Andrew Wilkinson and Dianne Watts spar in the B.C. Liberals’ last leadership debate, Jan. 30, 2018. (Black Press files)

Dianne Watts spent most of B.C. Liberal leadership rivals

$1.14 million was more than winner Andrew Wilkinson’s budget

Former Surrey mayor and MP Dianne Watts raised and spent $1,147,907 in the recent B.C. Liberal leadership campaign, outspending her rivals as she finished a close second in the February vote.

Vancouver-Quilchena MLA Andrew Wilkinson raised $734,156 in his successful bid for the leadership, the third highest total. He was outspent by Vancouver-Langara MLA Michael Lee, who reported raising $675,919 and spending $987,206, the biggest budget after Watts, Elections B.C. spending disclosures show.

Wilkinson’s biggest donors were Vancouver philanthropist Darlene Poole and investment dealer Peter Brown, giving $25,000 each.

Watts led the contest on four of the five voting rounds announced at a downtown Vancouver hotel Feb. 4, before being overtaken by Wilkinson with second- and third-choice ballots in the final round. The party used a weighted vote system, with 100 points for each of B.C.’s 87 constituencies to balance the influence of more populated urban communities.

Lee, a rookie MLA elected last summer, finished a surprisingly strong third in the contest.

RELATED: Video, results of B.C. Liberal leadership vote

Abbotsford West MLA Mike de Jong was the fourth biggest spender at $622,790, $490,020 of it raised for the contest to replace former premier Christy Clark.

Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone, who dropped off after finishing fourth in the initial round of first-choice voting by party members, did not file his disclosure in time for the Elections B.C. report. Stone said there was a delay getting the audit done, so he paid $500 for a 30-day extension and it will be filed this week.

Stone said his fundraising and expenses will come in around $800,000.

Watts was heavily supported by corporate sponsors, reporting $832,800 from corporations and $314,000 from individuals. Her largest donors were Super Save Disposal and Woodbridge Properties, which gave $100,000 each.

Lee’s largest donor was himself, with $35,000 put to his own campaign. Vancouver businessman Peter Armstrong gave $25,000 to Lee’s team.

Wilkinson’s donations were roughly evenly split between corporations and individuals, with $327,958 from individuals and $320,950 from corporations and another $52,260 from unincorporated commercial sources.

De Jong’s donations show a similar split, with $263,630 from individuals and $201,680 from corporations.

Vancouver-False Creek MLA Sam Sullivan reported total funds raised of $131,006 and spending of $130,943. He was first off the ranked ballot when results were revealed from online voting.

Peace River South MLA Mike Bernier, who bowed out early after testing his leadership support, reported raising $68,291 from donors including Encana and the B.C. New Car Dealers Association, and spending $75,949.

Terrace resident Lucy Sager, who did not take part in the party’s leadership debate tour, reported raising $9,865 and spending $8,684.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Construction of LNG Canada plant still on hold

Construction will only begin following a positive final investment decision

VIDEO: Watch ex-Kitimat video director Stephano Barberis’ new reel, featuring his own new music

Breathe of My Leaves music project debuts ‘Chimera’ album of electronic sounds

Sulphur dioxide pollution over Kitimat could be eliminated after 2024

New process will eliminate SO2 as a byproduct

Kitimat, Terrace home sales up from 2017

Optimism surrounding a potentially positive LNG decision one of the factors

B.C. Green Party pushes for wild salmon commissioner

The role would serve as a unifying force in the provincial government

VIDEO: Grand Forks shores up defences as floodwaters rise to peak levels

Canadian Forces, volunteers working to protect low-lying areas

Chilliwack Chiefs moving on to RBC Cup final after thrilling win over Ottawa

Kaden Pickering scored the winning goal in the 3rd period as Chilliwack won their semi-final 3-2.

VIDEO: As floodwaters recede, crews assess the damage to Grand Forks’ downtown

More than four dozen firefighters and building inspectors came out to help

Wellington Dukes pull off epic upset of Wenatchee at RBC Cup

The Dukes are off to the championship game after downing the Wild 2-1 Saturday at Prospera Centre.

Canada to face U.S. for bronze at world hockey championship

Canada was looking to play in the gold medal game for a fourth straight year, but saw 3-2 loss

Searchers for Vancouver Island father turn focus to Cowichan River

Cowichan SAR joined by many other SAR groups, volunteers now determined to find missing man

Vacationers urged to check for stowaway bats that could carry deadly disease

‘White-nose syndrome’ has killed millions of bats in North America, but hasn’t arrived in B.C. yet

Are B.C.’s gas prices enough to keep you from travelling May long weekend?

Gas prices in B.C. ranging from 125 cents per litre to more than 150 cents

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle wed in Windsor as millions watch

Windsor sparkled on a warm spring day as tens of thousands of people jammed its quaint roads

Most Read