British Columbia

B.C. Liberals challenged to return donations from Kinder Morgan and 'associates'

Three environmental groups are calling on the B.C. Liberals to return hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from Kinder Morgan and groups and companies they say have a stake in the Trans Mountain pipeline. They say the donations cloud the government's approval of the twinning of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

3 activist groups say donations cloud provincial approval of Trans Mountain twinning

Three activist groups say the BC Liberals should return donations from Kinder Morgan and groups and companies they say have an interest in the pipeline's completion. then, the groups want a re-assessment of the pipeline's approval. (Erin Collins/CBC)

Three environmental groups are calling on the B.C. Liberals to return hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from Kinder Morgan and groups and companies they say have a stake in the Trans Mountain pipeline.

The Dogwood Initiative, Stand.earth and Leadnow said Tuesday the B.C. Liberals have received "at least" $771,168 from Kinder Morgan, "its shippers and allied pipeline and petroleum associations."

"These donations call into doubt the ability of the Government of B.C. to regulate this project in the best interests of British Columbians," the groups said Tuesday in an open letter to Premier Christy Clark.

"Once this money has been removed from the equation, we further ask that the B.C. government complete a new environmental assessment of this pipeline proposal the public can trust."

Left to right: Jolan Bailey with Leadnow.ca, Sophie Harrison with the Dogwood Initiative and Sven Biggs with Stand.earth speak to the media Tuesday holding a giant novelty cheque for $771,168. (Don Marce/CBC)

The donations were made between 2005 and 2016. The $771,168 figure only includes about $33,000 from Kinder Morgan itself.

The Dogwood Initiative says most of it comes from oil sands producers (approximately $593,000) with additional donations from the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association ($21,000) and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers ($124,000).

The three groups say the $771,168 figure comes from Elections B.C. records but allege there may be more due to allegations of questionable fundraising practices by the party, which are being  investigated by the RCMP.

The B.C. Liberal Party and Kinder Morgan did not return requests for comment by deadline.