NDP breaking promise not to make taxpayers fund campaigns: Liberals

BC government tables legislation limiting political, campaign donations

"This legislation will make sure 2017 was the last big-money election in our province", said David Eby, the province's attorney general.

Nechako Lakes Liberal MLA John Rustad says there are a few surprises in the NDP's bill to ban corporate and union political donations in BC.

The legislation will be retroactive, prohibiting political parties from using donations they have already received in future elections. That amount diminishes to $2.25 per vote in 2019, $2 in 2020 and and $1.75 in 2021 and 2022.

"This bill will be reducing political donations in British Columbia by what we believe to be approximately $65 million over the next four years". Duff Conacher, a founder of Democracy Watch, a Canadian civic organization, criticized individual donation limit of 1,200 Canadian dollar as too high, saying it would continue to let wealthy donors influence parties and politicians while allowing businesses and unions to funnel donations through executives, employees and their relatives.

The Greens would benefit to the tune of $830,000 in 2018, while the B.C. Liberals and NDP would each reap about $1.9 million next year, under a plan revealed Monday to pay qualified parties $2.50 per vote.

BC government tables legislation limiting political, campaign donations

Banning corporate and union donations was a campaign pledge for the NDP in a spring cliffhanger election in which the Liberals were reduced to a minority.

"A special committee of the legislature will review the allowance to determine if it should be continued", Eby said in a statement.

Horgan declined to take reporters' questions and left Eby to explain the taxpayer subsidy, which wasn't in the NDP campaign platform.

The legislation is expected to pass as the NDP holds a parliamentary majority through a deal with the Green Party, which supports the ban. He said parties can't use prohibited donations for advertising or other election expenses during the formal 28-day election campaign period, but they can use it to pay down debt, pay staff, buy property or other expenses not directly related to election campaigns.

Asked if local governments would be included in the new rules, as the previous government had proposed, Eby said "We are still working on that".

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