VICTORIA – The Clark government’s quiet gift to wealthy owners of WHL teams who are also B.C. Liberal party donors, makes life more difficult for young players, said New Democrat spokesperson on Jobs, Labour and Skills, Shane Simpson.
In an Order of Council quietly passed in February, Christy Clark exempted the donor owners from having to pay their players a minimum wage instead of the $250 a month reimbursement they currently receive.
Collectively, five of the six team owners, including White Spot owner Ron Toigo, have donated in excess of $200,000 to Christy Clark’s B.C. Liberal party.
“That’s how the Clark government seems to do business. They thank their wealthy donors by giving them what they want,” said Simpson. “But if you’re a young player trying to develop skills and make ends meet, you’re completely out of luck.”
Simpson said an exemption like this hurts people, in this case youth and young adults. These sorts of decisions should not be made whimsically by the Clark government.
“Once again, donating to the B.C. Liberal Party pays off,” Simpson says. “Clearly being a moneyed friend of Christy Clark means you get to make your own rules. This time it is to the detriment of vulnerable young athletes without whom these teams wouldn’t exist.”
“This is just another example of why it is time to take the big money out of politics in this province.”
John Horgan and the New Democrats have committed to banning corporate donations to political parties in B.C., and have pledged to protect and raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour over their first term.