Election spending puts Liberals in debt

By Shannon Waters April 14, 2021

The BC Liberal Party is nearly $2 million in debt according to its 2020 financial report filed with Elections BC.

The party reported assets of $1.2 million and liabilities totalling $3.2 million, including a $2.8-million loan. The Liberal’s election finance reporting included a $3-million loan on their campaign finances — the only one of the three major parties to take on debt to finance last fall’s campaign.

The BC NDP, on the other hand, finished out the year with a $3.2-million surplus. The party declared assets of just over $6 million — including $5.2 million worth of property holdings — and just over $1.4 million in liabilities, including $850,000 in loans.

The BC Greens were also in the black at the end of last year. The party reported a little less than $1.4 million in assets and just $57,000 in liabilities for a surplus of about $1.3 million.

All three parties spent more money than they pulled in last year: the Greens by $24,800 and the Liberals and NDP by $3.5 million apiece.

Liberals received over $450K in pandemic support
The NDP appears to be the only major party not to declare federal pandemic assistance as part of its income for 2020. The BC Greens reported receiving around $43,300 from the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS); however, the line item also includes an unspecified insurance claim.

The Liberals took in the pandemic-related wage assistance, reporting $329,600 in CEWS as well as nearly $8,500 in Canada Emergency Rent Relief funding.

The party also disclosed a $10,000 interest-free loan from the Canada Emergency Business Account and nearly $17,900 in funding from B.C.’s temporary wage subsidy program, which covered 10 per cent of payroll expenses between March 18 and June 19, 2020.

The funds helped the Liberals “prevent layoffs and keep people working,” per a party spokesperson.