B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver speaking after his speech to the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention Wednesday.

B.C. Greens to shun corporate, union donations

Leader Andrew Weaver presses BC Liberals, NDP to follow Greens and take 'big money' out of politics

The B.C. Green Party will forgo corporate and union donations from now on even though the move may put it at a financial disadvantage against the BC Liberals and New Democrats as next spring’s provincial election nears.

Green leader Andrew Weaver announced the decision in his speech at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Victoria Wednesday and called on the other parties to likewise end the role of “big money” in politics to rebuild public trust.

“Political parties and their MLAs should not be reduced to puppets controlled by corporate or union puppet masters, with a firm grip on the purse strings,” Weaver said, accusing the Liberals of refusing to pass reforms and the NDP of refusing to act unilaterally.

He suggested political donations can taint policy positions on an issue like the Mount Polley mine disaster.

“The corporation that operates the mine is a substantial donor to the BC Liberals,” Weaver said. “The union representing the workers at the mine is a substantial donor to the B.C. NDP. Whose interests are being served? Who is there to represent the people of British Columbia?”

Groups supporting reform have long advocated an end to corporate and union contributions at the provincial level.

Weaver said the Greens’ refusal to accept corporate and union donations takes effect immediately but previous donations won’t be returned.

It’s unclear how much of an impact it will have on the party coffers as most financial support has so far come from individuals.

Union and corporate donations made up 15 per cent of B.C. Green donations in 2014 and three per cent in 2015.

“It’s non-trivial,” Weaver said later, but added he felt the party had to demonstrate leadership on the issue. “It is a gamble. It is a risk. But it’s the right thing to do.”

During his UBCM speech, Weaver reiterated his predictions for years that the government’s liquefied natural gas “pipe dream” will never materialize.

He also said the party believes in constructive criticism and “evidence-based decision making as opposed to what happens far too often in politics today: decision-based evidence making.”

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

Just Posted

Education minister announces new South Surrey elementary school

Additions at two elementary schools also announced

Delta council approves plan to reopen city facilities

Next phase of plan includes outdoor pools, summer day camps, outdoor fitness programs

Undisclosed video evidence comes to light in Surrey man’s West Kelowna murder trial

‘They’ve disclosed hundreds of pieces of evidence. Why would this have gotten missed?’ - defence lawyer

Police on scene at a Surrey duplex after ‘suspicious’ death of woman

IHIT says the woman was transported from the home to hospital, where she died

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

Vancouver Island First Nations gather to remember woman fatally shot by police

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council requests an independent investigation

VIDEO: Pitt Meadows dentist gets grand welcome home after two-month COVID-19 battle

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Stray dog with duct tape around muzzle spotted in Abbotsford

Pooch has been spotted over two days, but has escaped capture so far

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

Most Read