Clark’s party pay OK, commissioner says

Donations to B.C. Liberal Party not a personal benefit for Premier Christy Clark, says Conflict of Interest Commissioner Paul Fraser

Premier Christy Clark

Premier Christy Clark’s $50,000-a-year “leader’s allowance” from the B.C. Liberal Party does not breach B.C. law, Conflict of Interest Commissioner Paul Fraser has ruled.

Fraser’s decision was released late Wednesday in response to a complaint filed by NDP MLA David Eby, who accused Clark of being paid out of proceeds from “exclusive” fundraising events where people paid up to $10,000 to meet with her.

“There may be circumstances where receiving a political donation places a Member [of the Legislative Assembly] in a conflict or apparent conflict of interest situation,” Fraser wrote. “However, the are generally limited to situations where a candidate receives a personal campaign contribution and due to a variety of other factors, is in a position to ‘return a favour’ to the person who made the donation.”

Fraser added that the Members’ Conflict of Interest Act “is not a moral code and I am not an arbiter of what may be political morality in the campaign finance context.”

Clark has said she inherited the allowance when she became B.C. Liberal leader in 2011, and it was instituted by the party when former premier Gordon Campbell became opposition leader in 1993. The party says Clark’s allowance is $50,000 for this year and last year, up from $45,000 a year in 2013 and 2014.

The NDP has pressed the B.C. Liberal government to ban corporate and union donations and cap personal donations, as has been done at the federal level. In the legislature this week, the opposition highlighted donations from mining and oil executive N. Murray Edwards and associated companies totalling more than $800,000.

NDP leader John Horgan has also participated in private receptions with donors who pay extra. He says his leader’s allowance has been about $5,000, mainly to provide him with clothing.

 

Just Posted

Last call for raffle ticket to win $6,900 necklace with 163 diamonds

Oak Bay contest funds patient care for people and families dealing with cancer

More than 30 cars get tires slashed in Oaklands neighbourhood

VicPD are asking for help from witnesses to the incidents

Working with offenders: a look at Correctional Service Canada

CSC is one of many vendors featured at the upcoming Black Press Extreme Education and Career Fair

Women in Business: Artist Sierra Lundy answers your questions

Black Press Media celebrates women who are making a difference

The Amazing Race host brings pizza fundraiser to Victoria

Host of The Amazing Race & 2010 Olympic Gold Medalist, Jon Montgomery, to host Pizza Pigout.

WATCH: Greater Victoria’s top stories of the day

A round-up of the day’s top stories

Alcohol a possible factor in crash that killed 17-year-old girl near Williams Lake

A pickup truck left the road and rolled over on Highway 20 on the weekend

B.C. woman must pay $1,000 after unleashed dog bites another

Owner should never have left Bibi unattended, tribunal member wrote

Climate activist Greta Thunberg’s mural defaced in Edmonton

The eyes on the portrait were blacked out

App designed to help cut waste and grocery bills

Food security advocates say addressing poverty is ultimate key

Report suggests new BC Ferries terminal near YVR

Metro Vancouver currently has two ferry terminals at northern and southern reaches

B.C. scouting group’s tent destroyed by black bear on Thanksgiving

The Richmond-based Sea Dragon Sea Scouts were camping at Mount Seymour Provincial Park

BC Ferries crew member taken to hospital after getting struck by bow doors

Two sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay were cancelled

Most Read