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BC United has fundraising momentum, closing donation gap with NDP

The ruling party still has a notable financial advantage over the formerly named BC Liberals
BC United leader Kevin Falcon at an event in Vancouver last month | BC United/Twitter

Kevin Falcon’s rebranded Opposition party finished 2023’s second quarter with an embarrassing fourth-place finish in a Vancouver Island by-election.

But BC United does have fundraising momentum, with just over a year until the next scheduled provincial election.

On Wednesday, Elections BC released campaign finance returns for the April-to-June period, showing BC United raised $768,091.62, for a half-year total of almost $1.4 million in donations from individuals.

Premier David Eby’s party raised $1.02 million in the quarter and the NDP’s half-year total is $1.78 million. That is a $380,000 advantage over BC United, which was known up until April 12 as the BC Liberals.

But, year-over-year, the NDP is only $52,200 ahead of 2022’s January-to-June total. BC United grew by $404,000.

The BC Greens reported almost $300,000 in second-quarter donations for $500,000 after six months of 2023, $29,000 better than 2022. The BC Conservatives went from $52,400 in the first half of 2022 to $91,200 in the first half of 2023. Former BC Liberal MLA John Rustad was acclaimed as the new Conservative leader on March 31.

The parties also received their half-year, taxpayer-funded allowances on July 15, based on vote totals in the 2020 election: NDP ($786,086); BC United ($556,629.50); Greens ($248,632.12) and BC Conservatives ($31,414.25).

In the June 24 Langford-Juan de Fuca by-election, NDP rookie Ravi Parmar succeeded retired ex-premier John Horgan with more than 53 per cent of the popular vote. Conservative Mike Harris edged Green candidate Camille Currie by almost 300 votes. BC United’s Elena Lawson, with 1,173 votes, would have finished last, had it not been for the Communist Party of B.C. candidate who garnered 74 votes.

On the same day in Vancouver-Mount Pleasant, the NDP’s Joan Phillip succeeded ex-cabinet minister Melanie Mark by winning 68 per cent of the popular vote in the NDP stronghold.

BC United’s Jackie Lee finished a distant second, with 1,101 votes. 

Parmar and Phillip were sworn-in during a July 28 ceremony at the B.C. legislature.

The BC United report to Elections BC said the party transferred $59,573.35 to Lawson’s campaign and $49,925.89 to Lee’s campaign.

The next election is scheduled for Oct. 24, 2024. Eby has repeatedly denied that he is considering a snap election prior to that date.