Vancouver political parties took in record campaign contributions during 2014 civic election

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      In the final two weeks of the November 2014 civic election, Vision Vancouver raised nearly double what was donated to its top rival, the Non-Partisan Association (NPA).

      According to disclosure statements released today (February 23) by Elections B.C., Vision received a total of $2,915,710.68. The NPA brought in $2,424,559.07.

      The combined total of $5.34 million is a record for Vancouver election contributions.

      These numbers cover donations made directly to the parties and exclude contributions to individual candidates. They include donations under $100 as well as contributions to candidates for the Vancouver school board.

      The Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE), whose mayoral candidate placed a distant third in the election, failed to file disclosure statements by the February 13, 2015, deadline. COPE now has until March 16 to file with a penalty of $500.

      The information released today is for the entire campaign period up until the date of the election, November 15, 2014.

      In the run-up to the vote, Vision and the NPA both made voluntary disclosures of campaign contributions.

      Up until October 31, Vision received $2.25 million, meaning during the last two weeks of the campaign, it raised an additional $664,362.51.

      By November 4, the NPA had received $2.12 million. It then took in another $317,363.36 during the final two weeks before the day of the vote.

      According to COPE’s early voluntary disclosure of contributions, which it made on November 4, the party raised $60,114 for the 2014 campaign. That figure however omits $12,500 which it accepted from Canreal Management Corporation and the company’s president, Raymond Bergen.

      COPE has since returned $3,000 to Bergen.

      On December 16, 2014, the Straight reported that COPE members were debating whether or not the party should delay filing campaign discourse papers until after the February 13 deadline.

      Many members argued the party should repay the $12,500 on account of some people’s perception that accepting the money had violated COPE’s promise to reject contributions from real-estate developers.

      If COPE returns the outstanding $9,000 before March 16, it does not have to include that amount in its filing papers, and therefore will technically not have accepted the money as a donation for the 2014 campaign.

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