B.C. Liberals raise big money

Surrey-Cloverdale MLA Kevin Falcon

VICTORIA – B.C. Liberal leadership candidates have released donation totals in advance of Saturday’s vote to succeed Premier Gordon Campbell, following the lead of Abbotsford West MLA Mike de Jong’s campaign for more financial transparency.

Party rules require donations to be declared after the contest, but de Jong led the way Feb. 11 by listing 181 individual and corporate donations totaling $266,450.

“This is the kind of information that the public is entitled to have, and so are the members of the hiring committee – members of the B.C. Liberal Party – prior to making their decision on Feb. 26,” de Jong said.

Surrey-Cloverdale MLA Kevin Falcon led the way with donations totaling $708,665, far exceeding the $450,000 spending limit imposed on leadership candidates.

Former MLA and radio host Christy Clark collected $519,040, while Shuswap MLA George Abbott raised just under the spending cap with $427,842 from more than 300 contributors.

Falcon and Clark said donations beyond the spending limit will be given to the party to put toward debt from the 2009 election campaign.

The largest donation to any candidate was $40,000 from Keg Restaurants to Falcon. Keg CEO David Eisenstat is a member of Falcon 20/20, a group of business leaders who raised money and signed up new members to support the former health and transportation minister.

Aquilini Development and Construction Inc. gave $25,000 each to Falcon and Clark, and Aquilini Investment Group gave $10,000 to Abbott. Both are family companies headed by Vancouver Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini.

Wall Financial Corporation also gave $25,000 to Clark’s campaign.

The B.C. Liberal Party has also increased membership to nearly 90,000 as leadership candidates signed up members to vote in Saturday’s party election. A party spokesperson declined to comment on reports that 6,000 of those new members have been disqualified, but said total membership numbers will be disclosed with voting results on Saturday.

Just Posted

Yarns, string and human hair pose a risk to Greater Victoria birds

Wild ARC handles a number of entanglement cases each year

Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts visits Victoria for Comic Con

He says he’s looking forward to the event, but don’t ask him where the snake is

Free blood type tattoo with donation draws crowds in Finland

One in two people is eligible and able to donate blood, but only one in 60 people actually do

Greater Victoria workforce gets older but also more diverse

By 2036, Greater Victoria will have roughly two workers for every person 65 years and older

Saanich falls short of climate goals

Under current projections, Saanich will have cut its emissions by seven per cent in 2020

After mosque attacks, New Zealand bans ‘military-style’ guns

The gunman killed 50 in a Christchurch mosque

Okanagan man, Yorkshire terrier chased by coyote

Animal sightings have been reported around West Kelowna and the Central Okanagan

B.C. lottery winner being sued by Surrey co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

Pot industry welcomes decreased edibles tax, but unhappy medical tax remains

Taxes can increase the cost of medical cannabis by as much as 25 per ceny

‘It has to send a message:’ Broncos families await sentencing for truck driver

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu pleaded guilty to 29 counts of dangerous driving and apologized in court

MPs continue voting marathon as Tories protest shutdown of Wilson-Raybould motion

Multiple MPs have resigned from Trudeau’s Liberal cabinet

Canucks hang on for 7-4 win over Senators

Horvat nets 2 for Vancouver

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Most Read