Mining firms top B.C Liberal election donors while unions main contributors to NDP

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      Three unions top the spending list for political contributions made during the 2013 B.C. provincial election.

      (Scroll down the page for a table ranking the top 25 donors for that campaign period.)

      Those labour-group donations comprised a significant bulk of the B.C. NDP’s finances. A pair of mining companies emerged as the largest contributors to B.C. Liberal campaigns.

      The B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) sits at number one, according to financial information released today (August 19) by Elections B.C. Representing 65,000 public-sector employees, the BCGEU donated $428,684 to the NDP during the run-up to the province’s May 14 election.

      The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) ranked second. Its various divisions (excluding the Hospital Employees' Union) contributed $309,812 to the NDP during the period analyzed by the Straight of January 1, 2013 to May 14, 2013.

      The Hospital Employees' Union came in third, giving $285,285 to the NDP. The HEU represents 43,000 public and private employees working in B.C.’s health-care system.

      The next two spots on the list belong to the private sector with most donations going to the B.C. Liberal party.

      Teck Resources Ltd. and Teck Highland Valley Copper Corp. (of which Tech Resources holds a 97.5 percent interest) gave a combined $222,400 to the Liberals and $62,500 to the NDP.

      Teck Resources operates eight mines in B.C. and Alberta and bills itself as the “second largest exporter of high quality steelmaking coal to the seaborn market”. It also operates four large copper mines in Chile and Peru.

      At number four, the Vancouver-based mining giant Goldcorp Inc. contributed $200,000 to the B.C. Liberals.

      Goldcorp operates three large mines in Canada, including the Red Lake gold mine in Ontario, which the company boasts is the “world’s richest gold mine”. The multinational corporation also runs two mines in the United States and another six in Latin America.

      Looking at totals, the B.C. Liberal party and affiliated candidates received more than the NDP, but not by much. The Liberal party took in $8,816,513 during the election’s campaign period while the NDP raised $8,291,083.

      Looking at totals, the NDP and affiliated candidates surpassed the B.C. Liberals by more than $1 million. The NDP took in $10,221,315 during the election's campaign period while the B.C. Liberal party and its candidates raised $9,446,123.

      The B.C. Conservatives took in $590,878 and the Greens, $301,274.

      Donors contributed $20,785,153 to the big four parties during the 2013 campaign period, according to this preliminary data released by Elections B.C.

      Within those totals, the Straight’s analysis looked at organizations, companies, and individuals that made at least one one-time donation of $50,000 or more, with exceptions.

      The NDP clearly received the bulk of union donations. From the larger private-sector donors analyzed, the B.C. Liberals received nearly double the amount that was given to the NDP.

      The numbers presented below and throughout this article are based on preliminary figures made available by Elections B.C. They may require revisions and were last updated on August 20, 2013, at 4:00 p.m.

      1B.C. Government & Services Employees Union (BCGEU) 428,684428,684
      2Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 309,812309,812
      3Hospital Employees Union (HEU) 285,285286,485
      4Teck Resources Ltd. / Teck Highland Valley Copper Corp.222,40062,500284,900
      5Goldcorp Inc.200,000 200,000
      6New Car Dealers Association of B.C.113,10047,400160,500
      7RPMG Holdings Ltd.76,00078,500154,500
      8Nechako Construction Ltd. 65,000 115,000
      9International Forest Products Limited 112,700 112,700
      10B.C. and Yukon Territory Building and Construction Trades 108,370108,370
      11Labourers Advancement Fund  107,700107,700
      12Silver Wheaton Corp.104,000 104,000
      13United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1518 100,050100,050
      14Richard Ilich 100,000 100,000
      15International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 115  97,97597,975 
      16West Fraser Mills Ltd. 92,365 92,365
      17Encana Corp.47,12538,50085,625
      18Canadian Office and Professional Employees (COPE) Local 378 83,45683,456
      19Encana Corp.44,125 38,50082,625
      20Bosa Development 75,000 75,000
      21Canadian Labour Congress / Pacific Division  70,225
      22Spectra Energy / Spectra Energy Transmission33,000 35,00069,000
      23Ledcor Industries Inc.66,000 70,22566,000
      24John S. Major60,000 60,000
      25Starline Architectural Windows Ltd.60,000 60,000
       *Based on Elections B.C. S-A1 political contributions data combined with totals for < $250 donations declared in party financial reports.




      Aug 20, 2013 at 8:43am

      The NDP is selling its soul to court corporate money. This money creates a 'golden handcuff' which will restrain its ability to fight for working class and environmental policies.

      gilbert marks

      Aug 20, 2013 at 9:11am

      The BCLiberals don't need campaign donations. They get all their free ads as "news and commentary" in the MSM. Then we have partisan 3rd party ads that don't mention the BCLiberals by name but we all know who they are talking about.

      Arthur Vandelay

      Aug 20, 2013 at 10:00am

      The BCTF TV ads didn't specifically mention the NDP or else they would have certainly been on this list as well. Even so, I'm surprised they weren't.


      Aug 20, 2013 at 10:15am

      Lets not forget the money donated prior to the election by private interest groups to the BC Liberals. The Provincial tax dollars used by the BC Liberals promoting Gov't initiatives prior to the election period.

      When one adds up all those dollars donated and/or used to promote the BC Liberals prior to the election periods, one gets a very unbalanced picture that clearly shows tax dollars and corporate dollars were the lions share of all money donated or used to promote the election of the BC Liberals.

      Dix is pissed

      Aug 20, 2013 at 10:30am

      There goes one excuse for his failures.

      Barbara Stanwyck

      Aug 20, 2013 at 4:34pm

      That is a ton of money all around. Why not use for good instead of evil?

      Left Out

      Aug 20, 2013 at 6:30pm

      Confirms the obvious, ndp is nothing more than a trade union special interest party and never applicable to the general population.


      Aug 20, 2013 at 7:11pm

      The totals for the NDP are higher than usual mainly due to the fact quite a few people were fooled by their poll numbers.

      But since the two parties HAD roughly the same amount of money and the Liberals and the 'Comeback Kid' were quite lavish in their spending (as noted by Dix), that really begs the question as what did the NDP do with their money?

      Certainly not a lot of evidence they spent it on campaigning or ads or travel or anything?

      The NDP are such a trusting lot and anyone that questions that trust usually ends up purged.


      Aug 22, 2013 at 9:58pm

      Spectra is interesting. Covering their bets.

      They are natural gas transmission experts. And I do recall that Dix was against Kinder Morgan but not LNG.

      (Sigh) politics