Green Party fundraising bests pre-pandemic first quarter, Liberals down 62 per cent

By Shannon Waters May 5, 2021

The first quarterly financial reports are out, and the BC Greens were the only party to report receiving more donation dollars so far this year than in the first quarter of 2020, when the Covid pandemic derailed fundraising efforts in the final weeks of March.

Between January 1 and March 31, Green Party supporters gave nearly $170,300 through 2,179 donations. That’s well above the more than $105,600 the party reported in the first quarter of 2020, but the number of donations dropped significantly from 3,495.

The Greens launched the race to replace ex-leader Andrew Weaver in January 2020 but suspended the contest in late March when the pandemic hit.

So far this year, the Greens have received 2,068 donations of $250 or less, for a total of $111,931, plus 111 donations of more than $250, totalling $58,355.

While the NDP reported by far the most donations and dollars so far this year — more than $662,500 from over 7,400 donations — the governing party’s first-quarter fundraising was not quite as fruitful as the first quarter of 2020, when it reported more than $679,200 in donations. The party did report receiving about 800 more donations than the same time frame last year.

Meanwhile, the BC Liberals have yet to recover from the fundraising slump that hit the party last year. In the first quarter of 2020, the Liberals reported 5,072 donations totalling $638,200 but have raised just over $241,620 via 1,700 donations in the first three months of this year — a 62 per cent drop.

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

During Q4 of 2020, with the provincial election helping to drive the flow of donations to party coffers, the NDP led with $2.9 million in donations, followed by the Liberals at $1.5 million, and the Greens brought in $903,000.

The bulk of the NDP’s fundraising haul in Q1 of 2021 came from donations of $250 or less — more than 6,900 donations totalling $406,607 — while most of the cash given to the Liberals came from donations of more than $250 — 319 donations totalling $161,128.

Political contributions are capped at $1,268.07 per party this year, up from $1253.15 in 2020.

None of the major parties have raised more than they’ve received in taxpayer dollars so far this year. On January 1, Elections BC paid the NDP the first instalment of the per vote subsidy — totalling $786,965 — while the Liberals got $557,164 and the Greens received $248,785.

The newest recipients of the annual allowance filed their first quarterly financial reports this year, as required to receive the subsidy. The Conservative Party of BC reported 109 donations totalling $11,173 in the first three months of 2021 after receiving a per vote subsidy of $31,414.

The Rural BC Party raised $60 from two donors — one-eleventh of the $659.75 the party was paid on January 1.

All five parties will receive a second, identical instalment from Elections BC on July 1.