A newsletter from the CCPA on why Fossil Fuel takes center stage in BC.
The role of big money and corporate lobbying in BC politics has become a major issue as we head into the May provincial election. In the latest study from the CCPA-BC and Corporate Mapping Project, we took a close look at political donations by oil, gas and coal companies and their industry associations. We also analyzed information from the BC Lobbyist Registry to find out what kind of access to government these donations help secure. The results, quite simply, are jaw-dropping.
We found that 48 fossil fuel companies and industry groups have donated a whopping $5.2 million since 2008—92% of which went to the BC Liberal Party. Only a handful of these firms are headquartered in BC; most are headquartered in Calgary, while others are located in the US and beyond.
These contributions helped to secure access to key political decision makers. Our research reveals that the fossil fuel industry lobbied BC public officials more than 22,000 times between 2010 (when BC’s lobbyist registry was created) and 2016. That’s an average of more than 14 contacts per business day.
We also found that 7 of the top 10 political contributors are on the list of the 10 most active fossil fuel industry lobbyists.
Our findings paint a deeply troubling picture of the state of democracy in BC. Everyday citizens, First Nations and public interest organizations can only dream about the kind of access powerful fossil fuel corporations and industry groups enjoy thanks to their deep pockets. Whoever wins the provincial election in May, a first order of business should to reform BC’s campaign finance and lobbying rules.
CCPA-BC Associate Director
Corporate Mapping Project Co-Director
Other exciting news
/// On Tuesday, April 11, renowned economist Michael Hudson will give a talk about the real estate crisis in Vancouver—and what we can do about it—at the at Rio Theatre (Broadway at Commercial). We’re excited to be co-presenting this event, and expect it to sell out quickly. Don’t wait to learn more and buy your tickets.
/// CCPA-BC Director Seth Klein will join Judy Graves (former Homelessness Advocate for Vancouver) to speak about economics and social policy—as part of the Hope Amidst the Politics of Fear speaker series—at 7:00 PM on Thursday, March 23, at St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church (Nelson at Burrard). Find event details here.
/// Our resource policy analyst Ben Parfitt is the keynote speaker for the Stand Up for Our Jobs, Forests & Communities tour, which includes meetings in Prince George (March 13), Mackenzie(March 14), Quesnel (March 15), Williams Lake (March 16), and Fort St. James (March 17). Ben will discuss how we can diversify our forest industry; keep value-added jobs in Canada; and give workers, communities, First Nations, and local companies more say over the future of forestry. Find the event pages listed here, or download the poster.
/// We are now accepting applications for the 2017 Power of Youth Leadership Awards. If you’re a young progressive leader in your community, this is a great opportunity to gain recognition and spread the word about your cause – apply now! More information and the application form can be found here.