- BC Games
Parties spent $515k on Tri-City candidates
Money talks for B.C. political parties when it comes to securing — or retaining — Tri-City ridings in the May provincial election.
The BC NDP, widely touted to win the election under leader Adrian Dix, and its local constituency associations poured $303,025 into the campaigns for Mike Farnworth and Selina Robinson, who won, and Joe Trasolini and Chris Wilson, who lost.
Trasolini, the former Port Moody mayor who won the Port Moody-Coquitlam riding in a 2012 byelection, received the most from the party out of the four NDP candidates. According to financial disclosure papers unveiled this week, Trasolini took $104,198 in party transfers and spent $102,064 on his re-election bid — including $40,700 on salaries before and during his unsuccessful campaign.
Robinson, a former Coquitlam city councillor, gained $83,631 in party transfers to win NDP MLA Diane Thorne's seat in Coquitlam-Maillardville. She received $20,962 in donations and spent $97,291, including $23,558 in wages; her campaign ended with a judicial recount against BC Liberal opponent Steve Kim, who was initially declared the winner.
NDP veteran MLA Mike Farnworth received $68,398 in party transfers to keep his Port Coquitlam riding. He amassed $17,558 in donations and spent $86,213, including $13,159 in salaries.
And political newbie Chris Wilson got $46,798 from the party to run against incumbent Douglas Horne in Coquitlam-Burke Mountain — a riding the NDP had graded as a "D" to indicate its chances of winning in the BC Liberal stronghold. The documents show Wilson collected $12,846 in donations from CAW Local 114, the Health Sciences Association and BCGEU, and spent $55,655, including $20,344 in wages.
On the BC Liberal side, the party contributed $214,477 to its four Tri-City candidates, with Horne reaping the most at $79,326. He collected $12,975 in donations and spent $97,947 on items such as salaries ($18,250) and promotional material ($18,213).
Linda Reimer, another Coquitlam city councillor, had $65,080 in party transfers in her successful bid to unseat Trasolini. She added $23,820 in donations and spent $94,008 (including $18,625 in salaries) on her campaign.
The BC Liberals contributed $49,803 to Kim's bid in Coquitlam-Maillardville. The political rookie raised $23,490 in donations and spent $70,749, including nearly $26,000 for research and polling.
And Barbara Lu — another political newcomer, who filed her nomination papers a month before the vote in PoCo — received $20,268 from the party, for which she works as an assistant. Lu raised $825 in donations and spent $20,704.
BC Conservatives and the Green Party of BC gave nothing to their local candidates.
Meanwhile, the Greens' Edward Stanbrough — a no-show contestant in Coquitlam-Maillardville who declined to be interviewed and did not attend an all-candidates meeting — failed to meet the Elections Act deadline to file his financial papers. He has until Sept. 11 to submit his documents with a $500 penalty.
By Jeff Nagel
The BC Liberals spent $11.75 million this year on their way to a come-from-behind provincial election victory.
The governing party, which listed $8.5 million in donations, out-spent the NDP, which listed spending of $9.4 million and received $9.7 million.
The disclosures released by Elections BC Monday include amounts spent before the formal 60-day campaign period when specific limits apply.
The BC Liberals spent more in advance of the May 15 election and, within the 60-day campaign, the spent nearly $4.3 million to the NDP's $4.1 million.
Corporate contributors gave $5 million in donations to the BC Liberals, followed by individuals at $2.4 million, unincorporated businesses at $420,000 and $385,000 from other sources.
BC NDP got nearly $2.6 million from individuals, $2.5 million from trade unions and $2.1 million from corporations.
The Green Party of B.C., which won its historic first seat in Oak Bay-Gordon Head, did so on spending of just $180,000. The Greens spent more than the BC Conservative Party, which listed $155,000 in expenses.
The central party expenses don't count the additional spending at the local level by individual candidates or constituency associations.
Organizations that filed expense reports as election advertising sponsors ranged from large groups like the BC Teachers' Federation and the Mining Association of BC to tiny ones like Kamloops Moms for Clean Air and Denman Opposes Coal.
The bulk of sponsors were teachers unions, other labour organizations or environmental groups.