British Columbia

Ban corporate, union donations to political parties, says Integrity B.C.

Dermod Travis of Integrity B.C. is calling for an end to corporate and union donations to political parties in B.C., as well as a cap on personal donations.

Executive director Dermod Travis says personal donations should also be capped

Dermod Travis, the executive director of Integrity B.C., says allowing corporations and unions to make donations to political parties allows them to gain political favour. (iStock)

According to Integrity B.C., corporations and unions have far too much influence on B.C. politics.

Dermod Travis, executive director of the non-profit political watchdog, is calling for an end to political donations by unions and corporations — similar to bans enacted in Nova Scotia, Quebec, Manitoba, Alberta, and at the federal level.

He told the CBC's The Early Edition the B.C. Liberals received $4.7 million from associations in Canada since 2005, and the B.C. NDP received around $640,000.

"Some of the [donations] are shocking not just for the total but for some of the patterns in the donations," he said.

"In an election year they give more," he explained. "But what you also see is when the government is undertaking policy reviews, the donations also go up during that period of time. That's worrisome because you don't know why are they giving and you don't know who actually is behind the donation."

He believes the donations are often connected with favourable policy.

Travis is advocating for a ban on corporate and union donations, as well as a cap on individual donations.

With files from The Early Edition

To hear the interview, click on the link labelled Integrity B.C. calls for an end to corporate and union donations