precedence over domestic priorities, meaning the voices of Canadians are being ignored.
This has to be brought to an end quickly. Reforms must be brought in to restore the government to the people who elect it, not those with the biggest wallets and the most foreign clout.
Photo – Twitter