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

Amanda Eastwood, Community Connections Coordinator with Shuswap Immigrant Services Society, said the society has received reports of racist comments and actions in Salmon Arm and is working on education, other ways to combat the issue. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Working to counter racism in Salmon Arm, Shuswap

Shuswap Immigration Services Society gathers reports on racism in community, looks at remedies

A man wearing a mask against coronavirus walks past an NHS advertisement about COVID-19 in London, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
92 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths: Interior Health

The region is reporting 92 cases after the weekend

Shuswap Youth Launch Team members Claire Waite, Abbigail Paetsch, Mikayla Wilkinson, Brynn Gowen and Caillie Hay-Vicars pause for a picture on the day of the Shuswap Youth Launch interactive event, Thursday, Feb. 25. (Contributed)
Shuswap Youth Launch team over the moon with success of interactive event

Salmon Arm youth team invited to apply for $100,000 grant

City council passed resolution in support of an expansion of the licence area at Salmon Arm’s Marionette Winery for the inclusion of a lounge area. (Marionette Winery/Facebook)
City opts out of public hearing for lounge addition at Salmon Arm winery

Marionette Winery expanding licence area to host small gatherings

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Pathways Addictions Centre is in jeopardy of closing after Interior Health has pulled all its funding and will be taking over addiction services ‘in house’ as up May 31. (Facebook)
Future of South Okanagan community’s addictions centre in jeopardy after Interior Health pulls funding

Pathways has been in Penticton for over 20 years and has 10 staff, serving around 1,000 people

B.C.’s court of appeal in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Kootenay man appeals 7-year conviction for New Year’s Eve kidnapping, beating

Brandon Coons, 27, was convicted on five charges, including assault with a weapon

An investigation is underway after two VPD officers were recorded posing for pictures near a dead body at Third Beach on Feb. 24. (Screen grab/Zachary Ratcliff)
Vancouver officers placed on desk duty after filmed posing next to dead body

Pair put in ‘non-deployable, admin positions’ as the investigation into their conduct continues

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, an Okanagan based-law practice, and provides Kelowna Capital News with weekly stories from the world of local, national and international law. (Contributed)
Kootnekoff: Landmark Human Rights Decision: Francis v. BC Ministry of Justice

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, her diverse legal career spans over 20 years

(Black Press file photo)
Homicide team to look into death of 11-year-old Agassiz boy

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

A publicly accessible defibrillator as well as naloxone and first aid kits are included in a stand that has been installed at Crescent Beach. It is one of two planned for the South Surrey neighbourhood as St. John Ambulance works to install 1,000 of the life-saving devices around the province. (Contributed photo)
St. John Ambulance aims to install 1,000 publicly accessible AEDs across B.C.

Sponsors sought for stands that cost about $8,000 to equip and install

Theodore, Alvin and Simon were found abandoned by a community mailbox, the Vernon BC SPCA said March 1. Now, they're looking for their forever home. (Facebook)
3 guinea pigs found abandoned near Vernon mailbox

Alvin and the pigs are up for adoption through Vernon’s BC SPCA

Most Read