Vision Vancouver pot calls NPA kettle black

(Victoria, 12 June 2014) – Vision Vancouver is in no position to play the money card against the NPA in this fall’s civic election after condo developer Bob Rennie hosted a $25,000 a plate fundraising lunch for Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson in March, according to IntegrityBC.

The organization was reacting to a Vision Vancouver email sent out last week that criticized the NPA for its closed-door nomination process, but then went on to appeal for funds. The email included the following PS: “Whoever they’ve chosen, we know they’ll be well-funded. Can you chip in? Please donate $3, $5, or $10 today to keep Vancouver moving forward.”

“Political parties that live in glass money houses shouldn’t throw stones,” said IntegrityBC executive director Dermod Travis. “Neither of Vancouver’s two major civic parties is holier-than-thou when it comes to political fundraising and neither of them seemed pressed for cash in 2011.”

In the 2011 election, Vision Vancouver raised $2.2 million and most of it in large five figure donations from corporations and unions. The NPA raised $2.5 million.

The Bob Rennie lunch earlier this year also likely set a Canadian record for the cost of admittance to a political fundraising event. “And if lunch was $25,000, can you imagine what dinner might cost,” said Travis.

IntegrityBC also drew issue with a somewhat disingenuous line in the Vision Vancouver email. The email noted that “NPA President Peter Armstrong, NPA Vice President Rob MacDonald (sic) and their companies alone spent over $1.1 million trying to defeat Vision Vancouver candidates in the last campaign.”

“Since Mr. Macdonald’s donations of $960,000 take up a vastly disproportionate part of that total, Vision Vancouver should have broken out the donations of each individual and their associated companies.”

In Vancouver’s 2011 civic election, 17 per cent of spending by the big-four went to research and polling, more than 25 per cent went to paid advertising in print, on radio, TV and the Internet, and another 27 per cent went to wages and eleven cents of every dollar went to signs and brochures for voters.


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For more information:

Dermod Travis, Executive Director