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Ban outside political donations: watchdog

Jeremy Nuttall

By Jeremy Nuttall, 24 hours Vancouver

B.C. Premier Christy Clark. (FILE PHOTO TYLER ORTON/24 HOURS)

B.C. Premier Christy Clark. (FILE PHOTO TYLER ORTON/24 HOURS)

A government watchdog says that out-of-province donations for 2013 revealed recently in party finance filings show the need to ban outside contributions to British Columbia political parties.

Dermod Travis of IntegrityBC said among the donations was $5,000 from an Ontario senator to the Green Party of B.C., $500 from an Ontario union to the BC NDP, while the Toronto Blue Jays ponied up $300 to the BC Liberals.

Travis said Allan Markin, part-owner of the Calgary Flames, has donated more than a quarter of a million dollars to the BC Liberals in the past.

“He was former chairman of Canadian Natural Resources, who have also given a lot of money to the BC Liberals,” Travis said, referring to the crude oil producer.

Travis said calls to ban corporate and union donations, as well as out-of-province donations, have been received well by all major parties except the BC Liberals.

He said B.C. parties spend more money than those in other provinces because they have access to the outside cash, making them less interested in engaging citizens in the province.


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