B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver speaking after his speech to the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention Wednesday.

B.C. Greens to shun corporate, union donations

Leader Andrew Weaver presses BC Liberals, NDP to follow Greens and take 'big money' out of politics

The B.C. Green Party will forgo corporate and union donations from now on even though the move may put it at a financial disadvantage against the BC Liberals and New Democrats as next spring’s provincial election nears.

Green leader Andrew Weaver announced the decision in his speech at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Victoria Wednesday and called on the other parties to likewise end the role of “big money” in politics to rebuild public trust.

“Political parties and their MLAs should not be reduced to puppets controlled by corporate or union puppet masters, with a firm grip on the purse strings,” Weaver said, accusing the Liberals of refusing to pass reforms and the NDP of refusing to act unilaterally.

He suggested political donations can taint policy positions on an issue like the Mount Polley mine disaster.

“The corporation that operates the mine is a substantial donor to the BC Liberals,” Weaver said. “The union representing the workers at the mine is a substantial donor to the B.C. NDP. Whose interests are being served? Who is there to represent the people of British Columbia?”

Groups supporting reform have long advocated an end to corporate and union contributions at the provincial level.

Weaver said the Greens’ refusal to accept corporate and union donations takes effect immediately but previous donations won’t be returned.

It’s unclear how much of an impact it will have on the party coffers as most financial support has so far come from individuals.

Union and corporate donations made up 15 per cent of B.C. Green donations in 2014 and three per cent in 2015.

“It’s non-trivial,” Weaver said later, but added he felt the party had to demonstrate leadership on the issue. “It is a gamble. It is a risk. But it’s the right thing to do.”

During his UBCM speech, Weaver reiterated his predictions for years that the government’s liquefied natural gas “pipe dream” will never materialize.

He also said the party believes in constructive criticism and “evidence-based decision making as opposed to what happens far too often in politics today: decision-based evidence making.”

Just Posted

Proposals due for youth-led Boundary projects

$15,000 available for youth-led community betterment projects in the Boundary

Latest round of Columbia River Treaty talks wrap up in Cranbrook

Federal, provincial, U.S. and Indigenous representatives recently met for eight round of discussions

Cannabis beverages to be bottled in Bridesville

Vancouver-based BevCanna also plans on growing cannabis nearby

First Nations given max compensation for Ottawa’s child-welfare discrimination

2016 ruling said feds didn’t give same funding for on-reserve kids as was given to off-reserve kids

People’s Party candidate in South Okanagan-West Kootenay steps forward

Taylor talks about PPC platforms on economics, immigration and climate change

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Federal party leaders address gun violence after weekend shooting near Toronto

One teen was killed and five people injured in the shooting

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Most Read