Revelations that BC Liberal MLA Ben Stewart has stepped away from his party’s caucus under the cloud of an Elections B.C. probe raise troubling questions about irregular party fundraising practices that have occurred under the watch of Leader Andrew Wilkinson.
According to a new report in today’s Vancouver Sun, one of Stewart’s staff has complained to Elections B.C. alleging being forced to donate $1,225 on behalf of him to the BC Liberal Party.
Under sec. 186 of B.C.’s Election Act it is illegal to:
(d) make a political contribution with the money, other property or services of another;
(e) make a political contribution indirectly by giving money, other property or services to an individual or organization
In addition to being a potential violation under the B.C. Elections Act, it is deeply concerning that an elected official would use his power to force staff to do something they deem to be improper.
BC NDP MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard:
“Under John Horgan’s leadership, our government cleaned up BC’s political finance system to make politics work for British Columbians again, and it’s disappointing to see the BC Liberals circumventing those rules. This is a concerning violation that appears to show a longtime BC Liberal MLA knowingly breaking political financing rules. Under Andrew Wilkinson, the BC Liberals still act like there’s one set of rules for them and another set for regular British Columbians.“