Options available for reporting political donations: B.C. electoral officer

By The Canadian Press
May 25, 2016 - 4:02pm

VICTORIA — British Columbia’s electoral body is recommending three options for revamping how political contributions are reported after criticism about high-priced fundraising events.

Elections BC chief electoral officer Keith Archer says none of the options can be fully implemented before the next provincial election in May because legislative changes would have to be made.

Attorney General Suzanne Anton asked Archer last month to review how contributions are reported following complaints to the province’s conflict commissioner that Premier Christy Clark receives what amounts to gifts when people pay thousands of dollars to attend fundraisers and get exclusive access to her.

Archer’s report says B.C. could switch to reporting political contributions on a monthly or quarterly basis, within 24 to 48 hours of them being made, or within 10 days of a contribution.

All politicians and registered constituency associations are currently required to file annual reports on all contributions they receive totalling $250 or more, while candidates and leadership contestants must file within 90 days of a vote.

Ontario is the only other province requiring frequent disclosure, and Archer says switching to “real-time disclosure” within 24 to 48 hours of a contribution would make B.C. a leader in North America.

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