NDP leader John Horgan speaks to rally at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver Sunday. (B.C. NDP)

ELECTION 2017: Union backing revives donor debate

Steelworkers paying for NDP campaign staff, Christy Clark targeted for corporate cash

Big donors and foreign donors have been a defining issue of the 2017 B.C. election, with most of the attention on B.C. Liberal leader Christy Clark and the millions in corporate donations the ruling party has collected.

NDP attack ads focus on donations from property developers while housing prices soared in Metro Vancouver, and a $50,000-a-year party salary for Clark that has since been replaced by undisclosed expenses for her party activities.

But as the campaign began, the biggest donation ever in the province was reported by Elections BC, more than $600,000 from the United Steelworkers. The windfall came from the party’s U.S. headquarters and various locals representing mostly forest industry employees in B.C.

Then the NDP confirmed that its two senior election staffers, campaign director Bob Dewar and deputy director Glen Sanford, are contract employees of the United Steelworkers, hired and assigned to run the campaign.

NDP leader John Horgan has campaigned for years on the corrupting influence of big money, said Green Party leader Andrew Weaver, who has declined all but personal donations.

“How can you trust a leader who publicly talks about how big money corrupts politicians, and then quietly goes into a back room and strikes a deal with a union to have them pay for his senior staff?” Weaver said.

Horgan held a campaign rally at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver Sunday night, where he targeted the B.C. government’s proposal to allow private surgical clinics where patients can stay up to three days. Health care unions have supported the NDP campaign.

NDP candidate Judy Darcy, a former executive with the Hospital Employees’ Union, called it “a scheme to create for-profit hospitals that only [Clark] and her rich donors can afford.”

Just Posted

Year one as SD52’s chair: Horne on new curriculum, PRMS building, teacher’s strike

Results of School District 52’s board elections are in, Horne serves second term

B.C. First Nation Chief Ed John faces historic sex charges

John served as minister for children and families under then-premier Ujjah Dosanjh

Prince Rupert RCMP seeks public assistance in locating missing male

Melvin Stanley Young was last seen on Nov. 13

Carol Young, an artist who fought for timely cancer treatment in Abbotsford, dies before first solo show

B.C. Haida artist’s exhibit to open Saturday at downtown Seattle gallery

Truck on fire near Prince George impacted Shaw services in Prince Rupert

The issue has now been resolved said the telecommunications company

Say cheese! Conrad Elementary students got a special treat for lunchtime

The Parent Advisory Council host pizza hot lunch to better the school

Province working with RCMP to address the force’s B.C. budget cuts

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth issues statement following report of RCMP cost-cutting

Louis C.K. accuser ‘infuriated’ by Canadian comedy booker’s defence

Accuser says she did not consent to C.K. undressing and masturbating in front of her

Port Moody mayor says stayed sex assault charge related to ‘awkward date’

Rob Vagramov said charge was related to a string of dates in 2015

UBC conference faces criticism over speaker from Chinese tech company blacklisted in U.S.

The company that has been blacklisted by the U.S. over links to the repression of China’s Muslim minority

‘City that protects rapists’: Sexual assault survivor slams Kelowna mayor for defending RCMP

Heather Friesen spent the morning handing out flyers around city hall calling out the mayor

‘It’s been 12 years’: Father of murdered B.C. real estate agent pleads for mayor’s help

Lindsay Buziak was stabbed to death on Feb. 2, 2008 in Saanich. Her case is unsolved.

B.C. woman sends fight to reduce preventable medical errors to Victoria

Teri McGrath and South Okanagan senior’s centre members presented 150 signature petition to local MLA

Most Read