B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver speaking after his speech to the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention Wednesday.

B.C. Greens to shun corporate, union donations

Leader Andrew Weaver presses BC Liberals, NDP to follow Greens and take 'big money' out of politics

The B.C. Green Party will forgo corporate and union donations from now on even though the move may put it at a financial disadvantage against the BC Liberals and New Democrats as next spring’s provincial election nears.

Green leader Andrew Weaver announced the decision in his speech at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Victoria Wednesday and called on the other parties to likewise end the role of “big money” in politics to rebuild public trust.

“Political parties and their MLAs should not be reduced to puppets controlled by corporate or union puppet masters, with a firm grip on the purse strings,” Weaver said, accusing the Liberals of refusing to pass reforms and the NDP of refusing to act unilaterally.

He suggested political donations can taint policy positions on an issue like the Mount Polley mine disaster.

“The corporation that operates the mine is a substantial donor to the BC Liberals,” Weaver said. “The union representing the workers at the mine is a substantial donor to the B.C. NDP. Whose interests are being served? Who is there to represent the people of British Columbia?”

Groups supporting reform have long advocated an end to corporate and union contributions at the provincial level.

Weaver said the Greens’ refusal to accept corporate and union donations takes effect immediately but previous donations won’t be returned.

It’s unclear how much of an impact it will have on the party coffers as most financial support has so far come from individuals.

Union and corporate donations made up 15 per cent of B.C. Green donations in 2014 and three per cent in 2015.

“It’s non-trivial,” Weaver said later, but added he felt the party had to demonstrate leadership on the issue. “It is a gamble. It is a risk. But it’s the right thing to do.”

During his UBCM speech, Weaver reiterated his predictions for years that the government’s liquefied natural gas “pipe dream” will never materialize.

He also said the party believes in constructive criticism and “evidence-based decision making as opposed to what happens far too often in politics today: decision-based evidence making.”

Just Posted

Maple Ridge celebrates new Ale Trail

Tapping into tourists who love craft beer

Super 30 story’s inspirational teacher, author attend screening

Indian mathematician Anand Kumar and Dr. Bijou Matthew in Maple Ridge

Influx of donors for Battle of the Bravest Blood Drive

Maple Ridge event supports five-year-old Paisley, who has leukemia

Dickson leads Canada to win at world lacrosse championships

Burrards prominant in tournament in Langley

Hammond Cedar workers can access retraining funds

Maple Ridge mill workers to be laid off by end of October

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Westbound crash on Highway 1 in Langley causing extreme traffic delays

Collision occured just after Glover Road, cars backed up all the way to 264th Street

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Takaya, B.C.’s intriguing lone wolf, seen eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

Most Read