Premier defends her ‘real time’ reporting of pay-for-play donations

Christy Clark says a federal response to the same issue is "interesting" but her plan makes donations more transparent.

Premier Christy Clark (left) answers questions at a Greater Westside Board of Trade breakfast Friday morning in West Kelowna.Pictured with her are moderators Bobby Gidda and Elfriede Schmoll.

Premier Christy Clark says the federal government’s decision to limit cash-for-access fundraising is an interesting idea that she will look at, but she thinks her plans for reporting donations quicker is a better idea.

Asked in Kelowna Friday morning about the decision by the federal Liberals to require cash-for-access fundraisers to now be held in publicly accessible spaces rather than private homes or clubs, publicly advertising them in advance and timely reporting of how many people attended and how much was raised, Clark said she likes her plan for “real time” reporting on who attended an event and how much each person gave.

“So when someone donates, we report it,” said Clark, who attended a $5,000 per plate party fundraising dinner Thursday night at Mission Hill Winery in her Westside-Kelowna riding.

In addition to calling on the feds to look at following her lead, she also blasted the NDP for refusing to do so.

“But I hope they do because that offers a real level of transparency.”

The NDP has tried repeatedly to have the government ban donations from corporations and unions to political parties in B.C. but the Liberal government has rejected the call each time.

Clark said she believes what the public wants is to know is that when some one donates to a political party, it isn’t linked to a decision that government makes.

“And I think it’s a lot easier to see that, and make it more transparent, if we do (reporting) in real time.”

On Thursday, vans with darkened windows ferried a reported 20 well-heeled attendees into the dinner at the winery so reporters outside could not see who was inside or talk to them as they arrived.

In recent days, because of the secrecy surrounding the fundraising dinner leading up to it taking place in her riding, the spotlight has been focused once again on what some have dubbed “pay-to-play” access to the premier.

Two complaints by the NDP’s David Eby last year to the province’s conflict commissioner about high-priced Liberal Party fundraisers attended by the premier were dismissed.

In the case of Prime MInister Justin Trudeau, his attendance at events involving business leaders with ties to China have raised concerns by federal Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson and criticism by Opposition MPs.

Following the West Kelowna dinner, on Friday morning, Clark took questions at a Greater Westside Board of Trade breakfast in her riding and addressed the issue with reporters afterwards. Tickets for breakfast—with proceeds going to the board of trade— were available to the public and cost $28 each.

The premier and the 100 people who attended the breakfast at the Cove Resort were greeted by a pair of protesters outside, Dayleen and Eduard Van Ryswyk, who held a large banner listing contributions of a few large construction companies and the value of work they have won in contracts from the government.

The Van Ryswyks are concerned about rich donors having access to the premier that they feel regular members of the public do not have.

Dayleen Van Ryswyk was an NDP candidate in Kelowna-Mission in the 2013 provincial election but had her candidacy cancelled by the party on the first day of the campaign after derogatory remarks she made in a 2009 online forum concerning aboriginal people and French Canadians came to light.

 

Just Posted

Looking Back: Dec. 14, 2017

The community’s history as recorded in the files of the Langley Advance

Throwback Thursday: December 14, 2017

Can you help us caption a photo from Langley’s past?

Giants invite fans to toss teddy bears at Langley game

The annual Teddy Bear Toss takes place at this Sunday’s home game in the LEC.

Langley Christmas Fun: a listing of holiday events, Dec. 14, 2017 edition

Langley events: LangleyAdvance.com/add-event or news@langleyadvance.com (subject: Christmas Fun).

Langley What’s On: Dec. 14, 2017 edition

Langley events: LangleyAdvance.com/add-event or news@langleyadvance.com (subject: What’s On).

VIDEO: Carollers bring festive sounds to Langley City most Fridays

Shoppers will once again be entertained by choirs, musicians and bands this month in McBurney Plaza.

B.C. Mountie told to resign after texting teenage sex assault victim

RCMP documents say Const. Brian Eden sent sexually inappropriate photos to 17-year-old girl

Family doctors should learn to treat addiction, not shun patients: scientist

B.C. Centre on Substance Use’s Dr. Evan Wood said efforts underway to change addiction medicine image

Update: Small fire near Maple Ridge tent city

Occurred outside camp Wednesday night

Four dog deaths investigated in Cranbrook

One vet suggests a parallel to these deaths and similar ones in 2016

Meningococcal disease outbreak declared in Okanagan

Five cases in last six months among 15- to 19-year-olds, including one in Vernon

Military life gives way to chance as author

Retired Chilliwack officer pens book about life in Afghanistan

Province rejects Ajax mine in Kamloops

KGHM Ajax had proposed a 1,700-hectare open-pit copper and gold mine, just southwest of Kamloops

Border officers rally at B.C.’s Peace Arch

CBSA employees tire of ‘lack of respect’

Most Read