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In what can only be described as a shocking lack of principles, the BC Liberals voted against sending Bill 3 – Election Amendment Act, 2017 to committee stage after it had passed second reading.

I spent most of this week listening to BC Liberal speaker after speaker proclaim how they liked most aspects of the bill but that they had issues with a number of sections. Speaker after speaker talked about potential amendments to the Bill that might help make it better. In fact Rich Coleman, the Leader of the Official Opposition cynically stated:

R. Coleman: Well, we will, actually. It’s interesting you say that. I can tell you what’s not going to happen. There will be an amendment in committee stage, but I can tell you what’s not going to happen when the division call comes. You’re not voting for the amendment. You’re not voting for the amendment because you want the dough. You’re gonna take the dough. That’s what you want.”

After the bill passed second reading, the Liberals then proceeded to vote against sending it to committee thereby saying they just wanted to kill it rather than amend it. I have never seen such a vote in the 4  1/2 years since I got elected.

Needless to say, the BC Liberals have abdicated their responsibility to offer practical solutions to improving the bill. As such, any future amendments to this bill that they might propose will be treated as nothing more than a cynical political ploy.

Below is the media statement my office issued this morning.

Media Release

Weaver statement on B.C. Liberals voting against banning big money
For immediate release
October 5, 2017


VICTORIA, B.C. – Andrew Weaver issued the following statement in response to the B.C. Liberal caucus voting against a bill that would ban big money. The Liberals voted against sending the bill to committee stage after it had already passed second reading. Votes on particular aspects of the bill that could be resolved by amendments are done at the committee stage of the bill.

“I am extremely disappointed that the entire Liberal caucus voted against this bill that would finally exorcise the corrosive influence of big money from our political system,” Weaver said.

“With this vote, the Liberals have indicated that they are against the core principle that we need to shift political influence away from special interests towards people. For 16 years the BC Liberals were content to personally profit from maintaining the weakest campaign finance laws in the country. Now with an opportunity to make B.C. a leader in electoral finance and put the public interest first, they choose to side with a system that gives special interests too much influence.

“The Liberals’ actions last night demonstrate precisely what is broken in B.C. politics. Instead of debating the individual aspects of the bill based on substance, the Liberals have chosen yet again to play political games. By voting to not send this bill to committee, the Liberals are saying that they are not willing to consider improving this bill. The broken two-party system in this province has led to divisive, obstructionist politics where the pressing issues facing British Columbians are devolved into sloganeering and reactionary partisan grandstanding.

“The people of British Columbia deserve better from their elected officials. Now, with three parties in the legislature and a minority government, we have an opportunity to deliver a different kind of politics – one that focuses on evidence, principles and substantive debate. It is clear that the official opposition is intent on ensuring that this doesn’t happen.

“They are desperately clinging onto an outdated sort of politics that places party and power above principles and policy. B.C. is at a crossroads – we can go down the path of the United States where big money and an entrenched two-party system has led to chaos and the degradation of democratic norms, or we can join the 33 out of 34 OECD countries in removing the undue influence of big money from our political system. I hope that as this bill moves through committee, all 87 MLAs sincerely consider the type of future we want for our province and make their decisions based on their conscience in this vital matter.”


Media contact
Jillian Oliver, Press Secretary
+1 778-650-0597 | jillian.oliver@leg.bc.ca


  1. Eric O'Dell-
    October 7, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    Democracy may not be the cheapest form of government but I for one will always chose it over any of the alternativesame. Big money from any source subverts democracy. Do I like the idea that a very small part of my tax dollarge will go to political parties that I may not support? … not at all. … but it is better than the alternative of allowing big money the opportunity to unduly influence government.

  2. Victor Evans-
    October 6, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    A member of the Lieutenant Governor’s government has spoken. I am not pleased that my tax dollars are being used to supplement political parties i have no time for and to say that it will be eventually removed is a joke. We are talking about the NDP.

  3. Angie Higgs-
    October 6, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    Thank you for keeping us updated. I thought we didn’t need their votes? Aren’t there enough votes to pass it without them?

  4. Gary Gauthier-
    October 6, 2017 at 11:07 am

    Very much appreciate Mr. Weaver providing regular insights from our parliamentary process. BC mainstream media based has failed spectacularly in this role.

  5. Karla-
    October 6, 2017 at 11:06 am

    Hi Andrew,

    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences of what happened on this bill. It must be tough not to get discouraged.

    I can also see how easy it is to focus on the behaviours of others and to get distracted from the bigger picture: the Liberals have chosen yet again to play political games.

    From what you said, I understand that they aren’t cooperating in our democratic process and, as such, they are attempting to oppress it.

    This is the point that people who aren’t there need to know clearly in my view. We also need to learn how to address it without resorting to the same tactics of those who are attempting to oppress us, such as name calling and belittling the actions of others, i.e. playing games.

    It is a tremendous amount of effort to do so much. However, because of your efforts and those of John Horgan, I am optimistic that such cooperation will continue to create significant leadership.

    Thank you again.

  6. Shas Cho-
    October 6, 2017 at 9:09 am

    We didn’t expect corrupt politicians to stop being corrupt
    just because we kicked them out of power.
    Fortunately we can ignore their childish antics
    because we don’t need them.

  7. Helen Armstrong-
    October 5, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    It will be extremely important that the people of BC continue to stand up to corrupt politicians and political practices. THANK YOU, Mr. Weaver and Mr. Horgan for your integrity. Please KEEP INFORMING the PUBLIC about these heinous acts.

  8. Wayne-
    October 5, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    Let’s be truthful here, BC Liberals are Liberal in name only, but what they really are is ultra right-wing Conservatives, no different that the Harper Conservatives. Even though Harpo is gone, his trained seals remain, to do the bidding of their transnational corporate owners.

  9. Goes O'kell-
    October 5, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    Good for Andrew and his colleagues for speaking up and calling out BC Liberal corruption

  10. Sally Allan-
    October 5, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    Andrew Weaver, the Liberals aren’t used to being in opposition. They are used to calling the shots and shouting down anyone who disagrees with them. Now they are just a party of sulking children. Whatever good ideas generated by the minority gov’t and the Greens, the Liberals will not support . They don’t want to co-operate with you; or atleast that is what Rich Coleman seems to want to do; they just want to be the bullies and run the show. I suggest that if they don’t want to contribute meaningfully, then disregard their bad humour and questionable behaviour as an opposition and move forward with the NDP. I think British Columbians want you all to co-operate and provide good government but if it is plainly obvious that the BC Liberals are not interested. They can’t see past the noses on their faces. That’s really too bad, but certainly not worth losing sleep over. There are, of course, many BC Liberal supporters that will side with the BC Liberals, no matter what they say or do. That includes the eternal criticism that the NDP can’t manage the province’s finances; whereas there is good evidence that the opposite is true; that the NDP has done well as financial stewards when they have been elected to govern. The BC Liberals are the poor financial managers, but they pay good money for the PR spinners to convince people believe that’s not the case.

    Thank you for your press release regarding the bill you are talking about here. It is very interesting.
    Sally Allan