Charitable thoughts

Provincial New Democrat Saanich South MLA-elect Lana Popham said yesterday she will donate at least a portion of the pay raise legislators received in 2007 to charity and publicly report those contributions. This, after Jenny Kwan exclusively told Public Eye a policy mandating such donations was only intended to last until the election and isn't expected to be continued.

"I've always donated money. I've always been very involved with my community. My husband is a firefighter. He donates from his pay cheque to muscular dystrophy and we both spend a lot of time - tons of time over the last decade. Will I continue to donate? You bet I will. Because I believe that it's necessary - especially in these economic times charities are going to be hit hard," said Ms. Popham on Public Eye Radio.

"I donate to the Land Conservancy. I donate to things that I believe in. And yeah, I'll continue to do it. Will I take the exact amount of the pay raise? I don't know. But I do donate a lot. So who knows. Maybe it will be that amount. But I'm not going to take it as a formula to use."

So will Ms. Popham publicly report those donations? "Sure. If I donate to something, it means I believe in it. So you bet I would."

And is that a policy she thinks the New Democrat caucus should adopt? "I don't think it matters. Everybody is in a different circumstance. Everybody is able to make personal choices. It's a personal thing if you want to donate. Would I make it public? Probably I would make it public because I would be encouraging other people to donate to the things I donate to."

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