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HomeBusinessWho is behind the Eby NDP’s dark money attack ad campaign?  

Who is behind the Eby NDP’s dark money attack ad campaign?  

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Bob Mackin 

It is called Project for a Strong B.C. and the names of the people behind the website and movie trailer-style attack ad are not listed.

(Project for a Strong B.C.)

That is perfectly legal, according to B.C.’s election laws. A third-party advertiser is not required to register and report who they are until July 23. The provincial election is Oct. 19.

According to its Societies Act registration dated March 12, three people are directors of the Project for a Strong B.C. Association: David John Andrew Porteus (sic) of West Kelowna, Samuel Aaron Schechter of New Westminster and Elaine Adele Willis, Duncan. 

The society’s registered office is the Richmond law firm of Kahn Zack Ehrlich Lithwick. 

The constitution is all of a vague two lines: “The purposes of the Society are: publicly advocate for a stronger British Columbia for everyone and undertake campaigns in support of this advocacy.”

David Porteous is a former NDP-appointee to the Okanagan College board of governors. Willis has a background as a schoolteacher and B.C. Teachers Federation activist. 

Schechter is a former North Vancouver city councillor, a protege of former NDP president and North Vancouver city councillor Craig Keating, and a communications instructor at Douglas College in New Westminster. 

He did not respond to interview requests. Instead, an Alberta-based representative of an Ottawa-headquartered public relations firm did. Megana Ramaswami, senior strategist with Emdash Agency, did not answer any questions about the amount of funding or source of funding for the ad, which is a movie trailer-themed recap of Conservative leader John Rustad and BC United leader Kevin Falcon’s past as cabinet ministers in the BC Liberal government of Christy Clark. 

Sam Schechter (X/SamSchechter)

Ramaswami said the campaign wraps-up in mid-July. 

Meanwhile, a campaign on the right of centre launched on June 18, via the @BrokenBC2024 social media account. 

A 30-second radio ad attacks Eby for not doing enough to combat the rise of post-Oct. 7 antisemitism. It includes a clip of Jewish MLA Selina Robinson, who resigned from the NDP caucus, and finishes with a male voice-over: “Is it going to take a tragedy for Eby and his radical NDP to wake up?”

Brad Zubyk, a political strategist and lobbyist who formerly worked with the NDP and BC Liberals, said he is behind it. 

“I threw in the initial money and friends have chipped in but it’s not a big money effort. Four of us are producing content,” Zubyk said. 

Zubyk said he contributed the first $15,000 and hopes to raise as much as $50,000. 

“It’s not corporate, just my friend group that want to make a difference,” Zubyk said. “I’m not going to disclose the volunteers but I have reached out to friends with some online skills but it is my idea.”

Eby unofficially launches his re-election campaign on June 20 during the noon hour at the Scottish Cultural Centre in Marpole, showcasing four candidates: Sunita Dhir (Vancouver-Langara), Baltej Dhillon (Surrey-Serpentine River), Randene Neil (Powell River-Sunshine Coast) and Michael Moses (Cariboo-Chilcotin). 

The theme is “What’s at Stake.”

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