News / Vancouver

86% want to ban “big money” from political fundraising: Poll

Premier Christy Clark is seen in this file photo.

File photo

Premier Christy Clark is seen in this file photo.

An overwhelming majority of British Columbians want to ban union and corporate donations from party politics, says a new poll.

The province-wide survey by Insights West found 86 per cent of B.C. residents support a ban on corporate and union donations before the next election, including 81 per cent of B.C. Liberal voters and 91 per cent who voted for the B.C. New Democratic Party in the last election.

Also, 77 per cent of B.C. residents said it’s time to ban out-of-province donations and 76 per cent said they would support a cap on personal contributions.

Vancouver city council will vote on May 3 on a motion to hold a referendum on political financing, as part of the next election ballot in 2017.

So far, Premier Christy Clark has refused calls to ban large corporate and union donations to political parties, unlike Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, who vowed to ban corporate and union donations to political parties by Jan. 1, 2017.

The online poll commissioned by the Dogwood Initiative was conducted April 18-21 involving 803 adult B.C. residents.

Kai Nagata, communications director of the Dogwood Initiative, said he was surprised by the cross-party support in B.C. to ban corporate and union donations.

“I think it's a sign of the times,” he said. “By refusing to wean their parties off big money, Christy Clark and [NDP leader] John Horgan are making the situation worse.”

Dogwood says millions of dollars of donations to B.C. political parties come from real estate companies, paving companies, construction unions, trophy hunters, and oil & gas companies based in Alberta, Texas and Malaysia.

The poll by Insights West has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

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