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.

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

Just Posted

Jumbo Valley to be protected, ending decades-long dispute over proposed ski resort

Development rights permanently retired for site of proposed year-round ski resort west of Invermere

Celebrate ski season with the Trails Society on Jan. 19

Hot chocolate, roasted marshmallows and a groomed trail await

Inside Grand Forks’ newest apartments at Raven Place

Peter Matheson’s living space quadrupled when he moved into his one-bedroom last December

Electricity, natural gas use spiked during cold snap: FortisBC

FortisBC said that natural gas use was 50 per cent higher on Jan. 14, compared to week prior

Grand Forks man charged after violent gas station robbery

The incident occurred shortly after 6 p.m. on Jan. 15

‘Like an ATM’: World’s first biometric opioid-dispensing machine launches in B.C.

First-of-its-kind dispensing machine unveiled in the Downtown Eastside with hopes of curbing overdose deaths

Canucks extend home win streak to 8 with 4-1 triumph over Sharks

Victory lifts Vancouver into top spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

BC Green Party leader visits northern B.C. pipeline protest site

Adam Olsen calls for better relationship between Canada, British Columbia and First Nations

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

B.C. landlord sentenced to two years in jail for torching his own rental property

Wei Li was convicted of intentionally lighting his rental property on fire in October 2017

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

Calls for dialogue as Coastal GasLink pipeline polarizes some in northern B.C.

Coastal GasLink is building the 670-kilometre pipeline from British Columbia’s northeast to Kitimat on the coast

Most Read