Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

Ladner, Robertson disclose partial donor lists

Vancouver mayoral candidates Peter Ladner and Gregor Robertson each voluntarily disclosed preliminary lists of campaign donations on Sunday.

Ladner reported receiving $158,137 from 193 donors; Robertson reported $180,282 from 273 donors.

These pre-election disclosures are significantly lower than those reported at the conclusion of the 2005 municipal campaign, when Mayor Sam Sullivan reported collecting $490,209 in campaign contributions.

Both total are expected to rise exponentially by the time the final, legally mandated, disclosure statements will be presented to the city clerk next spring. Here’s why:

First, these totals represent only those donations made directly to the two mayoral candidates, while party spending continues to represent the lion’s share of expenditures in Vancouver municipal campaigns. In 2005, for example, the combined total of donations to the Non-Partisan Association, mayor Sullivan and the other NPA candidates totaled $2 million. Vision Vancouver reported raising $1.3 million during the 2005 election period, and the Coalition of Progressive Electors reported $532,852.

Second, these disclosures do not include either donations made in the final stretch of the campaign, or those made afterward. Each campaign is presently appealing to its donor base for additional support, and each is expected to finish with a debt to be paid off during the coming months.

Nonetheless, these preliminary disclosures were completely voluntary, and represent the first time that candidates for Vancouver’s municipal parties have disclosed any of their donors in advance of the election.

Robertson’s campaign lists 12 donors who gave $5,000 or more: Andrew Beath, Carol Newell, Christopher Fleck, Golden Properties Ltd., Gordon Russell, Gregor and Amy Robertson, Joel Solomon, Karri Schuermans, Raffi Cavoukian, Renewal Partners Company, Ronald R. Williams and Strategic Communications. These 12 donors provided 64 per cent of Robertson's reported funds.

Ladner’s campaign lists 11 donors who gave $5,000 or more: Arthur Bell Holdings, Avtar Bain, David Lyle, John Norton, Maddison Ventures, Ned Pottinger, Peter Ladner, Polygon Homes Ltd., Rufus Holdings Ltd., South St. Dev. Mgrs., and Strong’s Market. Ladner did not provide detail sufficient to determine what share of the total was provided by these eleven donors.

Neither candidate reported receiving donations from either Millennium Development or its principals, Peter and Shahram Malek. Millennium is the developer building the 2010 Olympic Village at Southeast False Creek, and the firm to which the city has reportedly offered up to $100 million in emergency loans.

Both NPA Mayor Sam Sullivan and Vision Vancouver reported receiving $3,000 in donations from Millennium in 2005. In a practice adopted by most major Vancouver developers, Millennium donated precisely the same amount to each side.

The list disclosed by the Ladner campaign yesterday includes Concord Pacific, Macdonald Development, Westbank Projects and about a dozen of other well-known developers, constructions companies, architects, and consultants.

None of the city's large development firms appears on Robertson's list. Voters will apparently have to wait until spring of 2009 to learn whether any of those developers also gave to Vision Vancouver.

Monte Paulsen reports on Vancouver politics for The Tyee.

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