Kelowna West MLA Ben Stewart (Hansard TV)

B.C. Liberal MLA leaves caucus as donation examined

Kelowna’s Ben Stewart ‘confident there is no wrongdoing’

Kelowna West MLA Ben Stewart has voluntarily excluded himself from the B.C. Liberal caucus after an undisclosed issue with a political donation was brought to the attention of Elections B.C.

The B.C. Liberals declined to offer details, other than that Stewart sent a letter to Elections B.C. on Thursday advising them of the situation.

“Sorry to advise I voluntarily left the B.C. Liberal caucus last evening while Elections B.C. rules on a request I sent them to investigate an irregular donation under new election financing rules,” Stewart told Black Press Friday. “I have to sit out of caucus until Elections B.C. rules on the matter. I’m confident there is no wrongdoing and this is purely an administrative matter.”

Stewart was elected in 2009 and re-elected in 2013, then stepped aside for former premier Christy Clark to run for a seat. Clark was defeated in Vancouver-Point Grey in the 2013 election where the B.C. Liberals won a fourth straight majority.

Stewart regained Kelowna West in a by-election after Clark resigned from the seat in 2017, her government having been toppled by the B.C. Green Party supporting the NDP minority.

RELATED: NDP caps party donations at $1,200 per person

RELATED: Political donations drop after new rules in B.C.

The NDP government moved to ban corporate and union donations to political parties after taking office in 2017, with personal donations limited to $1,200 per person per year. The NDP legislation also provides for a public subsidy to parties with a minimum number of votes, a “transitional annual allowance” that started at $2.50 per vote in 2018. It is reduced to $2.25 per vote this year, and is to decline to $1.75 in 2021, the year of the next scheduled B.C. election.

The allowance paid close to $2 million to the B.C. Liberal Party and NDP in 2018, after their neck-and-neck finish in the 2017 vote. The B.C. Greens collected $830,000 in 2018.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Thousands have used Abbotsford’s pedestrian and cycling bridge over the winter

Mayor says he’s pleased with usage of Salton Road highway crossing during winter

Aspiring entrepreneurs invited to pitch ideas at Dragons’ Den auditions

Abbotsford and Vancouver the only Lower Mainland try-out locations

Great-grandma’s wish granted to take photos from new heights

Ilona Lelkes of Langley will fly on Cessna 172 Cessna from Abbotsford

Abbotsford football talents ink university commitments

Panthers Catlin and Coronado, Mouat’s Duval announce signings

Clothing, jewelry, purses: RCMP ask court about disposal of evidence in Robert Pickton case

Pickton was sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 25 years for the murders of six women

Speaker ‘will not tolerate illegal activity’ on B.C. legislature grounds, says chief of staff

Chief of staff to the B.C. speaker Alan Mullen says situation with demonstrators appears ‘fluid’

MPs to examine privacy implications of facial-recognition technology used by RCMP

The MPs will look at how the technology affects the privacy, security and safety of children

Dates back to 2009: Calgary police lay charges in fraud involving semi-trucks

Three people from Calgary are facing charges that include fraud over $5,000

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs optimistic ahead of talks with feds, province

Discussions with provincial and federal governments expected to start later today

‘The project is proceeding’: Horgan resolute in support of northern B.C. pipeline

B.C. premier speaks as talks scheduled with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

BREAKING: Kelowna RCMP to further investigate 12 sexual assault cases, create sexual assault unit

Recommendations come five months after it was revealed 40% of sexual assaults were deemed ‘unfounded’

Explicit Greta sticker linked to Alberta company draws outrage

The sticker includes the logo of Red Deer-based X-Site Energy Services

Most Read