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Liberal donors well represented in Order of B.C. ranks

Six of the 13 Order of British Columbia recipients announced yesterday are past donors to the British Columbia Liberal Party.

The largest donor was Vancouver businessman Samuel Belzberg, whose Gibralt Capital Corporation has given premier Gordon Campbell's ruling party $45,700 since 2005, according to Elections B.C. records.

A government backgrounder said Belzberg is “one of British Columbia's most forward-thinking philanthropists” and has focused his “prodigious efforts on causes that appeal to his deep caring for humanity.”

Businessman Brandt Louie personally gave the Liberals $4,700 since 2005, while London Drugs Ltd., of which he is chairman, gave $22,275.

Other award recipients who donated to the Liberals include cranberry farmer Peter Dhillon ($2,750 since 2007), former senator D. Ross Fitzpatrick ($600 as an officer of CedarCreek Estate Winery), physician Ray Markham ($800) and radiologist Linda Warren ($600).

B.C. Chief Justice Lance Finch chaired an advisory council that picked the award recipients, according to the government's press release. Also on the council were Liberal MLA and speaker of the legislative assembly Bill Barisoff, Royal Roads University president Allan Cahoon, Union of B.C. Municipalities president Robert Hobson, deputy minister Lorne Brownsey and previous Order of B.C. winners Mohini Singh and Peter Legge.

None of this year's recipients had donated to the New Democratic Party.

In 2008, three of 15 Order of B.C. winners had donated to the Liberals. Legge was one of those donors.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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