Steelworkers' U.S. disclosure statement reveals payments to Vancouver companies, Broadbent Institute, and more

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      One of the most-read articles on this morning concerns the mayor of Port Coquitlam.

      Brad West receives $135,764 per year, including a $7,924 transportation allowance, as the city's top elected official. 

      The Straight revealed that he also collected a $115,223 salary from the Steelworkers union, which was disclosed in its recent LM-2 filing to the U.S. Department of Labor.

      This document reveals other payments made by the Steelworkers, which is one of Canada's most influential unions.

      The national director for Canada, Ken Neumann, was paid $175,563. The director of District 3 in Western Canada, Stephen Hunt, received a $146,102 salary, according to the document.

      (Last year, a U.S. Department of Labor spokesperson told the Straight that LM-2 forms must be filed in U.S. dollars.)

      In 2019, the Steelworkers reported a $175,000 donation to the Broadbent Institute, which bills itself as "Canada's leading progressive, independent organization championing change".

      The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives received $75,000, whereas the Vancouver-based Columbia Institute was given $10,000.

      A U.S.-based think tank, the Economic Policy Institute, received $100,000.

      The Canadian Doctors for Medicare was given $20,000; another $5,000 went to the Canadian Health Coalition.

      The Canadian Football League received a contribution of $48,025. Canadians for Tax Fairness received $7,000.

      Another $29,333 was contributed to the B.C. Federation of Labour and $10,443 went to the Canadian Labour Congress.

      The union spent $63,792 with Environics, a Canadian polling company, and another $22,600 with the Vancouver-based Shareholder Association for Research and Development.

      Vancouver-based NOW Communications Group received $43,613. Another Vancouver company, Strategic Communications, was paid $24,145.

      One of the larger amounts in Vancouver was $603,377, which went to the Victory Square Law Office.

      Other union expenditures were also detailed in the disclosure form.

      For example, more than $150,000 was spent with Thomson Reuters and Thomson Reuters West.

      Progress Alberta was paid $10,000.

      In addition, the union contributed $7,000 to the Newfoundland and Labrador NDP and another $7,000 on that province's NDP convention, as well as $6,400 to the Saskatchewan NDP.

      The Northeastern Ontario Area Council received $16,235, of which $11,653 was for "PAC TRAINING".

      In the U.S., the Steelworkers gave $50,000 to the Washington-based Citizens Trade Campaign, which came together in 1992 to oppose the North American Free Trade Agreement. It also paid $15,000 to Democracy Corps, which provides free public opinion research, and $5,000 to the union-friendly Rick Smith Show.

      In 2017, it was widely reported that the Steelworkers union was paying the salaries of some NDP campaign staff leading up to the provincial election. In the two years leading up to voting day, the union donated more than $1 million to the party.

      The Steelworkers union is an outspoken supporter of the Trans Mountain pipeline project.

      Coincidentally, West joined a majority of Port Coquitlam councillors in voting down a motion last year to have the city declare a climate emergency.