NDP Leader John Horgan is given a tour of the store during a campaign stop at 88 Supermarket in Vancouver, Oct. 1, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

NDP Leader John Horgan is given a tour of the store during a campaign stop at 88 Supermarket in Vancouver, Oct. 1, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C. political parties reap more millions from public subsidy

NDP, B.C. Liberals, Greens get half of election expenses back

Calling a snap election in October 2020 netted Premier John Horgan’s B.C. NDP more than $2 million in election expense reimbursements, while the B.C. Liberals collected more than $1.5 million and the B.C. Greens got back more than $300,000.

Election expense reimbursements are on top of the per-vote subsidy paid to parties each year in a program brought in by Horgan’s minority government in 2017, to replace revenue from corporate and union donations. Those were banned by the NDP changes, and Horgan’s pre-election vow not to use public subsidies was reversed after the election, in a bill that ended up being supported by all parties.

Financing reports released Monday by Elections B.C. showed the governing NDP received $2.15 million in reimbursed expenses. The party received $5.45 million in political contributions, but with the taxpayer subsidy, the party was able to spend $7.6 million to win a majority government in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The B.C. Liberals were reimbursed $1.55 million in election expenses, and collected $3.2 million in contributions from individuals, which are capped at $1,200 per person per year under the 2017 changes to the B.C. Election Act. Including transfers of public money, the B.C. Liberals spent $6.37 million in an election that saw them take 28 seats to the B.C. NDP’s 57-seat majority.

The B.C. Green Party was reimbursed $300,774.59 for its election expenses, after raising $1.24 million in donations from individuals. The new financing system allowed them to spend $1.41 million on their 2020 election campaign, where the two incumbent MLAs, Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau and Saanich and the Islands MLA Adam Olsen retained their seats.

RELATED: B.C. NDP got more donations, votes in snap election

RELATED: Taxpayers funding ‘lawn signs, junk mail, attack ads’

The per-vote subsidy began in 2018 at $2.50 per vote won in the 2017 election, paid to parties that received at least five per cent of the vote in seats where they ran candidates, or two per cent of the vote overall. The 2017 legislation set out a five-year transition program for parties, with the per-vote payment declining to $2 for 2020 and $1.75 for this year and 2022. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation estimated the program will transfer $27 million to eligible parties over five years.

On Jan. 1, 2021, each party received its latest instalment of the per-vote allowance, totalling about $787,000 for the NDP, $557,000 for the B.C. Liberals and $249,000 for the B.C. Greens. Two more parties qualified for payments based on the results of the October election, with the B.C. Conservative Party receiving $31,414.25 and the Rural B.C. Party getting $659.75.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureBC politics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A recently finished $4.3-million taxiway extension at the Victoria International Airport (not pictured) is unusable because of a blind spot. (Black Press Media file photo)
Blind spot leaves Victoria airport’s new $4.3-million taxiway extension unusable

Solution has been put on hold by COVID-19 pandemic, says airport authority

Victoria police are searching for a federal offender who is wanted Canada-wide after his statutory release was suspended. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Victoria police searching for federal offender wanted Canada-wide

Warrant issued after offender’s statutory release suspended

This male Dungeness can safely be harvested after passing muster. An official with Fisheries and Oceans Canada says it is not clear how well locals on the Saanich Peninsula are complying with crabbing regulations, but her comments suggest that any problems might be of a minor nature. (Department of Fisheries and Oceans/Submitted)
Sidney and Sooke record 57 crabbing violations in 2020

While recreational crab fishery has ‘compliance issues,’ no evidence of ‘large scale poaching’

Darcy Rhodes (left) says his grandfather’s bonsai trees are his ‘babies.’ (Courtesy of Tamara Bond)
One person is dead after a camper van caught fire Thursday morning in Victoria's Beacon Hill Park. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
UPDATED: One person dead after vehicle fire in Beacon Hill Park

Investigation into Victoria death in early stages

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

A Cowichan Valley mom is wondering why masks haven’t been mandated for elementary schools. (Metro Creative photo)
B.C. mom frustrated by lack of mask mandate for elementary students

“Do we want to wait until we end up like Fraser Health?”

(Pxhere)
B.C. research reveals how pandemic has changed attitudes towards sex, health services

CDC survey shows that 35 per cent of people were worried about being judged

Some Canadians are finding butter harder than usual, resulting in an avalanche of social media controversy around #buttergate. (Brett Williams/The Observer)
#Buttergate: Concerns around hard butter hit small B.C. towns and beyond

Canadians find their butter was getting harder, blame palm oil in part one of this series

Construction takes place on Bamfield Main in early February 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY CTV NEWS)
Ongoing Bamfield roadwork unrelated to planned $30M fix

Construction by Mosaic unrelated to $30M upgrade ordered in wake of fatal bus crash

The Regional District of Nanaimo’s board is forwarding a motion on illegal dumping to the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities’ upcoming annual general meeting. (Kane Blake photo)
Island communities asked to join forces in seeking help fighting illegal dumping

RDN resolution to be forwarded to Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities

Most Read