COMMENT: Open government isn't about selling access at BC Liberal “power lunches”
IntegrityBC chastised the BC Liberals today for leaving the impression that they’re selling access to Margaret MacDiarmid, Minister of Labour Citizens’ Services and Open Government, through her presence at a $50 a plate Liberal fundraising lunch tomorrow in Surrey.
“There’s something incredibly oxymoronic about the minister responsible for Open Government making herself available to business people wanting to bring their “issues forward for discussion and response before the next election” during what the Liberals term a “power lunch”,” said IntegrityBC’s executive director Dermod Travis today. “Private access to government ministers for party fundraising such as this smacks of the worst kind of politics.”
The recently announced series of BC Liberal “power lunches” follows on the heels of a $500 a plate private fundraising reception with Premier Christy Clark held at the exclusive Calgary Petroleum Club last October. That event was organized by her now chief of staff Ken Boessenkool.
Shortly after the Calgary soirée, IntegrityBC launched its “Who really runs BC?” campaign to reform B.C.’s antiquated election finance laws. The campaign is calling for a ban on corporate and union funding of political parties, a cap on personal donations and is recommending a Citizen’s Assembly to study and make binding recommendations on other reforms.
IntegrityBC noted that at a price of $50, many of the attendees at the MacDiarmid lunch may never be disclosed when the BC Liberals file their 2012 annual report, since the price of the lunch falls well below the $250 threshold for disclosing donations.
IntegrityBC is a non-partisan organization championing accountability and integrity in BC politics. By empowering British Columbians, IntegrityBC hopes to change politics in BC letting citizens regain their trust in government. This article is a press release from IntegrityBC.