Burnaby’s NDP-leaning civic party had almost $600,000 in the bank last November, according to documents obtained by theBreaker.
With less than a year until the Oct. 20 election, the Burnaby Citizens Association had more in its dedicated election account than it spent in the 2014 election. The party, led by five-term mayor Derek Corrigan, swept the nine-seat city council and seven-seat school board in 2014. Since then, city council’s Anne Kang and school board’s Katrina Chen successfully ran for the NDP in the 2017 provincial election.
Minutes from a conference call by the party’s table officers on Nov. 7, 2017 show there was $500,000 in the election account and $77,000 in a general account. By comparison, the party spent $473,728.97 of the $508,687 it raised for the 2014 campaign, according to Elections BC returns.
The conference call happened the week after the NDP government tabled municipal campaign finance reform. Funds raised through Oct. 31, 2017 can be spent in 2018 campaigns, but parties can no longer take donations from unions and corporations. Individual donations are capped at $1,200 per year to a single party or candidate.
The BCA treasurer, Rob Nagai, was the NDP’s provincial corporate fundraiser until the end of 2017 when he joined lobbying firm Bluestone Consulting. Nagai delivered the financial report on the conference call. He referred theBreaker to party president Gord Larkin, whose name does not appear on the minutes. He did not return a phone call. By email, he wrote: “As you are aware, new regulations were recently put in place. We will be complying with those rules.”
The only BCA politicians involved in the conference call were Colleen Jordan from city council and Gary Wong from school board.
In 2014, corporations — primarily in real estate — donated $275,550 to BCA. Thind Properties Ltd. ($26,125), Appia Developments ($15,000), and Amacon Management Services ($7,500) were the biggest. A long list of others donated $5,000 each, including 4301 Hastings Development, Adex Enterprises, Anthem Properties, Blue Sky Properties, Boffo Construction, Bosa Properties, Intracorp, Kebet Holdings, RPMG Holdings Ltd., Rennie Marketing, and Wall Financial.
The party also reported $202,220 from trade unions, mainly $127,875 from various arms of CUPE (which represents civic workers), $10,000 from the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union, and $8,375 from the Hospital Employees’ Union.
BCA has led the local opposition to the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, but is under fire for permitting “demovictions” and luxury towers that have mushroom around Metrotown.
The party’s annual general meeting is scheduled for March 14 and nomination meeting is April 25.
The election is Oct. 20.
Vision Vancouver, by comparison, held its annual general meeting in January and reported a $28,670 deficit after raising $1 million from October 2016 to September 2017. It spent almost $700,000 on office expenses.
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