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

TDCSS to end on-campus daycare service

NWCC committed to finding licenced provider to fill space

Terrace teen honoured at Commonwealth writing competition

Ariadna Sullivan among 12,000 entrants vying for top awards

VIDEO: Researchers rely on drones to survey aftermath of B.C. wildfires

UBC researchers are using aerial drones to study the historic 2017 wildfires in the province

Rent continues to rise in Prince Rupert, drops in Terrace

A report from Canadian Mortage and Housing Corporation shows the average rent has risen by $132

Cops targeting risky behaviour, auto crime

Holiday campagaigns aim to keep roads safe, valuables protected

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Family suspends search for missing Alberta couple, plane near Revelstoke

Due to bad weather, families of missing Albertan couple say they will resume in the spring

Canadian grocers make $3M per year from penny-rounding: UBC study

Ottawa announced plans in 2012 to phase out the copper coin

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

B.C. anti-hate campaigner finds Google search on his efforts redirects to porn

Text from online news article about Cran Campbell being used to link to suspect websites

‘The Last Jedi’ opens with $220M, 2nd best weekend all-time

As anticipated, the movie fell shy of the opening weekend for J.J. Abrams’ 2015 franchise reboot

2 couples tie the knot in Australia’s 1st same-sex weddings

West Australian couple Anne Sedgwick, Lyn Hawkins have been together for 40 years

B.C. concert promoter bans Nazi symbols at shows

A man was witnessed making a Nazi salute during a heavy metal show at Pub 340

Most Read