The B.C. Green Party is making life as difficult as it can for the to mainstream parties after party leader Andrew Weaver announced Tuesday a number of measures to deal with ethics in the upcoming provincial election.
Weaver, the member for Oak Bay-Gordon Head in Victoria, said during a press conference the B.C Green Party would commit to a number of measures to address ethics, transparency and accountability in its platform for the upcoming election on May 9.
Weaver also said, if elected, the B.C. Green Party would introduce legislation including all of the measures announced during the press conference Tuesday.
“We planned to begin rolling out our platform following our rally this coming Saturday. In light of recent developments concerning donations from lobbyists, we felt it was important to let British Columbians know where we stand,” Weaver said at a press conference at the B.C. Legislature.
“The allegations published in the Globe and Mail, which followed international scrutiny over B.C.’s ‘Wild West’ fundraising status quo in the New York Times, are incredibly disturbing.
“It is absolutely reprehensible that the B.C. Liberals and the B.C. NDP would treat the lobbying industry like a cash cow for their campaigns.
"The allegations that lobbyists violated the Elections Act by purchasing expensive tables at pay-for-play fundraisers and secretly billing the expenses back to their clients must be immediately and vigorously investigated by both Elections BC and the RCMP and released before voters go to the polls on May 9,” Weaver added.
The measures the B.C. Greens propose to curb unethical fundraising and lobbying practices are as follows:
Institute a multi-year prohibition on lobbying for former senior public office holders and partisan ministerial staff that is inline with federal prohibitions.
Increase penalties for violations of the lobby act to bring B.C. legislation in line with federal standards.
Conduct a further comprehensive review of the Lobbying Registration Act, including the Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists’ mandate, to ensure that our democratic institutions and the interests of British Columbians are adequately protected from the influence of special interests.
Ban government Ministers from engaging in fundraising activities while in office and explore similar restrictions on MLAs.
Immediately ban all out-of-province, corporate and union donations.
Place limits on individual contributions that are in line with current federal limits.
Weaver said the B.C. Greens are committed to government accountability and transparency at the core of our platform and we will continue to advocate that whichever government is in power immediately implement these changes so that they can begin to rebuild the trust of British Columbians.
Weaver is the lone MLA from the B.C. Green Party sitting in the Legislature.