political donations

Christy Clark’s Secret Consultations with Oil and Gas Donors Revealed As B.C. Introduces Bill to Ban Big Money in Politics

 Christy Clark Oil and Gas Climate Consultations

Documents released on Monday reveal that B.C.’s climate plan under the previous Liberal government was drafted by the oil and gas industry in a Calgary boardroom, just as the province’s new NDP government moves to ban corporate and union donations to B.C. political parties.

The documents speak to long-standing concerns over the influence of political donations in B.C.’s political process. B.C. has long been considered the ‘wild west’ of political cash for placing no limits on corporate, union or foreign donations.

I think this is deeply corrosive to our democracy and it encourages cynicism about politics,” Max Cameron, political science professor and director of the Study of Democratic Institutions at the University of British Columbia, told DeSmog Canada.

Why B.C. Needs a Corruption Inquiry

Christy Clark and Petronas CEO Tan Sri Dato

This is a guest post by Lisa Sammartino, the democracy campaigner for B.C.'s largest democracy group Dogwood. It originally ran on The Tyee.

Christy Clark rounded out her final days in office with a parting gift — not to British Columbians but to a loyal BC Liberal donor, Taseko Mines. The company donated more than $130,000 to the BC Liberals, and now they’ve scooped up Clark’s prize.

While members of the Tsilhqot'in First Nation were being chased from their homes by an aggressive wildfire, Clark’s outgoing government approved exploratory permits for the company to dig up their traditional, and constitutionally protected, lands — an area so culturally and environmentally important that Harper’s Conservatives rejected federal permits twice.

But then again, the federal Conservative party can’t accept corporate donations. Over here in the “Wild West,” Clark’s BC Liberals can, and did.

87% of B.C. Grizzly Deaths Due to Trophy Hunting, Records Reveal

Grizzly bear trophy hunt

Eighty-seven per cent of known, human-caused grizzly bear deaths in B.C. are attributable to trophy hunters, who have killed 12,026 grizzly bears since the government began keeping records in 1975, according to data obtained by David Suzuki Foundation.*

In 2016, 274 grizzlies were killed by humans — the vast majority of which (235) were killed by trophy hunters.

B.C. currently sanctions a legal trophy hunt by both resident and foreign hunters. Non-resident hunters killed almost 30 per cent of the grizzlies in the 2016 hunt.

The trophy hunt has become a hot election issue with the NDP and Green Party vowing to end the hunt if elected. An Insights West survey conducted in the fall of 2016 found 91 percent of British Columbians are opposed to trophy hunting.

Meantime, Tweet: The @BCLiberals are the party of choice for international #trophyhunters http://bit.ly/2p7i3c2 #bcpoli #bcelxn17 #grizzlyhunt #BanBigMoneythe B.C. Liberals are the party of choice for international trophy hunters — who donated $60,000 to the Guide Outfitters Association of B.C. to help prevent an NDP win.

How Teck Resources Benefits From Being the B.C. Liberal’s Largest Donor

Christy Clark BC Liberals Political Donations Teck Resources

This piece originally appeared on the West Coast Environmental Law Alert Blog.

B.C. Liberals Grant Major Political Donor Permission to Log Endangered Caribou Habitat

caribou recovery forestry wolf cull

The B.C. government is granting logging permits in critical caribou habitat, despite evidence that B.C.’s Southern Mountain Caribou are being driven to extinction by habitat loss — a move that has driven citizens to call on the federal government to enforce the Species At Risk Act. 

Among the hardest hit regions in the province is the area in and around Wells Gray Park, the scenic home to Helmcken Falls, two hours north of Kamloops.

There, people like Trevor Goward, a longtime local resident, naturalist and professional lichenologist, are sounding the alarm over the province’s failure to protect caribou.

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.

Natural Gas Industry Donated Over $1 Million to BC Liberals Since 2013

BC Liberals receive over $1 million natural gas industry donations

The gas industry has donated more than $1 million to the BC Liberals since the last provincial election, according to a new analysis done by the Wilderness Committee.

The companies and industry groups are involved in extracting B.C.’s gas (via fracking) and building gas pipeline and liquefied natural gas (LNG) operations.

Tweet: “Industry receives billions in BC tax breaks & subsidies from the very gov't they’re paying to elect” http://bit.ly/2mkCDUj @Climate_PeteThis industry receives billions of dollars in provincial tax breaks and subsidies from the very government they’re paying to elect,” Peter McCartney, climate campaigner at the Wilderness Committee, said in a press release.

Gas industry donations since 2013 total $1,007,456.

Besties? BC Hydro and Premier’s Office Too Close for Comfort, Experts Suggest

Fast-tracking Site C dam construction before May’s provincial election is an unusual decision driven more by politics than need, according to a Canadian expert in Crown corporations who suggests the relationship between BC Hydro and the Premier’s office may be “too close for comfort.” 

Luc Bernier, the former head of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada, said Premier Christy Clark’s vow to push Site C past the “point of no return,” when B.C. has a surplus of electricity and Clark is still searching for a buyer for Site C’s power, leads him to believe that that “there’s too much politics around BC Hydro.”

What seems unusual to me is the idea of locking up this project before the provincial election,” said Bernier, who holds the Jarislowsky Chair in Public Sector Management at the University of Ottawa.

If B.C. doesn’t need the electricity for the next decade or so there’s no emergency to build it…The only emergency in this project is the coming election.”

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