Clark aims to force donation disclosure

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Premier Christy Clark's critics inside and outside the Legislature reacted with scorn to her party's pledge to create an "independent panel" to examine political donations in B.C. if she's re-elected on May 9.

The government of British Columbia, a province of Canada with devolved powers, has hinted it plans to end the practice.

After the 2015 federal election campaign, she said $100 million of taxpayers money went to reimburse federal parties, which received money based on the number of votes they received.

The BC Liberals have made that choice even clearer for voters who want to ban big money from politics: "the only choice is John Horgan and the BC NDP". "Make no mistake: Christy Clark knows that the real issue is big money's influence on government, and she could put a stop to it today".

"We don't need that", Weaver said.

Green Leader Andrew Weaver called Clark's proposal a smokescreen.

Clark said the independent panel could review the NDP and Green proposals and others, reviewing the system every two elections, similar to the legislated review of electoral boundaries.

Clark said she is proposing the panel now because it will be a "legitimate subject for debate in the election campaign" and there haven't been any changes since 1995.

The government introduced legislation Monday that would require political parties to file disclosure reports about political fundraising events within five days of the gathering.

The BC Liberals' so-called "cash-for-access" exclusive fundraisers are also facing criticism for allowing high-paying donors access to Cabinet ministers without donors required to declare it as lobbying.

Only now, on the eve of a provincial election, and after growing national and worldwide media coverage of the issue is the premier making cosmetic efforts to make it go away.

Clark's announcement shows the BC Liberals sensed political donations had become enough of an election threat it had to be addressed.

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