NDP leadership fees cause stir

Vancouver-Kingsway MLA Adrian Dix is expected to announce his bid for the NDP leadership Monday in Vancouver

A $15,000 entry fee and strict rules for sharing donations in the B.C. NDP leadership contest have caught some candidates by surprise.

With five candidates already declared and Vancouver-Kingsway MLA Adrian Dix expected to announce his bid on Monday, the party executive released a major overhaul of its rules last week. They include a spending limit of $175,000 and a provision that all candidates must split their donations 50-50 with the provincial head office.

Fraser-Nicola MLA Harry Lali reacted with fury to the new rules, calling them “ridiculous” and comparing them to the Republican Party in the U.S. where only millionaires need apply.

The 2003 contest that selected Carole James as leader had only a $2,500 entry fee, and the decision to “skim 50 per cent right off the top” means candidates must raise $350,000 to reach the limit, Lali said.

B.C. NDP provincial secretary Jan O’Brien said the party executive decided the leadership contest must be self-financing, and the new one-member, one-vote process means substantial new costs. A phone and electronic voting system must be used, and the party is also staging a series of regional leadership forums before the April 17 vote.

The 50-50 rule already exists for local constituency fundraising, and has been extended to the leadership contest for a party that still has debt from the 2009 election and has lost membership since then.

Monday is also the cutoff for new NDP members eligible to vote in the leadership election. That has forced Dix and other candidates to sign up members before they have even begun to campaign.

Leadership candidates Mike Farnworth, John Horgan and Nicholas Simons also expressed surprise at the steep increase in the cost of the NDP leadership.

The B.C. Liberal Party has a $25,000 entry fee for leadership candidates, and a spending limit of $450,000. At least one candidate, Surrey-Cloverdale MLA Kevin Falcon, has said that limit is too low when travel, phone banks and other costs are added up.

Just Posted

EDITORIAL: No think-tank report cards for the Observer

Fraser Institute’s annual school ranking isn’t a good measure of success, editor Grace Kennedy writes

LETTER: Why is Jati Sidhu ashamed of his riding?

Lytton’s Christopher di Armani shares his dismay at the potential name change of the MP’s riding

Fraser-Cascade School Board votes to invest in protecting the future of its students’ hearing

Decibel monitors to be installed in secondary schools’ machine shops as a visual guide

Kent-Harrison Foundation celebrates 25 years

The foundation started in 1994 on the promise of a two-for-one donation deal

Bucket-list flight for Chilliwack grandmother

Hampton House resident treated to a beautiful plane ride in Moments that Matter

Harrison Hot Springs students bring ‘Twelfth Night’ to life

The adaption of Shakespeare’s classic comedy include songs and phrases from Canada’s east coast

Bobrovsky perfect as Blue Jackets blank Canucks 5-0

Vancouver shut out for 10th time this season

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frightened cruise passengers in Norway

The Viking Sky cruise ship was carrying 1,300 passengers and crew when it experienced engine trouble

Search and rescue team helicopters injured climber from B.C. provincial park

A 30-year-old woman suffered a suspected lower-limb fracture in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

Attorney General William Barr said special counsel “does not exonerate” Trump of obstructing justice

Trudeau in Vancouver to support Tamara Taggart at Liberal nomination event

The former broadcaster is seeking the nomination for the Vancouver Kingsway riding

Trudeau calls May 6 byelection for B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith

The riding opened up when Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January

B.C. VIEWS: The hijacking of our education system gathers speed

Children taught to strike and shout fringe far-left demands

Most Read