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B.C. Liberals’ internal fundraising documents requested by plaintiffs in lawsuit challenging Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline approval

Documents needed to determine extent of conflict of interest for Premier Clark, and Minister Polak, and Minister Coleman – exactly how much were Kinder Morgan and pipeline-connected companies’ involved in fundraising event activities for the Liberals, in addition to the more than $550,000 they donated in the past five years?

Thursday, March 16, 2017

OTTAWA – Today, Democracy Watch and the PIPE UP Network applied to the B.C. Supreme Court for an order requiring the B.C. Liberal Party to disclose all the fundraising activities Kinder Morgan and pipeline-connected companies were involved in during the past five years with the Party, activities that create an appearance of a conflict of interest that would prohibit Premier Christy Clark, Environment Minister Mary Polak and Natural Gas Development Minister Rich Coleman from deciding the pipeline approval.

The application is the next step in Democracy Watch and PIPE UP’s lawsuit that alleges Premier Clark and the ministers were in an apparent conflict of interest when they approved the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline in January because of the more than $550,000 donated by pipeline-connected companies to the B.C. Liberals in the past five years. Premier Clark’s conflict was compounded by the fact that she benefited personally from the donations as she received a $50,000 salary each year from the party, a total salary of $300,000, during the same years the donations were made.

“The B.C. Liberals have hidden as many details as they can about their fundraising events and activities over the past few years, which should make B.C. voters wonder what they are hiding,” said Duff Conacher, Co-founder of Democracy Watch. “We hope the Liberals will do the right thing and finally disclose details about all fundraising activities pipeline-connected companies have been involved in for the Liberals since 2012.”

“Documents dealing with pipeline company donations to the B.C. Liberal Party, and whether the Premier knew of the donations and attended pay-for-access events with Kinder Morgan, are both relevant and necessary to the determination of bias,” said Jason Gratl, legal counsel for the lawsuit. “It remains to be seen whether the Liberal Party will resist transparency about the Premier’s knowledge of payments to the party and her personal efforts to secure donations from Kinder Morgan and pipeline shippers.”

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Duff Conacher, Democracy Watch, Cell: 416-546-3443

Lynn Perrin, PIPE UP Network, Tel: 604-309-9369

Jason Gratl, legal counsel, Tel: 604-317-1919

Democracy Watch’s Government Ethics Campaign and Money in Politics Campaign