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

EDITORIAL: Federal NDP challenges evident on Kootenay campaign trip

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh tours the Kootenays in support of local MPs, proportional representation

Columbia Basin Trust announces grant for technology upgrades

The deadline for organizations to apply is Dec. 17

Police seek witnesses to fatal weekend accident

Wayne Kernachan was struck by a vehicle while responding to an accident

Forestry workers set to begin job action in Kootenays

Operations in Castlegar, Cranbrook, Galloway, Elko, Radium, Golden may see job action this week.

Castlegar pastors find life in wheelchair a challenge

The men found the obstacles were both physical and mental.

Josie Hotel will be ready on opening day, says management

West Kootenay’s first ski-in, ski-out boutique hotel to open this month

Shirtless stranger loomed over couch and started stabbing, bloody B.C. murder trial hears

Colin John pleads not guilty as trial opens in 2016 Chemainus murder case

Late 2019 too long to wait for ridesharing: B.C. Conservatives

“While the rest of the world is embracing this transportation revolution, B.C. is only now staggering slowly toward legislation on a business model that’s been mainstreamed for over a decade in other jurisdictions.”

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

ICBC warns shoppers of the high-accident season at mall parking lots

Over 150,000 accidents happened during the holiday season last year

No deal in sight: Canada Post warns of delivery delays into January

Union holds fifth week of rotating strikes as both sides remain apart on contract negotiations

COLUMN: Higher interest rates will slow B.C. economy after ‘unusually robust’ show

Jock Finlayson is executive vice president and chief policy officer of the Business Council of BC

Jason Aldean, Old Dominion to headline Merritt’s Rockin’ River concerts next summer

Four-day music festival at Coldwater River from Aug. 1 to 4

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

Most Read