B.C. Liberal party must return donations from companies at centre of Chinese corruption scandal

(Victoria, 1 February 2013) – IntegrityBC is calling on the B.C. Liberal party to return $14,696 in donations it received from two companies connected with an alleged bank fraud scheme in China that involves Prince Rupert’s Skeena Cellulose pulp mill.

“The moral imperative for the B.C. Liberals would be to turn the donations over to Elections BC while this matter is under investigation by Chinese authorities,” said IntegrityBC executive director Dermod Travis.

Sun Wave Forest Products donated $3,397 to the B.C. Liberal party in 2006 and 2007. CGR Investments donated $11,299 to the party between 2005 and 2006, including $10,000 to former B.C. Liberal party MLA Bill Belsey’s failed 2005 re-election campaign.

Both companies are implicated in the Chinese investigation, according to a report in today’s Globe and Mail. None of the donations would have been prohibited under the B.C. Election Act.

Belsey, now a Liberal party vice-president, is also under investigation by the B.C. Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists for failing to register as a lobbyist.

Last December, Belsey lobbied on behalf of businessman Ritao Ni, who owns Sun Wave Investments Inc. Belsey was in contact with Jobs Minister Pat Bell, Environment Minister Terry Lake and Forests Minister Steve Thomson. Mr. Ni is now in Chinese custody.

“No political party can be expected to foresee such eventualities and the B.C. Liberal party shouldn’t be faulted for having failed to do so, but in the rare instances when they do arise, a party should act promptly and appropriately,” said Travis.

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For more information:
Dermod Travis, Executive Director