Fourth in our BC Liberals Dirty Dozen Donations series.
In the midst of fundraising scandals, the BC Liberals used vans with tinted windows to shuttle rich donors into a $5,000-a-plate dinner with Christy Clark at swanky Mission Hill Winery.
These are called “cash for access” events where people willing to give big money get to hob nob with elected decision makers, leaving regular voters out in the cold, and thereby subverting our democracy.
But Christy Clark and the BC Liberals love these events and do lots of them, using them to raise the majority of their $13 million last year.
Third in our BC Liberals’ Dirty Dozen Donations series
Here’s an under-reported story about the BC Liberals’ #1 biggest donor, mining giant Teck (almost $3 million since 2005).
It’s less attention grabbing than the all-at-once disaster at Mt. Polley, but there’s a slower moving mining pollution disaster unfolding in the rivers of Southeastern BC, flowing also across the border into the U.S..
For years, Teck’s coal mines have been sending pollutants into local waterways, including selenium that is toxic to fish. Environment Canada found levels of selenium so high in the Fording River that fish were being born with deformed gills, spines, and craniums. The increasing levels of selenium even drew a rebuke from the U.S. EPA.
Then, Teck wanted to expand its Line Creek coal mine, with a permit for five times the level of selenium than the level set in BC’s water quality guidelines for aquatic fish.
Second in our BC Liberals’ Dirty Dozen Donations series
The big logging companies have largely flown under the radar of the BC Liberals’ donations scandals. After all that negative attention in the 1990’s, they are probably happy that the fossil fuel industry, developers, and mining companies (hello Mt. Polley!) have dominated the media lately.
But, companies like West Fraser ($990,000), Canfor ($852,000) and Interfor ($720,000) still rank up there with the biggest corporate donors to the BC Liberals, and they get their money worth in return!
An example: when the two biggest donors – West Fraser and Canfor “accidentally” logged almost a million cubic metres of healthy public forests when they were supposed to be going after beetle wood, the BC Liberals simply shrugged their shoulders and levied zero penalties.