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HomeBusinessExclusive: BC Liberal frontrunner Falcon denies mixing leadership and real estate ad buys

Exclusive: BC Liberal frontrunner Falcon denies mixing leadership and real estate ad buys

Bob Mackin

The biggest name in the race to become the next BC Liberal leader calls it a “pure fluke” that an ad for his political campaign appeared on the same website, at the same time, as an ad for his real estate development firm.

Former BC Liberal cabinet minister Kevin Falcon is executive vice-president with Anthem Properties. On Sept. 2, an ad for Anthem’s The Standard Metrotown condo tower ran on the same website at the same time as a video inset for Falcon’s leadership campaign. In 2017, the NDP government banned corporate donations to political campaigns.

“I can state categorically that any of my campaign ads being run on Daily Hive are from the Kevin Falcon campaign, full stop,” Falcon said by email. “Anthem has not and will not provide any funding towards ads for my campaign.”

Campaign spokesman Mike Witherly of Fairview Strategy denied coordination with Anthem. He said ads are placed through an online service. “That’s how they got up there. It’s as simple as we placed an ad.”

Last May, Falcon entered the race to replace Andrew Wilkinson, who handed the reins to interim leader Shirley Bond after the 2020 election loss. Falcon and the other five candidates will hold their first online debate Sept. 28. Party members will choose B.C.’s new opposition leader on Feb. 5, 2022.

Kevin Falcon

Falcon was runner-up to Christy Clark in the 2011 leadership election. Seven years later, evidence emerged that he was cheated out of the job. Court evidence confirmed that Clark supporter and MLA Harry Bloy used his connections to amass PIN numbers to help boost Clark’s vote total.

Those connections gathered blocks of PINs which were supplied to Mr. Bloy, who provided them to other Clark supporters, who entered them online — block voting in a proxy process,” special prosecutor David Butcher explained during the Provincial Court breach of trust sentencing of BC Liberal operative Brian Bonney.

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