Clark’s party pay OK, commissioner says

Donations to B.C. Liberal Party not a personal benefit for Premier Christy Clark, says Conflict of Interest Commissioner Paul Fraser

Premier Christy Clark

Premier Christy Clark’s $50,000-a-year “leader’s allowance” from the B.C. Liberal Party does not breach B.C. law, Conflict of Interest Commissioner Paul Fraser has ruled.

Fraser’s decision was released late Wednesday in response to a complaint filed by NDP MLA David Eby, who accused Clark of being paid out of proceeds from “exclusive” fundraising events where people paid up to $10,000 to meet with her.

“There may be circumstances where receiving a political donation places a Member [of the Legislative Assembly] in a conflict or apparent conflict of interest situation,” Fraser wrote. “However, the are generally limited to situations where a candidate receives a personal campaign contribution and due to a variety of other factors, is in a position to ‘return a favour’ to the person who made the donation.”

Fraser added that the Members’ Conflict of Interest Act “is not a moral code and I am not an arbiter of what may be political morality in the campaign finance context.”

Clark has said she inherited the allowance when she became B.C. Liberal leader in 2011, and it was instituted by the party when former premier Gordon Campbell became opposition leader in 1993. The party says Clark’s allowance is $50,000 for this year and last year, up from $45,000 a year in 2013 and 2014.

The NDP has pressed the B.C. Liberal government to ban corporate and union donations and cap personal donations, as has been done at the federal level. In the legislature this week, the opposition highlighted donations from mining and oil executive N. Murray Edwards and associated companies totalling more than $800,000.

NDP leader John Horgan has also participated in private receptions with donors who pay extra. He says his leader’s allowance has been about $5,000, mainly to provide him with clothing.

 

Just Posted

Coun. Fred Haynes to run for mayor against Mayor Atwell

Haynes to go head-to-head with Atwell for Saanich mayoral seat in 2018

School fence damaged by soaring sailboat

One boat owner advised, Transport Canada responsible for second boat

Bob Heyes back behind Shamrocks bench for 2018 season

Art Webster, Mike Simpson, John Hamilton will also return

UPDATE: Driver escapes from crash in Sidney

Town truck and another vehicle collide, causing van to roll over

Final key components for Johnson Street Bridge installed this weekend in Victoria

Dynamic Beast crane barge arrives back in town on Friday

Testing the Google Arts & Culture app

Going face to face with art

VIDEO: Fuel truck and train collide in B.C. causing massive fire

More emergency crews are still arriving on scene of a massive fire at the Port Coquitlam rail yard.

Back to work: U.S. government shutdown ends after Democrats relent

Short-term spending measure means both sides could see another shutdown stalemate in three weeks

Saanich signals support for in-fill developments in Gorge-Tillicum

The Gorge-Tillicum neighbourhood continues to experience infill. Council’s committee-of-the-whole signaled Saanich’s support… Continue reading

Man lives despite malfunctioning defibrillator at B.C. arena

A middle-aged man went into cardiac arrest after at game at Pitt Meadows Arena last Wednesday.

Reynolds, Edward Milne capture titles at Esquimalt hoops tournament

Host Dockers take fourth in senior girls draw

Cause of Northern B.C. seaplane crash released

TSB releases report on seaplane crash during a water landing in 2016 near First Nations community

Vancouver police crack down on pop-up pot vendors

Officers raided merchants’ tables on Robson Square late Sunday

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Most Read