West Kelowna civic centre

Spending on West Kelowna civic centre referendum efforts revealed

The old adage "less is more" has been proven right by those who campaigned against the plan to build a new West Kelowna civic centre.

The old adage “less is more” has been proven right by those who campaigned against the plan to build a new West Kelowna civic centre.

In documents released by Elections B.C. Monday, the Taxpayers for Responsible Investment group reported spending $13,760 on advertising their effort to kibosh  city plans.

That’s significantly less than the Yes To the Civic Centre Society paid to get their message across. They spent around $19,243.

In the end, the difference in dollars spent didn’t reflect the outcome. The No side won in the referendum by only 27 votes — 4,212 to 4,185.

Advertising methods

The two organizations spent their money quite differently. The winning side put $11,583 of their budget toward newspaper advertising. Around $1,200 was spent on signs and billboards and internet advertising cost $1.96.

The Yes side, however, used the biggest proportion of their budget—$8,500— for signs advertising the group’s message. Brochures and radio took about $4,200 of the overall budget, internet advertising cost $1,200 and newspapers advertisement cost around $2,700.

Campaign donations

The funders also highlight the differences in the campaign.

The Taxpayers for Responsible Investment side collected a lot of smaller campaign donations, the bulk of which coming from individuals.

The most significant donation was from Bob Lind who, according to documents, donated $9,122 of the budget. The next highest campaign donation was from Mary Manderino, who donated $984.

The Yes group raised $8,500 from individuals, $10,183 from corporations and $630 from unincorporated businesses.

There were 24 contributors who donated more than $100 while another 34 donated less than that.

The most significant donor on the Yes side was Strategic BC Investment Inc, with directors Rob Moyor and Don MacDonald. They put $4,350 up in sponsorship funds.

Strategic BC Investments Inc. is the company that was partnering with the city to build the rest of the civic centre. Under the plan, the city would have built and owned the city hall building, and the company would have built, owned and operated the other four commercial /residential buildings planned for the Elliot Road site in Westbank.

One of the private buildings was to have housed a new Interior Health West Kelowna health centre.