The article you just read was brought to you by a few thousand dedicated readers. Will you join them?

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 year, 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.

Fewer than 1 in 100 of our average monthly readers are signed up to Tyee Builders. If we reach 1% of our readers signing up to be Tyee Builders, we could continue to grow and do even more.

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.

Support our growing independent newsroom and join Tyee Builders today.
Before you click away, we have something to ask you…

Do you value independent journalism that focuses on the issues that matter? Do you think Canada needs more in-depth, fact-based reporting? So do we. If you’d like to be part of the solution, we’d love it if you joined us in working on it.

The Tyee is an independent, paywall-free, reader-funded publication. While many other newsrooms are getting smaller or shutting down altogether, we’re bucking the trend and growing, while still keeping our articles free and open for everyone to read.

The reason why we’re able to grow and do more, and focus on quality reporting, is because our readers support us in doing that. Over 5,000 Tyee readers chip in to fund our newsroom on a monthly basis, and that supports our rockstar team of dedicated journalists.

Join a community of people who are helping to build a better journalism ecosystem. You pick the amount you’d like to contribute on a monthly basis, and you can cancel any time.

Help us make Canadian media better by joining 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.

BC Liberals Return $174,000 in Illegal Donations

New Elections BC total almost twice as much as party admitted in March; NDP returns $10,500.

By Andrew MacLeod 19 Apr 2017 |

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 BC Liberal Party has recently returned more than $174,000 in prohibited contributions, nearly double the amount the party had previously admitted, according to an Elections BC report today.

Under the province’s Election Act, political parties and individuals have 30 days to file a supplementary financial report when information has changed or “the original report did not completely or accurately disclose the required information.”

Elections BC announced that the BC Liberals had amended annual financial reports for the past seven years and returned 191 contributions worth a total of $174,313. The party also changed the contributor information for 19 others totalling $27,025, but did not return those donations.

On March 24 a BC Liberal spokesperson said the party was returning just over $90,000 to donors who had made the contributions improperly. “In these instances, individuals made donations with personal credit cards on behalf of their organizations and were reimbursed by those organizations, which constitutes a prohibited donation,” the party’s statement said at the time.

A BC Liberal spokesperson said today of the higher amount, “We have been clear that our thorough internal review of contributions is ongoing. We continue to identify prohibited or incorrectly attributed donations, and refund them as required.”

Elections BC said the NDP had amended reports going back five years and returned a total of $10,500 to a dozen contributors.

With the oversight of special prosecutor David Butcher, the RCMP is investigating party fundraising following reports in the Globe and Mail that lobbyists have been making political donations to the BC Liberals under their own names and then being reimbursed by clients, thus obscuring the real source of the contributions.

The BC Liberals’ amended report for 2016, for example, shows contributions were returned to Woodfibre LNG’s Byng Giraud and Marian Ngo, and to lobbyists Mark Jiles, Adam Johnson, L. Patrick Hurshowy and Carling Dick.

The party also returned $10,000 to the Hardy Family Foundation. Charities are prohibited from contributing to B.C. political parties.

The BC NDP’s supplementary report for 2015 shows Ivan H. Limpright received $7,250 back from the party. Limpright is the president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1518.

NDP spokesperson Glen Sanford said there is likely more to come from the Liberals. “I think that’s the start of them returning improper donations, but it’s far from over.”

The NDP is looking at one more donation of $750 that has come to the party’s attention that may need to be returned, while the Liberals likely have many more, Sanford said.

Dermod Travis, the executive director of Integrity BC, said the list of names released is missing others who did the same thing. “I still think it’s about one-sixth of what it should be,” he said. “They’re missing some very key names that should be on that list.”

The parties should be required to not only return the illegal donations but disclose who they were really from, Travis said. “Very clearly in some of these cases it was a deliberate attempt to mask the identity of the donor and the public has the right to know who’s behind the mask.”

Some of the lobbyists work for multiple companies and so far there’s no way to tell whose money they were donating, he said.  [Tyee]

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: What Coverage Would You Like to See More of This Year?

Take this week's poll