BC Liberals introduce finance reform legislation, NDP to follow suit next week


Even though the BC New Democrats say they will be introducing finance reform legislation next week, the Liberal opposition isn’t waiting.

The Liberals have introduced the finance reform bill they put forward just before June’s failed confidence vote.

“They can always amend it if they want to – but this has been completely and fully reviewed by the Attorney General’s office,” said Andrew Wilkinson, adding that the Liberals do not need to wait for the NDP bill.

READ MORE: Horgan defends continued NDP acceptance of corporate and union donations

Wilkinson said this bill is “workable and enforceable” unlike the one-page bills the NDP put forward when in opposition.

He said those were just political plays.

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“Now’s their chance to come to the table and do what’s good for British Columbians and actually read the bill and we think it’s something that should be fully supported by all parties,” said Wilkinson.

WATCH: Political fundraising under scrutiny in B.C.

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Political fundraising under scrutiny in B.C – Mar 13, 2017

Meanwhile, the BC NDP has a fundraiser planned for next week, but the party president Craig Keating said this is not a case of the New Democrats capitalizing on donations before legislation is passed.

“We’ll use the angles that we have to use, or the events, the opportunities that we can to make sure that we’re maximizing our opportunity to fight an election within the law,” Keating said.

READ MORE: B.C. premier to attend fundraising event, promises legislation is coming

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He said there’s nothing wrong with political fundraising, adding that the Leaders Levee event at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver on Sept. 22 falls within the boundaries of the incoming legislation on the matter.

“A $500 ticket fundraiser will continue going down the road. My understanding is people have up to $1,100, $1,200 – I’ve heard various figures out there – to be able to donate each year,” said Keating.

WATCH: Premier John Horgan on getting big money out of politics

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Presser: BC NDP leader John Horgan on getting big money out of provincial politics – Jan 19, 2017

He said there are protocols in place to ensure individuals are not being used to insert corporate or union money via ticket purchases.

Vancouver-Point Grey MLA David Eby said the NDP will be introducing legislation on the matter next week.

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READ MORE: B.C. Premier attends unofficial cash-for-access dinner days before throne speech

Chair of the legislation committee, Mike Farnworth, said sorting out the details is taking longer than planned.

The NDP has taken some heat for delaying its plan to ban corporate and union donations.