BC Liberals candidate Bill Bennett spent more than twice as much on the May 2013 provincial election campaign than BC NDP candidate Norma Blissett. But their campaign incomes were virtually the same.
According to financial reports released by Elections BC on Monday, August 19, Bennett, who won the election for the Kootenay East riding, spent $105,307.14 on his campaign.
Blissett, who got 36 per cent of the vote, spent just $48,523 on the campaign.
Bennett spent the most on media advertising: a total of $51,972 – $24,107 before the official campaign period, and $27,865 in the lead-up to the May 14 election.
By contrast, Blissett spent $4,451 on media advertising, all during the official campaign period.
She spent the most on newsletters and signs: $19,683 in all. Bennett spent $7,642 on the same.
They spent virtually the same on salaries and benefits: Bennett $9,888 and Blissett $10,860.
Although Blissett spent much less on her campaign, she actually received more in political contributions to the campaign.
Twenty-six contributors donated $69,331 in all. Most of her contributors were trade unions. The United Steelworkers Local 9346 chipped in $21,200, while the United Steelworkers District 3 put in $4,500. The East Kootenay District Labour Council gave $5,000, as did Teck Resources.
Bennett received $40,029.66 in donations. He had more contributors – 35 – but the contributions were smaller. Only one donation greater than $2,000 was made, by Taseko Mines which contributed $5,000.
But Bennett received greater transfers from the BC Liberals: $86,252 to the $50,038 Blissett received from the BC NDP.
All up, Bennett’s total income was $126,531, while Blissett’s was $123,884.
It was not only in the Kootenay East riding that the Liberals out-spent the NDP. Overall in the province, the Liberals spent $2.35 million more than on the election campaign.
The BC Liberals spent $11.75 million this year on their way to a come-from-behind provincial election victory, while the NDP listed spending $9.4 million . The NDP received $9.7 million in donations, while the governing party listed receiving $8.5 million.
The disclosures released by Elections BC Monday include amounts spent before the formal 60-day campaign period when specific limits apply.
The Liberals spent more in advance of the May 15 election.
Within the 60-day campaign itself, the Liberals spent nearly $4.3 million to the NDP’s $4.1 million.
Corporate contributors gave $5 million in donations to the Liberals, followed by individuals at $2.4 million, unincorporated businesses at $420,000 and $385,000 from other sources.
NDP got nearly $2.6 million from individuals, $2.5 million from trade unions and $2.1 million from corporations.
The Green Party of B.C., which won its historic first seat in Oak Bay-Gordon Head, did so on spending of just $180,000.
The Green Party spent more than the B.C. Conservative Party, which listed $155,000 in expenses.
The central party expenses don’t count the additional spending at the local level by individual candidates or constituency associations.
Organizations that filed expense reports as election advertising sponsors ranged from large groups like the B.C. Teachers Federation and the Mining Association of B.C. to tiny ones like Kamloops Moms for Clean Air and Denman Opposes Coal.
The bulk of sponsors were teachers unions, other labour organizations, or environmental groups.
Locally, the Cranbrook District Teachers’ Association and the Cranbrook Physicians for Health Care registered as election advertising sponsors.
The teachers’ association spent $1,166.78 on signs.
Elections BC says the physicians are yet to file a financing report. They have until September 11, 2013 to do so, or incur a $500 late filing fee.
With files from Jeff Nagel, Black Press.