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BC Liberals lead on transparency, accountability with real-time reporting of contributions

 VANCOUVER – Today’s BC Liberals have taken a major, voluntary step to strengthen transparency and accountability in political financing with the launch of real-time reporting of political contributions.

This proactive move is in sharp contrast to the NDP, whose leader has described more frequent reporting as “a pain in the butt” and refused to follow suit* – leaving voters and reporters in the dark until the party files its mandatory reports with Elections BC.

The BC Liberals web-posted their first set of contributions for 2017 Friday, and will continue to do so within 10 business days following each deposit. Also released were all donations received in 2016 – well ahead of Elections BC’s March 31 reporting deadline.

“Our party is funded by a broad, diverse coalition of British Columbians who support our efforts to build a strong economy that allows us to look after the people we love,” said party president Sharon White, Q.C. “We’re very proud of the individuals, businesses, and organizations that chip in to help us engage with voters.”

Premier Christy Clark committed last year that the BC Liberals would not wait for legislation in order to enhance their own transparency.

Additional data released by the party show its individual donors outnumbered corporate contributors four to one – with 9,324 individuals and 1,876 corporations donating in 2016. Of those corporate contributors, 84% donated $5,000 or less.

The party’s overall pool of donors has grown significantly in the past seven years, from 7,290 in 2011 to 11,209 in 2016 – an increase of 54%.

“Since Christy Clark became party leader, we’ve made a focused effort to grow our base of grassroots donors, including individuals and small businesses,” said White. “Those efforts are paying off. In 2016, we brought in over 9,000 donations of $100 or less – almost twice as many as in 2011.”

“Our system is based on a fair and simple principle: parties compete for financial support from those who share their values, just like they compete for votes,” said Todd Stone, MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, and 2017 campaign co-chair. “Every indication is that the NDP want to force taxpayers to pick up the tab for all parties – so your hard-earned paycheque would subsidize even the parties you would never vote for.”

“Our voluntary real-time reporting of donations, in addition to strict spending limits on parties during campaigns, means that citizens can have confidence in our democracy,” Stone added. “British Columbians face a critical choice on May 9, between our positive plan for a growing economy and the NDP’s reckless recipe for more spending and higher taxes. We’ll continue to ask our supporters for the financial resources to share our vision with voters.”

*Source: Globe and Mail, May 26, 2016

Contact:

Emile Scheffel
604-970-8658

Backgrounder: BC Liberal contribution trends

Individual and corporate donors, 2011-2016

year

individual

corporate

individual $

corporate $

2011

5792

1490

$ 2,537,119 $ 5,831,947

2012

11036

2009

$ 3,789,533 $ 6,298,453

2013

(election year)

13472

2227

$ 4,552,605 $ 9,492,165

2014

10379

1679

$ 3,925,515 $ 6,171,069

2015

6918

1650

$ 3,331,368 $ 6,553,101

2016

9324

1876

$ 4,487,191 $ 7,986,897

 

Small donations, 2011-2016

year

$25 and under

$50 and under

$100 and under

2011

1180

3395

4899

2012

2464

5493

10078

2013

(election year)

3034

7114

12865

2014

3003

6262

10846

2015

1992

4591

7070

2016

2842

5466

9092

 

Corporate contributors at $5,000 and under, 2011-2016

year

$1000 and under

% of total contributors

$5000 and under

% of total contributors

Total corporate contributors

2011

884

59%

1270

85%

1,490

2012

1318

65%

1756

87%

2,009

2013

1320

59%

1883

85%

2,227

2014

1010

60%

1411

84%

1,679

2015

947

57%

1371

83%

1,650

2016

1090

58%

1575

84%

1,865