Today, the Non-Partisan Association released its list of contributions, which include a $10,000 donation from the Peter & Joanne Brown Foundation.
The directors are Peter Brown, his wife Joanne, and their son James.
Peter Brown is chairman of the Fraser Institute, which is a free-market think tank based in Vancouver.
There is nothing in the Local Elections Campaign Financing Act prohibiting registered charities from donating to municipal candidates or parties, so the foundation's contribution is not illegal under provincial law.
However, it is illegal for registered charities to make political contributions to provincial parties like the B.C. Liberals or the B.C. NDP.
According to the Canada Revenue Agency, the Peter & Joanne Brown Foundation's ongoing programs "contribute to the relief of poverty, the advancement of education, medical research, religious cause, public service, and other purposes which are beneficial to the community as a whole in a way the law regards as charitable".
The foundation reported total revenue of $739,271 and total expenditures of $651,661 in 2013.
It did not carry on any political activities last year, according to documents filed with the Canada Revenue Agency.
On the form, Canada Revenue Agency states: A registered charity may pursue political activities only if the activities are non-partisan, related to its charitable purposes, and limited in extent. A political activity is any activity that explicitly communicates to the public that a law, policy or decision of any level of government inside or outside Canada should be retained, opposed, or changed.
Brown, founder of Canaccord Financial (now Canaccord Genuity), is no stranger to politics. He was a long-time supporter of former premier Gordon Campbell and used to be major fundraiser for Social Credit when Bill Bennett was premier. Brown also worked behind the scenes to keep the right united behind the B.C. Liberals before the last provincial election.
He's not the only Fraser Institute director who's supporting the NPA.
Fraser Institute director and former vice-chair Hassan Khosrowshahi, his wife Nezat, and his company Inwest Investments collectively donated $40,000 to the NPA.
Another Fraser Institute director, Rod Senft, gave the NPA $10,000.