BC Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver says his party isn’t responsible for the per-vote subsidy that will see taxpayers hand over $27.5-million to political parties over the next four years.
“I realize a lot of people think this was a Green initiative. Actually, it wasn’t.”
Speaking on The Jon McComb Show on CKNW, Weaver said a subsidy and transition allowance is “best practice”, adding that it’s seen in systems across Canada and around the world.
Weaver also tried to say the new legislation doesn’t benefit the Greens.
“Actually the BC Green Party is hardly affected at all because we do not accept union and corporate donations. And the amount that we would get through this provisional transitional allowance is almost identical to now what we get through thousands and thousands of people donating small amounts.”
“But you’re going to get almost $3-million over the next four years,” McComb pointed out. “Yes we, yes I believe that’s correct,” said Weaver.
Weaver says political parties have structures in place, and without transition money, there would be chaos.
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Meanwhile, B.C.’s Attorney General side-stepped questions about what led to a BC NDP campaign flip-flop on per vote subsidies.
David Eby wouldn’t tell McComb why Premier John Horgan broke his promise that a subsidy would not be involved in their efforts to get big money out of politics.
But Eby argued that under the existing system, subsidies already exist in the form of tax breaks to corporations and unions.
“Your tax dollars are already going to fund the existing system, where big money runs the province,” said Eby.
He denied the change of heart was due to the BC Greens.
“The bill that has been put forward is an NDP bill. We’re putting it forward. It’s the bill as we would like it to pass. We’re hopeful that the Green Party supports it.”
WATCH: John Horgan addresses the issue:
Eby said the Greens will give feedback on the bill, as accounted for in the Confidence and Supply agreement.
But McComb questioned why taxpayers should subsidize political parties. “That’s the NDP’s problem and Liberal Party’s problem and the Green Party’s problem. It’s not my problem, and yet my money, my tax money, is going to fund your transition so that you guys aren’t uncomfortable or left without,” said McComb.
But Eby said it’s important to recognize the allowance is only temporary.
Premier John Horgan also defended the bill, “I am unapologetic about wanting to get big money out of politics. I am unapologetic for having a transition fund that will be gone by the next election.”
Horgan said he looks forward to having the discussing the bill in the legislature.
~With files from Liza Yuzda