British Columbia

Green Party of Vancouver returns $1,200 donation to developer

The party has had a policy since 2011 not to accept money from developers and says the donation from Jon Stovell of Reliance Properties was made in error a day before the Oct. 20, 2018 election.

Party has had a policy since 2011 not to accept money from developers, says the donation was made in error

Candidates from the Green Party of Vancouver pose for a photo together in the run up to the 2018 Vancouver civic election. (Green Party of Vancouver)

The Green Party of Vancouver says it has returned a donation made by a developer during the party's most recent municipal election campaign.

According to Vancouver Coun. Pete Fry, the party has had a policy since 2011 not to accept donations from developers.

"We feel that one of our core jobs as councillors is to make land use decisions," he said. "It isn't appropriate to take money from people who would benefit from that."

$1,200 donation

The party says the $1,200 donation from Jon Stovell, president and CEO of Reliance Properties, was accepted as an oversight. It only discovered the contribution after reviewing campaign financing disclosures that were made public through Elections BC.

According to the document filed to Elections BC, Stovell made the donation on Oct. 19, 2018, a day before polls opened.

More than 400 people contributed to the party's campaign that elected four city councillors and three park board commissioners.

Fry said while the party appreciates the developer's generosity, it had to return the money. It apologized to Stovell.

For his part, Stovell said in a release that he respects the Green Party's policy, but did not know of it or was advised of it when he made his donation.

He said he made equal personal donations to all major parties in last year's civic elections and will now donate the returned money to a local charity.