A credit union whose board of directors includes a provincial Liberal candidate donated $7,500 to the party on December 29, 2008. But the credit union's president said earlier this month that contribution had nothing to do with Naomi Yamamoto's bid to keep North Vancouver-Lonsdale in the party's hands.
Speaking with Public Eye, Chris Catliff said, "There definitely would be no relationship there. I don't even think when we made the donation we were even aware Naomi was running. That was something that happened afterwards."
Nor was Ms. Yamamoto - who announced her bid for the party nomination in that riding on November 21, 2008 - involved in the decision to make that contribution. In fact, Ms. Yamamoto - who won that nomination on February 27, 2009 - "wouldn't have even known about it," said Mr. Catliff.
Instead, the credit union president explained, "Our profits have gone up, we've returned more money to our members and our communities and it's all been good. But there's a lot of carnage out there in the global financial network. And we just felt we'd support the government of the day for good policy" - specifically referencing Premier Gordon Campbell's 10-point economic plan. "It's not particularly the Liberals. If it was another party and it was good policy, we would have considered supporting that as well."
Mr. Catliff added, "We're a credit union and we support the local economy. And we just noticed everyone was running scared. When fear takes over, people don't invest, they don't buy, they don't do anything. And we like what the government is doing on infrastructure."
Elections British Columbia filings show this is the first time the North Shore Credit Union has made a contribution to any political party since 2005. Asked whether he could recall making any donations to the Liberals in the past, Mr. Catliff said, "To the Libera"ls, I'm not sure. But I'm sure we have in the past if we supported government policy."