Elections BC

Teck Mining Lobbyist’s Donation to BC Liberals ‘Listed in Error,’ Company Says

BC Liberals Teck Resources Lobbyists Political Donations

Political donations made to the BC Liberals under the name of a prominent Teck Resources lobbyist were actually made by the company and were registered in error, according to the company.

A joint investigation between DeSmog Canada and University of Victoria researcher Nick Graham of the Corporate Mapping Project Tweet: Investigation uncovers 7 Teck Resources registered lobbyists who have also donated to @BCLiberals http://bit.ly/2mkY6tC #bcpoli #bcelxn17uncovered seven Teck Resources registered lobbyists who have also donated to the BC Liberals.

According to the Elections BC database, Carleigh Whitman, Tweet: Gov't relations manager for Teck made personal contributions totaling $4,275 to the @BCLiberals http://bit.ly/2mkY6tC #bcpoli #bcelxn17
manager of government relations for Teck Resources, made personal contributions totaling $4,275 to the BC Liberals.

Political donations by lobbyists are in the spotlight after a Globe and Mail investigation revealed some lobbyists are being reimbursed for their contributions, a practice that is illegal in B.C., a province with some of the weakest political donation laws in the country.

Breaking: BC Liberal Political Donation Scandal Investigated by RCMP

BC Liberal political donation scandal investigated by RCMP

Elections BC will refer its ongoing investigation into potentially illegal political donations made to the BC Liberals to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, British Columbia’s Chief Electoral Officer, Keith Archer announced Friday.

This investigation has been referred to ensure that it will in no way impede Elections BC’s administration of the provincial general election scheduled for May 9,” an Elections BC bulletin states.

This referral will also ensure that there is no perception that Elections BC’s ability to administer the general election in a fair, neutral and impartial manner is in any way compromised. Tweet: “The scope & timing of this matter make RCMP the most appropriate to continue this investigation.” http://bit.ly/2ngOkx1 #bcpoli #BCelxn17The potential scope and timing of this matter make the RCMP the most appropriate agency to continue this investigation.”

Political Donations By Top Kinder Morgan Staff Draw Call for Elections BC Investigation

BC Liberals Kinder Morgan Political Donations Scandal

Elections B.C. has been asked to investigate political contributions made to the BC Liberals by high-ranking Kinder Morgan staff, including president Ian Anderson.

The democracy advocacy group Dogwood submitted a formal complaint to Elections B.C. this week after discovering a series of political donations from individuals connected to Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker project that received provincial approval in January 2017.

The complaint comes on the heels of a bombshell investigation by the Globe and Mail that revealed corporate lobbyists were illegally reimbursed for contributions made to the B.C. Liberals.

Woodfibre LNG, Ajax Mine Dropped Big Bucks in B.C.'s Local Elections

Well, the disclosure statements are in and we now know (sort of) how much was spent trying to sway voters during B.C.’s local elections in November.

In addition to disclosures on how much candidates spent during the elections, there are also filings for more than 100 organizations registered with Elections BC as third-party sponsors. This is the first time third parties have been forced to register with Elections BC and report their spending — and at least two resource companies are in the mix.

Big third-party advertisers include Woodfibre LNG, which spent $18,248 on newspaper and radio ads in Squamish, where the company is proposing a liquefied natural gas export terminal. The company spent 17 times what it would be allowed to spend per capita during a provincial election, according to analysis by Integrity BC — a non-profit organization that campaigns to reform B.C.’s electoral finance.

Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Advertising Blitz During Election Doesn't Count as Elections Advertising: Elections BC Ruling

Kinder Morgan TransMountain advertisement

Kinder Morgan has launched an advertising campaign pushing the company’s proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion that just so happens to coincide with B.C.’s municipal elections — but Elections BC says the company doesn’t need to register as a third-party advertiser.

That’s a bit of a puzzler given that Elections BC rules clearly state that anyone who runs ads on an election issue must register as a third-party advertiser and disclose costs within 90 days of the Nov. 15 election.

Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion, which would triple the amount of oilsands bitumen flowing to the B.C. coast, is certainly an election issue, with Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson staking out positions against the project.

An online survey for the Burnaby NOW found the pipeline expansion is the No. 1 concern for Burnaby voters during the civic election.

Why Super Natural British Columbia Still Has Super Pathetic Campaign Finance Laws

Imagine having to read through 10,000 written comments on the same topic. It would probably be a touch on the tedious side — yet that’s exactly what a task force did back in 2010 before issuing 31 recommendations to reform our province’s municipal elections.

The task force included three Liberal MLAs and four elected officials from towns and cities across British Columbia.

What was the most egregious problem they found during their investigation? Campaign finance rules.

In a nutshell, local elections in B.C. have been the Wild West of campaign finance — with candidates allowed to take donations from anyone and spend as much as they like.

New Campaign Finance Rules For B.C. Local Elections Leave “Elephant In The Room”

Amid controversy about Enbridge’s spending in Kitimat before a plebiscite on its Northern Gateway oil proposal, the B.C. government introduced legislation on Wednesday that, if passed, will tighten rules for campaign financing and advertising in local government elections and referendums — but the changes come four years late and don't go far enough, says a campaign finance expert.

The new Local Elections Campaign Financing Act and Local Elections Statutes Amendment Act will require third-party advertisers to register with Elections BC, identify donors of $50 and more and report expenditures for the first time. It will also require all election advertising to clearly name a sponsor and will ensure all campaign donations and expenses are published on the Elections BC website. It will also extend the terms of office for local elected officials from three years to four.

This is the most significant update to B.C.’s local elections process in 20 years,” Coralee Oakes, the province’s community, sport and cultural development minister, said in a statement.

However, the legislation still won’t mandate spending limits for candidates and third parties — a recommendation made by a joint B.C.-Union of B.C. Municipalities local government elections task force in 2010. The government says expense limits will be broached in a second phase of legislation before the next local election in 2018.

Enbridge Blitzes Northern B.C. With Ads Before Kitimat Plebiscite On Northern Gateway Oil Pipeline

Enbridge website

Enbridge Northern Gateway is covering northern B.C. with ads in the run up to the Kitimat plebiscite, urging citizens to vote in favour of the company’s proposal to ship oil across B.C. and on to Asia on oil tankers.  

During a provincial election or initiative vote, Elections BC restricts how much companies and other third-party advertisers can spend — but no such rules apply to the Kitimat plebiscite, being held on April 12.

Full-page colour ads have appeared in community newspapers in Kitimat, Prince Rupert, Terrace, Smithers, Burns Lake and Fort St. James — a town nearly 600 kilometres away from Kitimat. The estimated cost of those ads is about $8,250.

Enbridge has also launched a website, “Vote Yes for Kitimat,” urging citizens to vote in favour of their project. A conservative price tag on the website would be about $2,000, bringing Enbridge’s ad spend so far to more than $10,000 — with four weeks left until the vote.

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