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Dan Humano: Most Vancouver political parties have committed to transparency before the election. one did not

Opinion: If a TEAM voluntarily chooses not to disclose financial information prior to elections, hear from the disclosing political party about that fact within the next two months. can be expected.

After Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart's new party Forward Together voluntarily released a list of donors, most others pledged to do the same.
Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart's New Party Forward Together Voluntarily Creates List After going public, Donor, most others promised the same. Photo by Arlen Redekop /PNG

Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart's new party Forward Together is a list of donors Monday, and called on opponents to do the same before the Oct. 15 election.

Forward Together's list of contributors includes Aquilini, Bosa, De Cotiis, Molnar, Bonnis, and Papajohn. And, unsurprisingly, the list includes several prominent New Democrats and academics, given that Stewart is a former Simon Fraser University political scientist turned NDP lawmaker.

His six other local political parties also promised to release lists of donors on Monday, but only his TEAM in livable Vancouver declined the promise when asked. .

COPE provided its list immediately upon request on Monday, and representatives of the NPA, One City, Greens, Vision, ABC Vancouver and Progress Vancouver confirmed that their list will be made public soon. He said he promised to disclose it before the October election.

In an emailed statement, TEAM Council candidate Bill Tieleman explicitly called for a possible pre-election voluntary disclosure. did not rule out, but did not commit to it either. We will consider when to publish the donor list, but follow all BC elections. and Vancouver election rules.

Civilian parties are required to submit annual reports to BC elections. View all funds raised and spent. However, they are usually not published until the following year. The decision to voluntarily release donor information before Election Day and demand that opponents do the same has been a regular feature of the recent Vancouver elections for several years.

In a press release on Monday, Forward Together executive director Mark Hossack said the mayor and his party should "see who will fund politics in this city before they vote."

“In 2018, all major political parties in Vancouver will follow Kennedy Stewart's lead in disclosing who is funding their campaigns.” Forward Together believes residents deserve the same level of public transparency in this election," Hosak said in a statement.

From May 2018 — when Stewart announced his plans to run for mayor in that year's election — to June 30, 2022, Stewart was initially an independent candidate, according to Monday's disclosure. and most recently with his new party, Forward Together, has raised over $1.13 million from 2,473 people, with a total of 6,480 donations over four years and an average of $175 per donation.

But even if the mayor's party succeeds in raising money between now and Election Day, the amount they can spend this year is limited. .

BC's election expense cap is capped at $231,767 per mayoral candidate and $120,491 per city council member. Stewart has only three city council members running alongside him in Forward Together, so unless he adds candidates, the party's spending limit for this year will put him under $600,000 in total. Become.

ABC Vancouver has seven candidates running for Congress, six for the parks board, and five for the school board, so this year's party spending cap is his. More than $2.3 million, Kareem Alam, the party's campaign manager, said.

"Ken Shim and his ABC want a stable and predictable governance with a majority of the council. This is what the minority governments of the past four years have lacked." It is," said Aram.

BC architect. The Appropriations Act hoped to encourage political parties to "provide a stable majority," Alam said. “We are running for majority on all slates. Additional spending caps allow us to do just that, meaning we can spend more money on our brochures, events and social media presence.”

ABC will release a list of donors in the next week or two, Aram said.

Forward Together now looks like he might add one or two of his council candidates to the slate. This raises party-wide spending limits. Asked about Slate, the party's secretary-general Hossack said: At a later date.

Political contributions have been in the spotlight lately -- to help "pro-business" candidates win local elections this fall.

Since the PPN is a non-profit organization and not a political party, the group boasts that it can accept unlimited donations, including contributions from businesses. All this is allowed within the rules. However, the newscaused concern among some critics. Because the funding sources are not transparent and the destination is unclear — PPN leadership said it was not working with candidates in Vancouver or Surrey, but it is unclear which politicians are which. Not obvious. , specifically, they're helping this year.

TEAMs are not required to publicly disclose financial information prior to elections. But if they choose not to, we can expect to hear about that fact from Stewart and other politicians in the next two months.

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