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Horgan defends continued NDP acceptance of corporate and union donations

British Columbia Premier-designate, NDP Leader John Horgan smiles while speaking outside Government House after meeting with Lt-Gov. Judith Guichon in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, June 29, 2017.
British Columbia Premier-designate, NDP Leader John Horgan smiles while speaking outside Government House after meeting with Lt-Gov. Judith Guichon in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, June 29, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C.’s new Premier-designate is defending his party’s continued acceptance of corporate and union donations, despite campaign trail promises to ban them after the election.

Two weeks before British Columbians went to the polls, John Horgan told CKNW’s Jon McComb the party would act swiftly to ban big money donations:

“I’m not going to tie my hands behind my back,” Horgan said.

READ MORE: ‘Big money is distorting our politics’: BC NDP leader on the issue of political donations

“I’m going to fight tooth and nail within the existing laws. And the day after the election, I’m going to change them.”

LISTEN: Premier-designate John Horgan one-on-one with CKNW’s Jon McComb

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However, nearly two months after voting day, the NDP is still accepting donations from corporations and unions.

Asked about the apparent inconsistency on Wednesday, Horgan said his party remains committed to the ban.

“I can understand people are anxious about this issue. Big money has been a focal point, certainly in our campaign, and we ran hard on it and we’re committed to making that change as soon as we get back into the legislature. ”

WATCH: NDP calls on Liberals to ban big money donations

Click to play video: 'NDP calls on Liberals to ban big money donations' NDP calls on Liberals to ban big money donations
NDP calls on Liberals to ban big money donations – Jan 19, 2017

Horgan said when the NDP introduces its ban, it will cover corporate and union donations as well as address so called “in-kind” donations, where goods or services are given to the party instead of cash.

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The NDP took fire for that issue on the campaign trail, when it was revealed the United Steelworkers union was paying the salaries of several top NDP campaign officials.

READ MORE: NDP-Green alliance votes down BC Liberal donation ban bill as confidence vote looms

But Horgan said the old laws remain on the books and his party will operate within them until MLAs head back to Victoria.

“We’re just in transition now. We don’t have the ability to recall the legislature until we have a sworn-in government. When we do that, one of the first orders of business will be to ban big money,” Horgan said.

Horgan and his cabinet are expected to be sworn-in next week, but Horgan said the legislature likely won’t be recalled until early September.

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