NDP Leader John Horgan is given a tour of the store during a campaign stop at 88 Supermarket in Vancouver, Oct. 1, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

NDP Leader John Horgan is given a tour of the store during a campaign stop at 88 Supermarket in Vancouver, Oct. 1, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C. political parties reap more millions from public subsidy

NDP, B.C. Liberals, Greens get half of election expenses back

Calling a snap election in October 2020 netted Premier John Horgan’s B.C. NDP more than $2 million in election expense reimbursements, while the B.C. Liberals collected more than $1.5 million and the B.C. Greens got back more than $300,000.

Election expense reimbursements are on top of the per-vote subsidy paid to parties each year in a program brought in by Horgan’s minority government in 2017, to replace revenue from corporate and union donations. Those were banned by the NDP changes, and Horgan’s pre-election vow not to use public subsidies was reversed after the election, in a bill that ended up being supported by all parties.

Financing reports released Monday by Elections B.C. showed the governing NDP received $2.15 million in reimbursed expenses. The party received $5.45 million in political contributions, but with the taxpayer subsidy, the party was able to spend $7.6 million to win a majority government in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The B.C. Liberals were reimbursed $1.55 million in election expenses, and collected $3.2 million in contributions from individuals, which are capped at $1,200 per person per year under the 2017 changes to the B.C. Election Act. Including transfers of public money, the B.C. Liberals spent $6.37 million in an election that saw them take 28 seats to the B.C. NDP’s 57-seat majority.

The B.C. Green Party was reimbursed $300,774.59 for its election expenses, after raising $1.24 million in donations from individuals. The new financing system allowed them to spend $1.41 million on their 2020 election campaign, where the two incumbent MLAs, Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau and Saanich and the Islands MLA Adam Olsen retained their seats.

RELATED: B.C. NDP got more donations, votes in snap election

RELATED: Taxpayers funding ‘lawn signs, junk mail, attack ads’

The per-vote subsidy began in 2018 at $2.50 per vote won in the 2017 election, paid to parties that received at least five per cent of the vote in seats where they ran candidates, or two per cent of the vote overall. The 2017 legislation set out a five-year transition program for parties, with the per-vote payment declining to $2 for 2020 and $1.75 for this year and 2022. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation estimated the program will transfer $27 million to eligible parties over five years.

On Jan. 1, 2021, each party received its latest instalment of the per-vote allowance, totalling about $787,000 for the NDP, $557,000 for the B.C. Liberals and $249,000 for the B.C. Greens. Two more parties qualified for payments based on the results of the October election, with the B.C. Conservative Party receiving $31,414.25 and the Rural B.C. Party getting $659.75.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureBC politics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

The Site C Dam location is seen along the Peace River in Fort St. John, B.C., Tuesday, April 18, 2017. The cost of British Columbia’s Site C hydroelectric dam has grown to $16 billion and the completion has been moved up a year to 2025. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
BC Liberal energy critic blasts ‘lack of transparency’ on Site C

MLA Tom Shypitka says Site C going ahead is a ‘good thing’, blames NDP for mismanagement

Volunteers from the Elk River Alliance cleared 14 car batteries from the Elk River near Elkford this week. (Photo contributed)
Elk River Alliance to move to more holistic environmental monitoring

The details of the ERA’s 2021 program will be discussed at the AGM next month

The Kitimat RCMP responded to false alarms, an apartment fire and more between Jan. 29 to Feb. 3, 2021. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Sparwood backs campaign to study Surrey RCMP impact

The City of Surrey is home to the largest RCMP detachment in the province

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19 vaccination set to start for B.C. seniors aged 80-plus

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

(Black Press file photo)
Child in critical condition, homicide investigators probe incident near Agassiz

The child was transported to hospital but is not expected to survive

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Sewage plant in Lower Mainland, operated by Metro Vancouver. (Metro Vancouver screenshot)
‘Poop tracker’ launches as researchers test Lower Mainland sewage water for COVID-19

‘Studying the virus in wastewater allows researchers to look at an entire population…’

(Pxhere)
Compensation fund opens for B.C. students negatively affected by incorrect exam marks

Marks for 2019 provincial exams were incorrectly tabulated

The humanoid sensing robot has a 3D printed finger cap that measures oxygen levels. (Dr. Woo Soo Kim)
Medical care robots being made with 3D origami in B.C. lab

Would you let a robot take your temperature?

Most Read