“Get big money out of B.C. politics,” Cowichan Valley resident Matt Price told the Citizens Assembly on Electoral Reform. ( link to news story)
“We need a change in the political finance law that limits contributions of big money interest,” he said. “Campaign contributions are buying influence on issues.”
The list of major donors to the BC Liberals includes many of the energy and forestry corporations that play dominant roles in the economic and political life of the province. We have written about the influence these donations played in the pro-corporate resource policies of this government. As documented in BC Facts.org, 67 percent of donations to the Liberals between 1966 and 2002 came from corporations.
COAL and MINING: Leading the pack of corporate donors is Teck Cominco with $678,511. Elk Valley Coal Corporation, a merger of the coal interests of TeckCominco, Fording and Elkview Coal Corp, represents donations of over $800,000. That kind of money buys influence!
FORESTRY: Weyerhaeuser tops the forestry list with $400,000. Four other forestry giants – Canadian Forest Products, Interfor, West Fraser – have each given over $200,000 to the Liberals.
ENERGY: Encana, the product of a merger of Alberta Energy Corp., and PanCanadian, has donated $82,000. Terasen (BC Gas, Centra Gas, Trans Mountain): $158,000.
“Until we get big money out of B.C. politics the electoral system will remain corrupted,” Price said.
The Citizens Assembly was in Duncan on June 8, where Price made his presentation.