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Should banning corporate and union political donations trickle down to local politics?

B.C. appears headed to a ban on corporate and union political donations. Could local politics be next?
July 12, 2017 - 6:30 PM

Now that all provincial political parties agree that corporate and union political donations should be banned, should that trickle down to local politics?

Kelowna City Councillor Ryan Donn thinks it's likely on its way anyway.  

“I think we should be ready for the conversation,” he said Kelowna City Councillor Ryan Donn. “I would rather have it a topic of conversation now, than in a year and a half during an election cycle.”

Banning corporate and union donations to political parties has been a hot topic in B.C, especially during the latest provincial election. While the Liberal Party refused for years to consider it, Premier Christy Clark adopted it in the thrown speech. That was defeated by the NDP and Green Parties but banning the donations is expected to be one of their first acts when the NDP forms government later this month.

No party has mentioned donations in municipal politics.

“At the municipal level, a lot of our powers are given to us by the province - they hold most of the cards,” Donn said. “Having no union and corporate donations changes the ability for someone to run a big campaign, it would even the playing field.”

For the previous municipal election in 2014, Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran had the highest amount of corporate and union donations, totaling $19,462.70 — all corporate. Leading the pack for corporate donations for city councillors was Brad Sieben, with $7,794.25 — again, all corporate.

Only Coun. Charlie Hodge had no corporate or union donations to his campaign.

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