Much ado about nothing?

From a Public Eye reader comes this curiousity: according to 2003 and 2004 financial statements filed with Elections British Columbia, RBC Dominion Securities Inc. donated $29,990 to the provincial Liberals. Not interesting in and of itself. But attached to those donations is the name Larry Blain - once managing director of RBC but, as of December 2002, president and chief executive officer of Partnerships British Columbia. So, on Friday, we telephoned Mr. Blain to ask him why that might be. And this was his response: "I haven't worked there for two and a half years so I don't know." Mr. Blain then hung-up as Public Eye was asking him whether he had attended any fundraisers for the Liberals under RBC's name since joining Partnerships British Columbia.

Calling back to the provincial agency, Public Eye was transferred to corporate relations vice-president Suromitra Sanatani who explained that Mr. Blain hung up because "everyone has different phone manners." Ms. Sanatani later explained Liberal executive director Kelly von Reichert (Public Eye passim) told her "there's a clerical error in that (donation) list. Larry used to be the contact for RBC Dominion and he's obviously no longer that. So (the Liberals) just haven't updated their records."

6 Comments

Wouldn't it be great if Elections BC raised a finger and actually investigated a "misleading report by a political party" (Part 10, section 227(1) of the Election Act)?

False or misleading reports in relation to political parties and constituency associations

227 (1) If a registered political party or a registered constituency association is convicted under section 266 (1) or (2) in relation to a report under this Part, the political party or constituency association is subject to the following penalties:

(a) immediately on conviction, the chief electoral officer must suspend the registration of the organization until such time as the organization is deregistered or the conviction is overturned on the final determination of an appeal;

(b) if no appeal of the conviction is made, at the end of the time for making an appeal the chief electoral officer must deregister the organization;

(c) if the conviction is upheld on the final determination of an appeal, the chief electoral officer must deregister the organization.

Indeed, Elections BC was quick to reprimand Reform BC for overspending its limit in the Delta South by-election with a six month ban on running candidates. Such an action so soon before the 2001 campaign nearly killed the Party.

However, in the case of the Liberal's spending in the Surrey-Panorama Ridge by-election, not a whisper from Elections BC. From the point of view of somebody who campaigned there, I find it nearly impossible that the BC Liberals/Polak campaign were within their allowable spending limits. Imagine if the BC Liberals had faced the same punishment... they'd have all had to run as independents!

Wow......

X- bankers are busy privitazing British Columbia....

Must be August eh Sean?

And howcome nobody asked about the millions in GST the Liberals wrongly reported on and only paid back after becoming Government.

That seems like one worth investigating under the elections act posted.

In the GVRD Sustainable Region Initiative Issue Group Reports dated May 26, 2003 Larry Blain is listed as one of the issue group members. It is also interesting to note that he is identified as being with RBC. This can be verified on the GVRD website: http://www.gvrd.bc.ca/sustainability/. Seems to me the Tyee and/ or Public Eye should be talking to the Chief Electoral Officer about this.

In the GVRD Sustainable Region Initiative Issue Group Reports dated May 26, 2003 Larry Blain is listed as one of the issue group members. It is also interesting to note that he is identified as being with RBC. This can be verified on the GVRD website: http://www.gvrd.bc.ca/sustainability/. Seems to me the Tyee and/ or Public Eye should be talking to the Chief Electoral Officer about this.

In the GVRD Sustainable Region Initiative Issue Group Reports dated May 26, 2003 Larry Blain is listed as one of the issue group members. It is also interesting to note that he is identified as being with RBC. This can be verified on the GVRD website: http://www.gvrd.bc.ca/sustainability/. Seems to me the someone should be talking to the Chief Electoral Officer about this.

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