B.C.’s Christy Clark no longer receiving stipend from party

Yearly stipend of $50,000 from the B.C. Liberals formed part of two conflict of interest complaints against the B.C. premier


 
British Columbia Premier Christy Clark speaks about the province's climate action plan at the still under construction Carbon Capture and Conversion Institute, in Richmond, B.C., on Friday August 19, 2016. (Darryl Dyck/CP)

British Columbia Premier Christy Clark speaks about the province’s climate action plan at the still under construction Carbon Capture and Conversion Institute, in Richmond, B.C., on Friday August 19, 2016. (Darryl Dyck/CP)

NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C. – British Columbia’s premier says she is no longer receiving an annual stipend from her political party because the payment has become a distraction.

Christy Clark told media at an unrelated event Friday that she has asked the B.C. Liberal Party to re-imburse her for individual expenses instead of giving her the lump-sum payment.

“I think it’s a better way to do it,” she said.

The Liberals confirmed last spring that Clark is paid up to $50,000 per year for party work on top of her $195,000 salary.

Clark said different parties do things differently and she has decided her party should move to a new system, partially because it had become a distraction.

The stipend formed part of two conflict of interest complaints filed against Clark last year by an opposition member of the legislature and a citizen advocacy group.

The complaints also alleged the premier was in a conflict of interest because she attends exclusive fundraising events where tickets are sold for thousands of dollars.

Paul Fraser, the province’s conflict of interest commissioner, has twice cleared Clark of wrongdoing, saying the money amounts to political benefits, not personal ones.

Clark also addressed recent criticism over political donations, saying the current system involving private donors beats the alternative of a taxpayer funded system.

Opposition NDP Leader John Horgan said earlier this week that he plans to introduce a bill in the legislature next month that would ban all corporate and union donations to the province’s political parties.

“We need to take big money out of politics,” he said.

Horgan has been critical of the Liberal’s fundraising, and says that just 185 donors account for half of the $12.3 million raised by the party last year.

Clark said Friday that there are two ways parties can get political money, either from private citizens or from taxpayers.

“There are really only two models,” she said. “Neither of them are perfect, but I would argue that taxpayers would rather see their money going into (non-profit organizations), rather see it go into health care, rather see it go into special needs teachers in classrooms.”

 


 

B.C.’s Christy Clark no longer receiving stipend from party

  1. “Clark said Friday that there are two ways parties can get political money, either from private citizens or from taxpayers.”

    Christy is so phony. The issue here is not private donations from citizens but the millions she gets from corporations. Corporate/union donations are not allowed anywhere except in BC. Christy conveniently forgot to mention that. The public screams about people paying for access to the PM or cabinet ministers at luncheons etc. But that is a common practice for Christy’s government. This is also an election year here so Christy will say anything to get re-elected. She promises the moon and delivers on nothing. She says she never raises taxes but we have the highest fess on services of any province and the go up constantly. Our healthcare system is so bad, we do not have enough doctors, despite her “doctor for all BC families by the end of 2015” promise. Now even our walk-in clinics are closing due to lack of doctors and stifling by our provincial government. Doctors are only allowed to see 50 people a day and are not allowed to charge any extra should the patient require more than a band aid. Her LNG promises and savings fund promise are worthless. Christy cannot even keep a simple promise to move to her home riding that she had to win in a bi-election. So this giving up of $50,000 is just an election ploy since she has everything paid for anyway. Her government spends more than that, of taxpayer money, on partisan propaganda ads daily. Something she learned at the Manning Institute or from Harper’s infamous “Action Plan” ads.

  2. I had hoped that the BC Liberals would be sensible enough to ban cash-for-access fund raisers as well as union and corporate donations. However, since the election is less than 4 months away, it doesn’t seem that’s going to happen. The NDP would be perfectly right to mercilessly hammer the Liberals on these 2 issues in the coming election campaign.

  3. Christy Clark has a bizarre understanding of basic ethics.
    Open, blatant corruption and conflicts of interest are a “distraction”?

    And is there a political scientist on earth who thinks there are “only two models”?

    Corporate (unregulated), Corporate (regulated), private citizen (unregulated), private citizen (regulated), govt. revenue per-vote-based party stipend. Those 5 options in use across the country just to get started.

    And why just return the $50,000? Why not return the rest of it from previous years?