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HomeBusinessBC United narrowing fundraising gap

BC United narrowing fundraising gap

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Bob Mackin

The fundraising gap continues to narrow between the governing NDP and the opposition BC United.

According to Elections BC returns released May 3, Premier David Eby’s party raised $756,860.05 from supporters in the first quarter of 2023. The former BC Liberals were $126,000 behind, reporting $630,434.12 from their donors.

Kevin Falcon enters the Wall Centre ballroom on Feb. 5 (BC Liberals/Facebook)

Year-over-year, the NDP saw $19,000 more. BC United, however, grew by $300,000.

More than half the NDP donation revenue in Jan. 1 to March 31 period ($393,073.05) came from the 6,000 contributors who gave $250 or less. The remaining $363,717 came from the 684 party backers who donated more than $250 each.

BC United still relies on donors who go to the max: 651 gave more than $250 each, totalling $485,473.74. Only 1,970 donated $250 or less, for a total $144,420.38.

The NDP reported a $45,354.72 transfer from Eby’s leadership campaign. BC United transferred $103,622.74 to Falcon’s winning leadership campaign and $31,284.50 to Renee Merrifield, who finished sixth out of seven candidates. Falcon spent almost $1.13 million on his leadership bid, far above the $600,000 spending limit. Afterward, the party said some expenses were not subject to the quota. 

David Eby’s swearing-in on Nov. 18, 2022 (BC Gov)

Meanwhile, the Greens reported $201,630.42 in first quarter donations and the BC Conservatives, now led by ex-BC Liberal John Rustad, just $25,861.40.

Elections BC set $1,401.40 as the limit for individual donations to candidates and parties. Corporate and union donations were banned after the NDP came to power in 2017, with a per-vote subsidy as a partial replacement for lost revenue. NDP received $1.57 million in the subsidy last year, BC United $1.1 million and the Greens $497,000.

For last year, the NDP reported $5.9 million total income, while the former BC Liberals took in $4.03 million. The Greens grossed $1.63 million.

The next election is scheduled for October 2024.

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