We hope you found this article interesting, enough to read to the bottom. Help us publish more in 2022.

Thanks for coming by The Tyee and reading one of many original articles we’ll post today. Our team works hard to publish in-depth stories on topics that matter on a daily basis. Our motto is: No junk. Just good journalism.

Just as we care about the quality of our reporting, we care about making our stories accessible to all who want to read them and provide a pleasant reading experience. No intrusive ads to distract you. No paywall locking you out of an article you want to read. No clickbait to trick you into reading a sensational article.

There’s a reason why our site is unique and why we don’t have to rely on those tactics — our Tyee Builders program. Tyee Builders are readers who chip in a bit of money each month (or one-time) to our editorial budget. This amazing program allows us to pay our writers fairly, keep our focus on quality over quantity of articles, and provide a pleasant reading experience for those who visit our site.

In the past two years, we’ve been able to double our staff team and boost our reporting. We invest all of the revenue we receive into producing more and better journalism. We want to keep growing, but we need your support to do it.

We’re on a mission to add 650 new monthly supporters to our ranks to help us have another year of impactful journalism – will you join us?

If you appreciate what The Tyee publishes and want to help us do more, please sign up to be a Tyee Builder today. You pick the amount, and you can cancel any time.

Help us hit our year-end target of 650 new monthly supporters and join Tyee Builders today.
We’re looking for 650 new monthly supporters to fund our newsroom – are you one of them?

Small independent news media are having a moment – we’re gaining supporters, winning awards, and publishing more impactful journalism than ever. We’re starting to see glimmers of a hopeful future for independent journalism in Canada.

The Tyee works for our readers, because we are funded by you. We don’t lock our articles behind a paywall, and we focus all of our energy into publishing original, in-depth journalism that you won’t read anywhere else. It’s our full-time job because readers pay us to do it.

Over the last two years, we’ve been able to double our staff team and publish more than ever. We’re gearing up for another year and we need to know how much we are working with. Thousands of Tyee readers have signed up to support our independent newsroom through our Tyee Builders program, and we’re inviting you to join.

From now until Dec. 31, we’re aiming to bring aboard 650 new monthly supporters to The Tyee to help us do even more in 2022.

If you appreciate what The Tyee publishes and want to help us do more, please sign up to be a Tyee Builder today. You pick the amount, and you can cancel any time.

Help us hit our year-end target of 650 new monthly supporters and join Tyee Builders today.
We value: Our readers.
Our independence. Our region.
The power of real journalism.
We're reader supported.
Get our newsletter free.
Help pay for our reporting.

Major BC Liberal Donor Named in Panama Papers

Haywood Securities listed as a shareholder in firms registered in British Virgin Islands.

By Andrew MacLeod 16 May 2016 | TheTyee.ca

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee's Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria and the author of A Better Place on Earth: The Search for Fairness in Super Unequal British Columbia (Harbour Publishing, 2015). Find him on Twitter or reach him here.

The name of a major donor to the British Columbia Liberal Party appears in a database drawn from the Panama Papers leak.

Haywood Securities Inc., a Vancouver company that has given the BC Liberals $332,000 since 2005, is described in the database as a shareholder in companies registered in the British Virgin Islands, a researcher with the Dogwood Initiative environmental group in B.C. discovered.

According to the database, Haywood held shares in Kola Gold Ltd., a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands in 2014. The investment firm held the shares both directly and in trust for a holding company.

The database also lists Haywood as holding shares in African Aura Resources Ltd., a mining company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, in trust for 22 investors. And it held shares in trust for an investor in Gem Diamond Mining Company of Africa, which is also registered in the British Virgin Islands.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists published the database on May 9. On its website, the ICIJ describes the Panama Papers as a "giant leak of more than 11.5 million financial and legal records exposes a system that enables crime, corruption and wrongdoing, hidden by secretive offshore companies."

A disclaimer in the ICIJ website stresses that there are legitimate uses for offshore companies and trusts, and the organization does not intend to imply anyone appearing in the database has broken any laws or otherwise acted improperly.

Finance minister won't 'speculate'

The Tyee's call to Haywood was put through to company president Rob Blanchard's office. An assistant to Blanchard took the message, but the call was not returned by publication time.

Michael de Jong, the finance minister for B.C., said when asked about Haywood appearing in the Panama Papers database, "Haven't had any briefing. No knowledge. Don't want to speculate. If it's a particular company, I'll ask."

Asked in general what information from the Panama Papers might mean for B.C., de Jong said, "I haven't got a full briefing amidst all the other stuff, so I'm not really in a position to say. I'm not aware of any direct implications, but I haven't got a full briefing yet."

David Eby, the NDP MLA for Vancouver-Point Grey, said that while having an offshore bank account is legal, it is often an indicator that a company or an individual may be avoiding paying provincial or federal taxes in Canada.

"The concern that I would have is that a major BC Liberal donor could influence government policy in for example declining to invest in additional auditors to study this Panama Papers disclosure and find out whether or not people are avoiding provincial taxes," he said.

"I would ask the question about whether or not the BC Liberals should be receiving donations from people who have significant offshore holdings," he said. "I think it sends a certain message about tolerance for revenue avoidance mechanisms, whether or not it's actually the case."

Pursue tax evaders, Eby says

Eby and the NDP have been pressing the government to ban corporate and union donations to provincial political parties, and he has said large contributions give the public the impression that money buys favourable treatment from the government and access to top officials, including Premier Christy Clark.

Provincial officials should make good use of the information in the Panama Papers, Eby said. "Certainly I think the province should be looking carefully at all the Panama Papers disclosures to ensure that the people who are named there, who have accounts there, are appropriately paying all of their taxes and disclosing all of their income in British Columbia."

Tax evasion is a real problem in B.C. and Canada, he said. "This is a serious issue the province needs to get on, and they might not be as incented to do it if they think their major donors might not like it."

The Panama Papers database lists African Aura Mining Inc., a company Sedar indicates is headquartered in Vancouver, as an intermediary (which it defines as "lawyers and service providers who help set up or act as the registered agents for the offshore companies") for African Aura Resources Ltd., as well as for 18 other entities.

Individuals that Haywood held shares in African Aura in trust for include Michael Halvorson, Ron Lankester, Virginia Clarke, Matthew Clarke, David Elliott, Laurence Guichon, David Shepherd, Ed McKim, David Berg, Andrew Williams, John Day, Linda Benson and Terry Evancio.

Haywood also held shares in African Aura for Batell Investments Ltd., Remap Management Ltd., Dana H. Prince Law Corp., Dragon Equities Ltd., Ak Abbi Professional Corp., Millerd Holdings Ltd., Datmix Investments Inc., Trafalgar 1805 Ltd. and the numbered company 0707677 B.C. Ltd., which according to the province's corporate registry has a Vancouver address and is headed by Marcel de Groot.

Shares in Gem Diamond Mining were held in trust for Robert Disbrow and shares in Kola Gold were held in trust for Aldat 2000 Holdings Ltd.  [Tyee]

Read more: Rights + Justice, Politics,

Share this article

The Tyee is supported by readers like you

Join us and grow independent media in Canada

Facts matter. Get The Tyee's in-depth journalism delivered to your inbox for free


The Barometer

Tyee Poll: Are You Preparing for the Next Climate Disaster?

Take this week's poll