Nonunion builders' rep Philip Hochstein sees fundraising trouble ahead for B.C. Conservatives


If there was any thought that B.C. Conservatives were going to be a viable option for the right, that is now highly doubtful.

Philip Hochstein, president of the nonunionized Independent Contractors and Businesses Association, made this observation following events that shook the John Cummins–led party in recent days.

Cummins had to face down mutinous insiders demanding a leadership review.

Before the party held its annual general meeting on September 22, its former by-election candidate in Chilliwack-Hope, John Martin, defected to the ruling B.C. Liberal Party. During the Saturday meeting, its only sitting MLA, John van Dongen, quit.

“What happened at that convention made some people think, ‘Do they really have what it takes to be a party to run a government?’," Hochstein told the Straight in a phone interview Monday (September 24). “And the answer to that is maybe no.”

According to Hochstein, B.C. Conservatives are going to have a lot of trouble raising money because of this.

“If you don’t think the organization is capable then you say, ‘I’m not giving you money,’ " he said. “What happened on the weekend won’t give people who want to give money more comfort that they’re the right alternative. So I think that will hurt their fundraising.”

The ICBA contributed $11,000 to the B.C. Liberals in 2011, according to the party's annual report filed with Elections B.C. In 2009, the organization donated $13,138, and followed up with $11,200 in contributions in 2010.

Hochstein has been raising the alarm over the danger posed by the split in the so-called free enterprise coalition with the rise of Cummins’s B.C. Conservatives.

When Hochstein went to observe the party’s September 22 meeting in Langley, he found little to ease his concerns.

“John Cummins’ speech was not one that said, 'Let’s try to get the family together’,” Hochstein said. “He’s very critical of the Liberal party; he was very critical of the leader of the party. Because of that, he’s going to run. His party is going to have candidates in as many ridings as they possibly can—and that’s not helpful to the coalition staying together. He didn’t give any sense that he was looking to find a way to bring the free enterprise coalition together.”

For Hochstein, only one thing matters.

“Until the free-enterprise coalition is completely repaired, that’s the only good news that counts,” Hochstein said. “How it gets there and the steps along the way, unless it leads to that ultimately, that’s what’s important.”

Comments (7) Add New Comment
The only person Phil Hochstein cares about is Phil Hochstein. It is beyond me why anyone with any common sense would hope for another term with the most corrupt, inept government in our history. He doesn’t care about our province, just his own gain. The only thing this guy cares about is his money, and he could not care less about any social issues. Anyone without money - does not matter. We need a new government who will care about everyone in our society, not just their cronies.
Rating: -3
Please, Please, Please
Hochstein is one of the biggest hypocrites in this province.

He rails against public spending on one hand, but a significant number of the contractors he represent are suckling at the public teat as we speak, bulding Gateway, they built Sea to Sky, the Trade and Convention Centre, etc

His comments about the provincal budget his year were truly Orwellian; on one hand, he praised the Liberal budget for cutting costs on the operating side, while meanwhile, he said nothing about the massive rise provincial debt independent of the operating deficit.

Of course, capital projects of the type that the people he represents contract for are financed by long term debt, which, other than interest, doesnt contribute to the operating deficit. The increase in debt last fiscal year was around 2-3 times the operating deficit.

If Hochstein had a shred of intellectual honesty or decency, he would not applaud the Liberals for shrinking the operating deficit while ballooning the long term debt that finances capital projects.

Capital projects that benefit him personally and his organization as a whole.

Who would have thought that "free enterprisers" would be so happy to put public money in their pockets. :)
Rating: 0
Kim Poirier
I wish you media people would stop publishing Phil Hochstein and Conrad Black. These people have no credibility. Obviously working for their own interests.
Rating: -1
Well said BC , also we need to keep an eye on all those apposed to collective bargaining and the assault on the rights and freedoms of average citizens that those apposed to collective bargaining prescribe too . Collective bargaining aka unions is one of the only ways we as citizens can be assured of quality jobs and control over our investment of body and mind .
Rating: -1
this guy is a far right -wing extremist...he won't be happy until everybody makes 6 dollars an hour
Rating: +1
Daniel Z.
A consistent and quality provision of public services is a necessity for free-enterprise to function. Similarly, a strong regulatory system that ensures fair competition enhances the legitimacy of free-enterprise and promotes sustainable economic growth. That's exactly what the New Democrats are offering.

Rewarding political donors by eliminating unfavourable regulations and further reducing taxes amounts to a kickback that damages the credibility of our free-enterprise system. This is what the Liberals have delivered and continue to offer.

The Conservatives have already acknowledged this conflict of interest by refusing to accept corporate and union donations.

I recommend Phil Hochstein immigrate to China or Russia if he wants to experience free-enterprisers opening their wallets for like-minded parties - two in total; one party per country, that is.

Rating: -2
Phil and his group has given millions to the Liberals he hates the NDP and is beside himself that the NDP will get in.Good lets make sure the NDP gets in so we can watch Phil pack his bags and move to Alberta!
Rating: -1
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