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

Chilliwack students learn about business and charity during entrepreneurship fair

Mt. Slesse Grade 8 kids will be donating 20 per cent of their business profits to the food bank

Work wrapping up in Chilliwack on the Valley Rail Trail expansion

The trail is envisioned as the north-south spine of a future cycling network

Chilliwack saw sub-tropical blast of warm air Wednesday

It didn’t break any official records but it was warmer than usual by several degrees

Around the BCHL: Junior A cities to host World Junior tuneup games

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the league and around the junior A world.

GW Graham wallops Ballenas Whalers in junior football playoff

Logan Buchwitz scored four touchdowns for the Grizzlies in a one-sided 40-0 win.

VIDEO: People with diabetes meet their alert dogs

A diabetic alert dog is trained to detect low blood sugar in people who have Type 1 diabetes

Toronto private school didn’t report alleged sexual assault to police

Police say a sexual assault at an all-boys Catholic institution was not reported to them

China says butt out; Canada calls for release of “arbitrarily” detained Muslims

A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman accused Canada’s envoy of going beyond their diplomatic roles

Dead Saskatoon tattoo artist’s skin removed and preserved

The skin was removed in honour of the well known artist’s work

Metro Vancouver mayors cancel Surrey LRT in favour of SkyTrain

TransLink will immediately suspend work on light rail

Lower Mainland couple missing in Thompson-Okanagan area

Barriere RCMP received a missing persons report for two senior overdue travellers

Vancouver Warriors cancel first 2 weeks of season as labour dispute continues

The announcement means games scheduled for Dec. 1 and Dec. 8 will no longer be played

B.C. Realtor suspended after helping intern forge note about sick grandma

Vancouver real estate agent Jaideep Singh Puri has to pay fine, take ethics course

Offensive Facebook post by Okanagan Conservative riding sparks outrage

Post taken down after Conservative MP in neighbouring riding condemns it and demands removal

Most Read