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

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.

BC legislatureBC Liberals

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health has declared the Cariboo Chilcotin a community cluster. (Angie Mindus photo)
Interior Health declares Cariboo Chilcotin region a COVID-19 cluster, 215 cases since Jan. 1

Most cases are related to transmission at social events and gatherings in Williams Lake

The City of Williams Lake is awaiting the arrival of seven terrain park features typically found at ski hills to create more winter recreational opportunities in Boitanio Park. (Arena Snowparks Instagram)
City shows cool side with winter, Boitanio rail park

“We’re just waiting for their arrival and a little more snow,” Atkinson said.

Williams Lake First Nation Chief Willie Sellars provides a community COVID-19 update from his home Wednesday, Jan. 20. (Williams Lake First Nation Facebook image)
WLFN chief reports 11 members fully recovered from COVID-19

23 active cases remains, says Chief Willie Sellars

A vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is displayed on Jan. 5, in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Rick Bowmer/AP)
Power outage spoils COVID-19 vaccine at Tl’etinqox

Temperature-sensitive vaccine no longer viable after Jan. 18 event

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Vernon's Noric House long-term care facility is dealing with an influenza outbreak amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (File photo)
Two more deaths at Vernon care home

Noric House case numbers remain steady, but death toll rises

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
1-in-5 COVID tests coming back positive in and around Fernie, sparking concern

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

Most Read