Elections BC has fined the BC Liberal Party $200 for accepting a prohibited contribution. It was an inadvertent error as the party website could not detect the ineligible contributor.
An Election BC press release says Sullivan Mechanical Ltd. made a contribution to the BC Liberal Party of $500 on March 28, 2018 through the party’s website www.bcliberals.com. Sullivan Mechanical Ltd. used a corporate credit card under the name of Sullivan Mechanical Ltd. to make the contribution. The billing address for the contribution also listed the name as Sullivan Mechanical Ltd. and provided a Prince Rupert post office box rather than a street address.
Elections BC said Sullivan Mechanical Ltd. was not an eligible individual who could make a political contribution under the Election Act and accepting the contribution was a contravention of the Act.
The rules do not allow corporate contributions to political parties.
Elections BC said while the contribution amount was not near the top of the allowable limit, and accepting the contravention appeared to have been inadvertent, the error that allowed the prohibited contribution to be accepted was caused because the BC Liberal Party’s financial agent did not have adequate safeguards in place to prevent it.
However, Elections BC observed that there was no evidence to suggest that this was a pattern of behaviour with the BC Liberal Party. It said the party had been cooperative with the investigation by providing fast and reasonable responses.
The BC Liberal Party has taken additional steps to prevent future non-compliance. It has added functions to its weekly contribution report that identifies corporate profiles that have made contributions. In addition, they have added a filter to the donation page to restrict donor names with words such as limited, Ltd, Corp, and Inc.