Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.


The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

BC Liberals gave to Chong and third party for recall fight

The BC Liberal Party spent almost $50,000 defending Science and Universities Minister Ida Chong against a recall petition in Oak Bay-Gordon Head, giving money to both Chong and a third-party advertiser.

The party gave Chong $27,430.50 of the $28,530.58 she spent defending herself, according to documents filed with Elections BC and released today. The bulk of that Chong spent on advertising and salaries.

But the party also gave a group called the Comox Valley Anti-Recall Campaign $20,000, just over half of which was spent on advertising. The form, signed by Kevin Tevington, lists a Courtenay address.

Also spending money to support Chong was the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of B.C., which laid out $43,124 on advertising. Most of it was $36,960 described on the form as being for "polling, radio production/website."

The ICBA declared contributions from the B.C. Hotels Association, B.C. Maritime Employers Association and GML Mechanical.

The Tyee reported in November that the Montreal company Opinion Search conducted a phone survey that appeared designed to find out the likelihood of the campaign succeeding and to test what arguments might affect whether people will sign the recall petition. It was unclear who was the company's client.

On the other side, the group Fight HST registered as an advertiser but declared spending under $500.

Fight HST did, however, make a $4,000 contribution to Michael Hayes, who acted as the proponent for the recall.

Hayes claimed total spending of $32,253.73. Besides Fight HST, other contributions came from the Ambulance Paramedics of B.C., the Victoria Labour Council, Colin Nielsen, John Thompson, a company belonging to Chris and Niels Nohr, Al Gustafson, Sandra Menzies, Lydia Baron and Hayes himself.

In total, Chong and third party advertisers supporting her spent over $80,000, while those organizing and promoting the recall spent $32,000.

The recall attempt, which ended in February, gathered just over half the 15,368 signatures it would have needed to be successful.

Update, 1:20 p.m.: Chong and the recall proponent each had a spending limit of $35,938.72, while there was no limit for advertising sponsors. The Times Colonist's Rob Shaw points out the reports include money for anti-recall advertising in the Comox Valley: "MLA Don McRae mistakenly broke Elections B.C. rules by running attack ads before the recall campaign against him began. Elections B.C. ruled the Comox advertisements were so general they could apply to voters in Oak Bay."

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