September 18, 2017

Victoria — After 18 months of calling for campaign finance laws, B.C.’s largest citizen engagement group, Dogwood, is optimistic about the B.C. government’s recent tabling of legislation that bans corporate, union and out-of-province donations to political parties in B.C.

Dogwood has been calling for campaign financing legislation since April 2016.

“This win belongs to British Columbians who have been campaigning to ban Big Money for years,” explains Lisa Sammartino, Dogwood’s democracy campaigner.

But the legislation is not without red flags. Sammartino notes that while the currently proposed legislation allows for individual donations up to $1,200, polling commissioned by Insights West and Dogwood indicates most British Columbians want the cap on individual donations to be under $1,000 — on average $709.

“While we are encouraged by the steps taken today, we know much work still needs to done to ensure decision-making power is in the hands of the people who work and live in this province,” added Sammartino.

Also notably missing from the drafted legislation are further restrictions on anonymous donations, as well as no inclusion of municipal election campaigns, something that 99 per cent of people surveyed by Dogwood said they wanted to see included in the new laws.

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More information:

Dogwood is B.C.’s largest non-partisan citizens group, uniting more than 260,000 supporters to take back power over our environment and democracy. Up-to-date analysis can be found at

Polling by Insights West from April 2016 can be found here. Dogwood’s research on the “Gold Standard” of Ban Big Money laws is available here.


Lisa Sammartino