Liberal leadership candidate Kevin Falcon is MLA for Surrey-Cloverdale and former health minister.

Pro-Falcon group skirts leadership spending cap

Cash from biz execs not counted in campaign war chest

A third-party group backing Kevin Falcon’s Liberal leadership bid won’t say how much cash it’s raised so far or expects to spend.

The Falcon 20/20 organization has amassed high-profile corporate support but is exempt from the party’s leadership campaign rules that cap spending by Falcon and other would-be premiers at no more than $450,000.

The loophole could allow the official campaign to circumvent the spending limit – which Falcon has criticized as low – but the organizer of Falcon 20/20 played down that possibility.

“This is on a pretty tight budget,” said Ryan Beedie, president of the Beedie Group, a Burnaby-based industrial property development firm. “It’s not some six-figure number.”

Beedie said he checked with Elections BC and was told there is nothing in law that prohibits the group from advertising in support of a leadership candidate, provided it steers clear of any recall campaigns underway.

“Nobody can really stop us from doing it, with respect,” he said.

“It’s a free country and we can do what we want. If somebody wants to challenge that, that’s for others to decide.”

Beedie said the group is primarily a network where business leaders backing Falcon fan out further and seek to bring in more supporters.

The group has purchased some newspaper ads but he added it’s “not an expensive campaign.”

Falcon 20/20 has recruited a list of 143 business executives so far publicly backing the Surrey-Cloverdale MLA and former health minister for premier.

Prominent supporters include former federal Liberal cabinet minister David Emerson, Kingsway Financial president Joe Segal and Sandman Hotel Group CEO Tom Gagliardi. For complete list, see www.falcon2020.ca/supporters/.

Beedie said the leadership vote is a once-in-a-generation chance for Liberal supporters to play a role in directly electing the next premier.

Falcon 20/20 came under increased scrutiny this week after Christy Clark described the organization as a collection of “insiders” and suggested Falcon’s campaign is not sufficiently inclusive.

Falcon responded saying Clark’s attack was something he’d expect of a New Democrat not a fellow Liberal and that she’d likely be “thrilled” if she had his level of support.

“Glib, off-the-cuff comments might make for good ratings on a talk show, but if you want to be leader of our party and premier of our province, you have to know that your words have power,” Falcon said. “So, pick them carefully, and put them to work uniting British Columbians, rather than dividing us.”

Just Posted

VIDEO: Agassiz farm spreads awareness for barn owls

Miel Bernstein hopes others will learn how they can help the threatened owl species

Fraser-Cascade school district hosts by-election to fill void left by passing of Tom Hendrickson

Advance voting begins on July 17, with general voting on July 27

Chilliwack cadet takes staff position in Comox

Air cadet one of about 20,000 youth enrolled in programs across Canada this summer

Okan brings Cuban rhythm to Harrison Festival of the Arts

The Cuban band from Toronto will be performing a concert and holding a workshop

Sts’ailes drum making coming to Harrison Festival

The workshop has been happening for years, bringing Indigenous teachings to the festival

VIDEO: Agassiz remembers local officer at grave-marking ceremony

Montague White-Fraser had been buried in the Old Cemetery for 92 years without a headstone

‘Beyond the call’: Teen in police custody gets birthday surprise by B.C. Mountie

Unusual celebration started when Staff Sgt. Paul Vadik went to visit the teen in his Coquitlam cell

Thunderstorms forecast across B.C.

Environment Canada has issued a thunderstorm watch for B.C.’s central Interior

B.C. mom to go to Europe court in hopes of getting alleged abducted daughter back

Tasha Brown alleges her estranged wife abducted their daughter Kaydance Etchells in 2016

Driver who killed B.C. motorcyclist receives absolute discharge

Chase family speechless following decision by BC Review Board

Lower gas prices slow annual inflation rate to Bank of Canada’s 2% bull’s-eye

Prices showed strength in other areas — led by a 17.3 per cent increase in the cost of fresh vegetables

B.C. moves to preserve 54 of its biggest, oldest trees

Fir, cedar, spruce, pine, yew set aside from logging

Report of dead body in B.C. park actually headless sex doll

This discovery, made at Manning Park on July 10, led police to uncovering two other sex mannequins

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Most Read