Today: Thursday, May 25, 2017, 12:58 pm (PST)

Even RCMP investigation fails to get Christy Clark to ban big money

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John Horgan Leader of the B.C. New Democrats

John Horgan
Leader of the B.C. New Democrats

Victoria: Elections should be fair, and government should work for ordinary people, not just for the wealthy and the well connected. That’s why it is so disappointing that Christy Clark and the B.C. Liberals refuse to ban big money from our political system.

And now Christy Clark and her B.C. Liberals are under investigation for breaking one of the few fundraising laws we do have by taking hidden donations from lobbyists on behalf of corporations.

International observers call B.C. the wild west of political cash because of how few rules there are about party fundraising. But there is a law that says you can’t donate on behalf of someone else. People and corporations are only allowed to donate under their own names. Yet lobbyists who donated tens of thousands of dollars to Christy Clark have admitted that they donated for others, not themselves.

Now that B.C. Liberal donations are under investigation by the RCMP, Christy Clark is desperate to do anything to get the spotlight off of the shady practices that fueled her $300,000 salary top-up from B.C. Liberal party donors.

That’s why Christy Clark is now promising to maybe look at banning big money after the next election – she isn’t even promising to get rid of it for sure. That’s not good enough. People are sick and tired of seeing their government working for rich donors, and not ordinary people.

Christy Clark knows the real issue is big money’s influence on government, and she could put a stop to it today. But, instead of doing the right thing for British Columbians, she has sided with the corporations who paid her secret second salary.

We have introduced legislation six times to get big money out of politics.  There’s a bill ready to go. It’s been there for several weeks, in my name. I’d be happy if Christy Clark called my legislation for debate. We could pass it in a day. That’s what I want to do—get rid of big money from politics in B.C. immediately.

Christy Clark just wants to look like she is doing something about big money’s corrupting influence on our political system, without actually changing anything.

She wouldn’t even stand to answer my questions about the corrosive influence of big money on politics when I raised it in the legislature. Her whole party is refusing to answer questions and refusing to be honest and accountable to the public. People deserve better.

British Columbians deserve leadership that is working for them, not for big money donors. It’s time to ban big money and put people back at the centre of government.

The rich and corporations have had their premier. It’s time for a premier who will work for everyone.

 

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