Christy Clark supports ban on foreign donations to civic campaigns

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Bob Rennie, Pamela Martin, Christy Clark & Harry Bloy MLA at a rally last week

Last week we published Dr. Moira Stilwell’s response to our urban affairs questionnaire which was sent to each of the BC Liberal candidates vying to become our next Premier. Today we are pleased to publish the response from Christy Clark.

Her responses are refreshingly to the point and will likely make a few waves in the civic world in BC. Notably she says that she does not support civic candidates having their campaigns funded by foreign contributors. If you recall, Vision Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson received a lot of money from foreigners to help fund several of his campaigns. If Clark becomes Premier, clearly Robertson will be cut off that valuable source of funding.

Similar to Stilwell, it appears that Clark is not in favour of extending the terms of civic government from three to four years. The issue of lengthening civic terms by one year was very contentious at the last UBCM with delegates voting in favour of the status quo. Vision Vancouver elected officials have been lobbying hard to extend the civic terms to 4 years.  It's likely they feel they've already got the November election in the bag, so why not secure another 12 months in government.

Here are Clark’s unedited responses to our questionnaire:

1. Do you support an outright ban on civic parties or politicians receiving money from foreign contributors?

Yes

2. Do you support the current 3 year term for civic government or would you advocate for 4 year terms? If you support 4 year terms, would you also support introducing recall legislation for civic officials?

I support maintaining the current three-year term for municipal government.

3. Do you support annual financial disclosure statements for civic parties, elected officials and candidates to ensure openness and transparency with campaign financing? If so, would this support extend to continuous disclosure of campaign contributors in the final weeks leading up to a civic election campaign?

I would like to see the rules governing municipal campaigns move to the provincial standard.

4. Are you in favour of placing a cap on the maximum donation allowable to a civic politician or political party?

Donations to municipal campaigns should follow the example of the provincial standard.

5. Do you believe the current Freedom of Information legislation needs to be strengthened to open up City Hall to more public scrutiny?

Yes

6. Would you support a regional police force in Metro Vancouver?

While the concept is an intriguing one, it appears a new contract with the RCMP will shortly be signed. We need to work with all local forces and the RCMP to ensure that artificial boundaries do not get in the way of police work. There also needs to be meaningful civilian oversight of the RCMP’s conduct.

7. Are you in favour of eliminating AirCare if those funds could be transferred directly to TransLink in order to help support improved transit?

I would certainly be willing to look at it.

8. Will you commit to protecting the integrity of the Agricultural Land Reserve in order to reduce urban sprawl and improve access to locally grown food?

Yes, we need to do everything we can to strengthen the ALR in urban areas, but we need to look at how best to apply it in non-urban areas. It’s important that we don’t try introduce a one-size fits all approach, as different regions have different needs.

9. Are you willing to consider new legislation and/or policies aimed directly at reducing urban sprawl?

Yes. Working with the Cities, I am willing to consider legislation and/or policies aimed at reducing urban sprawl.

10. Would you be prepared to fund the development of a new Metro Vancouver regional economic development strategy?

In general, we need to get people across the province working together to increase economic development. But Metro Vancouver does need to work together to deal with growth, recognizing that when one part of the region does well the entire area benefits.

Once again, we thank both the Clark and Stilwell campaign teams for responding to our questionnaire and letter our readers know what their perspective is on some important civic issues.

If you want to support Christy Clark's campaign to become the new BC Liberal leader and Premier of  BC, check out her website here. Or follower her on Twitter @christyclarkbc.

NOTE: The same questionnaire will also be sent to all the NDP candidates once they have all thrown their hat in the ring

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