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

RCMP hunt for suspect in West Kelowna bank robbery

Suspect used a note and fled bank Saturday with an undisclosed amount of cash

Community Leader Awards: Shelley Pacholok

The Kelowna Capital News honours those who give back in the community

International Arts Festival returns to Kelowna

Living Things is a month-long festival with live performances by artists from around the world

Legion bell prank hits sour note

Anger erupts after Summerland Legion member removes bell from Peachland Legion

Kelowna Art Gallery members’ exhibition offers variety of media

Encounters will be held from Dec. 2 to Feb. 3

B.C. wine industry fights for interprovincial trade in Supreme Court

Gerard Comeau likely never thought he would end up in the Supreme… Continue reading

Team Canada loses 5-2 over the Czech Republic at World Junior A Challenge

Vees’ Tychonick drops in one of Team Canada West’s pair of goals

Site C decision coming Monday morning

Premier John Horgan to announce fate of dam project at B.C. legislature

PIGS bring Pink Floyd sound to Kelowna

Victoria band pays tribute to iconic British band on Feb. 10 at Mary Irwin Theatre

Letter: Another flagger dies; when will you slow down?

You have all seen our signs, trucks and my favorite our cones. Why don’t you slow down?

Kelowna-developed technology to be unveiled at Summerhill

Kelowna winery and tech company introduces new technology for phone or tablet

California couple name daughter after Revelstoke

Revy Elle Atashroo was born on Nov. 27. Her name honours the town her parents loved exploring.

VIDEO: Vancouver Whitecaps acquire star striker Kei Kamara

Kamara has 103 goals and 39 assists in 298 appearances over 11 Major League Soccer seasons

Most Read