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

West Coast Hockey Prep Camp draws nearly 1,000 players to Port Alberni

History-making Korean hockey coach joins league of celebrity instructors

Port Alberni co-ops targeted in different crimes

One break-and-enter, one case of graffiti at each gas station

Offroad racing happening at Alberni Motorsports Park July 21–22

Last mud truck event until September on the Port Alberni track

Lease agreement signed for Port Alberni oil spill response base

25-year lease agreement is part of a larger expansion plan

Cherry Creek sets water restrictions for summer 2018

Stage One water restrictions are in effect immediately

BC Games: Dance, spoken-word highlights at Opening Ceremony in Cowichan

Hundreds of athletes and thousands of volunteers, coaches, parents and officials

Special Olympics athletes take on BC Games during Global Day of Inclusion

Twenty-five athletes and nine coaches are here in Cowichan Valley during the 50th anniversary

Scammers dressed as Mounties threaten to arrest senior if she doesn’t cough up cash

Pair of fraudulent officers threaten to arrest 90-year-old woman

Fundraiser launched to help mom of French jogger detained after accidentally crossing U.S border

Cedella Roman, 19, was detained in America after accidentally crossing the border

Trump slams Federal Reserve rate hikes

Fed raised benchmark rate for a second time this year in June, and projects two more hikes to come

Okanagan Wildfires: The latest on wildfires and evacuations

A Friday morning look at the major wildfires impact the Okanagan and Similkameen.

UPDATED: 1,500 residents on evacuation alert as Peachland under state of emergency

The Mount Eneas wildfire has forced an evacuation alert of 596 properties

Police to provide update on case against alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur

McArthur worked as a landscaper, allegedly concealed the remains of seven men in planters

Premiers to wrap up 2 days of meetings at New Brunswick seaside resort

Meetings held in the scenic seaside town of St. Andrews on Thursday focused on trade

Most Read