British Columbia

Elections BC hands political donations investigation to RCMP

Practice of lobbyists donating to political parties, then getting reimbursed by companies not allowed

BC Legislature

Elections BC has referred its investigation into improper political fundraising to the RCMP. (Denis Dossman/CBC)

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Elections BC is referring its investigation into indirect political contributions and other potential contraventions of the Election Act to the RCMP.

Keith Archer, B.C.'s Chief Electoral Officer, says the move is to ensure that Elections BC will not appear to be in conflict come the provincial general election on May 9.

"This referral will ensure that there is no perception that Elections BC's ability to administer the general election in a fair, neutral and impartial manner is in any way compromised," said Archer in a statement.

Christy Clark

B.C. Premier Christy Clark will lead the B.C. Liberals into the May 9 provincial election. (Mike McArthur/CBC News)

"The potential scope and timing of this matter make the RCMP the most appropriate agency to continue this investigation."

Questions over Liberal fundraising

A Globe and Mail report last week alleged that some lobbyist were contributing to the B.C. Liberals as private individuals, only to be reimbursed by a client or company.

The practice is one of the few restricted by the B.C. Election Act and comes with a potential penalty of not more than a $10,000 fine, one year in prison, or both.

In a statement the B.C. Liberal Party said it would fully cooperate if contacted by the RCMP.

"We are committed to transparency, accountability, and ensuring that British Columbians can have confidence in our electoral financing system," read the statement. 

B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan released a statement welcoming the investigation.

"British Columbians deserve answers on the influence of big money under Christy Clark and I hope this investigation is thorough and comprehensive."

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