Despite calling for campaign finance reform, BC Green Party sought cash from developer

While BC Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver was insisting that he was the only one of those 3 leaders operating in the new provincial election with “clean hands” as it came into campaign contributions, his party had been hitting a prominent member of the Vancouver development community and important BC Liberal Party donor to get a $30,000 contribution.

The Greens confirmed the overture happened but said the person, whom they refused to mention, turned down them. The party said it approached “three or four” folks about the potential for donating up to the amount.

Campaign finance reform was a major problem in the campaign trail, and a repeated talking stage of Mr. Weaver, whose party doesn’t accept corporate or union contributions. The Greens urge placing a stringent cap with what the authorities has: $1,500 per person.

The Greens said the largest individual gift they obtained throughout the effort was $20,000 from an individual “whose household is linked to the real estate market.” The party said the donor didn’t get their title released being made public that summer by Elections BC.

“Within the course of the effort, you will find four individuals who were asked for more than $10,000,” explained Green spokeswoman Jillian Oliver. “And $30,000 has been the top limit of what we’d ever be comfortable”

Ms. Oliver verified that Mr. Weaver talked to a few of the folks the party was seeking larger quantities of cash from, including the developer, but merely “about our values and things like that.” He did not, the party insists, request a donation. Even the Greens’ democratic reform suggestions exclude members including the leader, of this party’s executive order.

She said the party approached this person not due to the business he had been associated with, but because he had been a buddy of a Green candidate and also “enthusiastic about some of our policies.”

The Globe and Mail affirmed that this individual owns a major real estate company and is an important Liberal Party donor.

Through the televised leaders’ debate, Mr. Weaver insisted at a market with NDP Leader John Horgan that the Greens were “principled” about the matter of campaign fund; he criticized the New Democrats for accepting marriage and corporate contributions at exactly the exact same time as they criticized the Liberals to do this.

“So do I say, not as I do,” Mr. Weaver said during one trade with Mr. Horgan, while coordinating the NDP Leader for attending $10,000-a-plate Construction Prizes. The Liberals were also regularly criticized by the Green Leader for being beholden for their wealthy donors. He said the Greens were the only ones who have ” clean hands” on this matter and once slammed both Mr. Horgan and Liberal Leader Christy Clark about the issue saying: “Leaders lead. They walk the talk, even when it is hard.”

Asked if searching a huge donation from a developer wasn’t effectively the exact same thing as looking for it out of his company, Ms. Oliver said the party has a finance development director who reviews some potential donation of more than $7,500.

The party’s policy states: “According to the donor profile and also discussions with the donor, the executive director [of the party], in consultation with the finance development director, will ensure that the donor does not have any expectation of influence through the donation.

“Further to that, the donors sign a statement that they aren’t engaged in several of prohibited activities or industry-specific activities conflicting with the BC Green Party’s values.”

The Greens’ campaign funding activities come amid a report released by the party this week which indicated it increased $1.264-million because Sept. 28, 2016. That’s the date it declared it would no longer be accepting marriage and corporate contributions.

The party declared it had welcomed more than 3,000 new donors in that time and that the average contribution size was $85.21.

The Greens have made prohibiting marriage and corporate donations a stipulation in trade for the party’s aid . Both the Liberals and the NDP are now in negotiations with Mr. Weaver in an effort to persuade him to join forces with them.

For what seems to be a breach of their policies, perhaps not surprisingly, given the conditions, the NDP offered criticism of the Greens.

“Provided that big money is permitted in B.C. politics, it’s going to have an impact on all political parties,” explained Glen Sanford, deputy director of the NDP. “That is the reason why we encourage a ban on union and corporate contributions which applies to all parties, together with a cap on maximum individual gifts.”

The Liberal Party declined to comment.