Two Vancouver lawyers are suing the government of British Columbia and the BC Liberal Party for using taxpayers’ money to advertise in advance of the May 9 provincial election.
Paul Doroshenko and David Fai have filed a Notice of Claim in the B.C. Supreme Court naming the B.C. government and the BC Liberals for misuse of tax money for partisan purposes.
They claim the B.C. government is spending as much as $15 million of taxpayer money to enhance the image of the governing BC Liberal Party.
The lawsuit alleges a breach of fiduciary duty to the taxpayers and unjust enrichment for the BC Liberal Party as well as conversion of tax money for BC Liberal Party purposes.
“The government is using our tax money to pay to advertise their party,” said Fai in a press release. “It’s wrong and the BC Liberals need to pay that money back.”
“Political parties sometimes play dirty pool, but to take from the taxpayer — money that could be used for legitimate government purposes, such as health care, and to use it to promote the government — is simply beyond anyone’s view of acceptable,” said Doroshenko.
Fai and Doroshenko say they are acting on behalf of a concerned taxpayer, but they intend to seek certification of the lawsuit as a class action.
They are looking for public support to finance the lawsuit though a GoFundMe campaign to the tune of $26,000, adding the heavy lifting is being done by lawyers who are covering their own costs and paying for their staff and offices to advance the lawsuit that, they claim, is for the benefit of British Columbians.
The lawyers will also be applying for an injunction to temporarily stop partisan advertising until a trial can be held concerning the merits of the allegations.
Global News has reached out to the B.C. government for comment, but has not heard back so far.
Meanwhile, BC NDP leader John Horgan says the lawsuit does not surprise him.
“I know I can’t watch hockey games anymore, because I just can’t stomach watching every time the puck is not being dropped having to hear about how great the Liberals are,” Horgan told reporters Monday afternoon.
“This economy is not working for everybody. Services have been reduced in almost every element of our lives and costs keep going up. I think the government has lost its way and run out of gas.”
None of the allegations have been proven in court.