New Democrats call for limits to pre-election spending

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VICTORIA— After the Christy Clark government unanimously voted against taking big money out of politics, the New Democrats have brought forward another bill that would bring back political party spending limits.

“The bill I introduced Thursday would restore pre-election spending limits that the Clark government quashed,“ said Gary Holman, New Democrat spokesperson for democratic reform. “Now, political parties and candidates can spend as much as they want in the 60 days before the campaign period.

“People in this province don’t want to see a Wild West of spending right before the election period. They also don’t want to see their democracy handed over to the rich and powerful, and they don’t want to see big donors paying to drown out the voices of smaller parties. That’s why these limits need to be restored, and it’s why we need to take big money out of politics.”

The Election (Spending Limits) Amendment act follows the Campaign Finance Reform act which New Democrat Leader Leader John Horgan introduced for the fifth time April 6.

“Christy Clark stood in the legislature and voted against taking big money out of politics. John Horgan introduced a bill that would have banned corporate and union donations and put a limit on personal donations. The premier voted against it. It was a vote for the American-style system of unlimited donations from corporations and wealthy donors,” said Holman.

“While other provinces and the federal government have moved to take big money out of politics, the Christy Clark government has done the opposite. They have done everything they can to keep collecting donations from the rich and powerful in this province. It’s a cynical approach that puts their party first, and our democracy last.”

While New Democrats collect 82 per cent of their donations from individual people, the B.C. Liberals collect 66 per cent of their donations from corporations and businesses.