Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

Liberals took election loans despite Clark's pledge for debt-free campaign

When Christy Clark told The Tyee in April that her BC Liberal Party wouldn't take on debt to fight the provincial election, the party had already received $3 million in loans.

With the Liberals trailing in polls ahead of the campaign, there were some in party ranks who thought piling up debt was a bad idea.

"We had our most successful non-election fundraising year in 2012," Clark said on April 16 when The Tyee asked if she planned to take on election debt. "We've been very successful in getting the support that we need to run an election campaign. I think the answer to that is 'no.'"

But election financing filings released in August show that just 11 days earlier, on Aug. 5, the Liberals had received $3 million in loans from CIBC, Scotiabank, Canadian Western Bank and TD, The Tyee recently reported.

The party spent $11.75 million on the election campaign while taking in $8.55 million.

In a newsletter last week, the BC Liberals' campaign director Mike McDonald described taking on debt during a campaign as "routine" and said the party anticipates paying it off faster than it paid its debt from the 2009 election.

Clark's campaign presented her as a responsible manager of the province's budget. Her Debt-Free B.C. platform pledged to eliminate the province's debt in 15 years.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee's Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Find him on Twitter or reach him here.

Find more in:

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus