thumb-2023-010-03-ken-sim-peter-brown This article is more than 6 months old

Mayor Ken Sim Honoured a Top Political Donor With His Own Day in the City of Vancouver

Businessman Peter Brown and his family have given tens of thousands of dollars to Sim and his municipal party

A well-known Vancouver businessman and philanthropist, who was awarded his own day by Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim last week, also happens to be a long-time donor to Sim and his ABC Vancouver municipal party.

Peter Brown, the founder and former chairman of Canaccord Financial (now Canaccord Genuity), is a prominent Vancouver businessman and philanthropist who has sat on the boards of a number of corporations and local initiatives, including the Vancouver Stock Exchange, the BC Place Corporation and the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Last week, during a ceremony at Vancouver City Council, Sim announced that October 18 will from this day forward be known as Peter Brown Day in the City of Vancouver, recognizing “his contributions through business and philanthropy” that “have helped shape our city.”

Sim called Brown a “Vancouver legend and national builder” but did not mention his own personal connection with Brown spans several years, with both Sim and his party benefiting from donations from Brown, his foundation and his family.

In 2014, Brown was a major donor to Vancouver’s right-wing “Non-Partisan Association” municipal party, with a $10,000 donation from his foundation, and another $10,000 from his company Canaccord Genuity Corp.

Brown’s wife Joanne donated another $5,000 to the NPA in 2017. Brown and his wife donated an additional $2,400 to the NPA in 2018 when Ken Sim ran as NPA’s candidate for mayor.

But their support for Sim didn’t stop there.

According to Elections BC Financial Contributions Records, Brown personally donated a combined total of $5,500 to Ken Sim and ABC Vancouver between 2020-2022, while Joanne donated $2,500 to Sim and ABC Vancouver in 2022.

Other donors with names matching several members of Brown’s family are also listed as having made significant donations to Sim and the ABC Party, however, a spokesperson for Brown refused to clarify if those donors are, in fact, Brown’s family members.

“It is not Mr. Brown’s policy to discuss donations to charities or political parties as he regards them as personal and private,” Brown’s assistant said in a statement to PressProgress.

James Brown, the same name as Peter and Joanne’s son, is listed as having donated $1,200 to Sim in 2021 and $2,500 to ABC in 2022, while his wife, Christina and individuals matching the names of their four sons also appear to have donated $2,500 to ABC in 2022.

The name of Brown’s other son, Jason, is also listed as having donated $1,200 to Sim in 2021 and $2,500 to ABC in 2022, bringing the total of the Brown family’s contributions to Sim and ABC to close to $25,000.

In addition to supporting various arts and private education initiatives, Brown’s philanthropy also extends into right-wing politics. According to Canada Revenue Agency records, Browns’ foundation has donated $432,000 to the Fraser Institute between 2019 and 2021.

Brown has also served as chair of the right-wing think tank, the Fraser Institute, and held a gala honouring Vancouver’s Chip Wilson, who also donated $3,600 to Sim since 2019, and $2,400 to ABC in 2021. Wilson also donated $380,000 to the Pacific Prosperity Network, a group that did right-wing advocacy work in advance of the last Vancouver municipal election.

Peter Brown and Chip Wilson at 2014 Fraser Institute gala (BCBusiness)

Brown is also a regular donor to the Vancouver Police Foundation, donating $100,000 in 2021.

The right-wing legal advocacy organization the Canadian Constitution Foundation is another beneficiary of Brown’s foundation, receiving $50,000 in 2021. The CCF challenged a law prohibiting election misinformation in 2021.

The Mayor’s office did not respond to PressProgress’ request for comment prior to publication.


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Rumneek Johal
Rumneek Johal is PressProgress' BC Reporter. Her reporting focuses on systemic inequality, workers and communities, as well as racism and far-right extremism.

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