wilkinson-donationlimit_thumb-1.png This article is more than 4 years old

BC Liberals Complain New Cap on Big Money Donations is Unfair to the BC Liberals

"This is a big disappointment."


Someone cue a sad violin.

Reacting to new rules cracking down on the influence of big money in British Columbia politics, the opposition BC Liberals say a new rule capping annual political donations at $1,200 per person is a “big disappointment,” complaining the new cap on donations will give the BC NDP an unfair advantage over the BC Liberals.

The BC Liberals recently proposed capping donations much higher at $5,000 per person instead – a proposal that would have actually seen British Columbia adopt the highest limit on political donations in Canada.

Under Christy Clark’s BC Liberal government, the province’s political financing laws were widely viewed as the loosest rules in Canada, creating a system that allowed the BC Liberals to collect well over $100 million dollars from corporations over the last decade.

One report found that 177 top BC Liberal donors who gave $55 million to the party received $15 billion in contracts, subsidies and other special favours from the BC Liberal Government over the last decade.

That probably helps shed light on why BC Liberal attorney general critic Andrew Wilkinson told reporters Monday he was so disappointed by the new limits on campaign donations:

“They’ve arbitrarily chosen a figure of $1,200 for the amount that is the cap for donations, and clearly that will suit their interests, there’s no rationale for it other than it suits the interests of the NDP.”

As opposed to suiting the interests of who? The BC Liberals?

In announcing the new rules, BC Premier John Horgan explained that his government is “reforming campaign finance rules to make sure government’s actions and decisions benefit everyone, not just those with deep pockets.”

The new rules will ban fundraising events in private residences if they’re attended by a party leader, meaning the BC Liberals will no longer be able to throw $10,000 per plate fundraising dinners offering wealthy donors exclusive access to their leader.

The new rules will also ban out-of-province donations – something that doesn’t suit the interests of the BC Liberals considering the BC Liberals received over $1.2 million from foreign and out-of-province corporations in the lead-up to this year’s provincial election.


While Wilkinson might think all of this is terribly unfair to the BC Liberals, BC’s new campaign finance rules actually bring the province into step with the rest of Canada in a number of important areas:

 The new donation limits make BC the second-lowest in Canada after Quebec, which capped political donations to $100 per person in 2013. Ontario recently capped donations at $1,200 per person once for political parties and again for constituency associations in non-election years while federally Canada caps donations at $1,550 per person for each category too.

 BC is now the seventh province to ban corporate donations – only Saskatchewan, PEI and Newfoundland & Labrador still allow corporate donations.

Political parties will now be required to report fundraising events that will be published on Election BC’s website, a move that’s in line with similar rules recently introduced federally and in Ontario in response to public criticism over the growth of cash-for-access fundraisers.


Photo: BC Gov Photos

PressProgress is powered by readers. Not by advertisers.

We’re not a corporate media outlet. We’re a small non-profit news organization that produces award-winning journalism with support from our readers.

If you see value in ad-free, non-profit journalism that holds powerful interests accountable, please consider making an investment in our work today.


Invest in Our Journalism
PressProgress is an award-winning non-profit news organization focused on uncovering and unpacking the news through original investigative and explanatory journalism.

Most Shared

thumb-2022-05-013 News

Doug Ford’s Budget Includes a Hidden $1.3 Billion ‘Decrease’ in Education Funding

Related Stories


Ministry of Colleges Shut Down Ontario PC Candidate’s Private College After It Ran Unaccredited Program

View the post

Ontario PC Candidate David Piccini Endorsed by Instagram Influencer With Ties to Hells Angels, Satan’s Choice

View the post

Anti-Union Lobby Group Has Received Millions of Dollars From Doug Ford’s Government Since 2021

View the post


Human rights & inclusion

Amira Elghawaby

Here’s The Problem With Hoping Corporations Will Be Socially and Environmentally Responsible On Their Own

View the post
Politics & strategy

Jeremy Appel

The battle of the PACs in Calgary’s municipal election

View the post
Politics & strategy

Jeremy Appel

27 Different Candidates are Vying to be Calgary’s Mayor. Here Are the Biggest Issues at Stake.

View the post
Why do newspapers always have a business section but not a labour section? We’ve launched a free newsletter covering labour issues in Canada.
Get All Your Canadian Labour News in One Place
Why do newspapers always have a business section but not a labour section? Good news! We’ve launched a newsletter covering labour issues in Canada.